How to Paint A Sunflower Still Life
A few weeks ago, I showed you How To Paint From A Photograph, and this week I will show you how I took a snapshot of a composition I pulled together and used it to paint this beautiful sunflower still life.
I want this quick painting tutorial to remind you that you don’t have to take a ton of time out of your life to be creative. Sure, I can spend hours painting, but sometimes you just need to get away from your day for a bit, and an impromptu art therapy session is just what the doctor ordered.
To keep it fast, paint in a freeing, loose fashion. If you have ever painted with me before you know, that’s kind of my style.
You can see the full video below of how I painted my sunflower still life. And if you are interested, watch the video HERE on how I pulled this arrangement together.
This painting is a representation of what you see. Just because it’s in your photo doesn’t mean you have to paint it that way. Give yourself the flexibility to make changes as you paint.
Create the layout and paint in the background
To paint a sunflower still life, I first make a rough outline of the rustic wooden box that will hold my flowers. We won’t be sketching anything else because we will be layering in all the individual elements of this painting.
Then, I use a light blue and cream paint to create a textured backdrop with a palette knife all around the outline of the wooden box, making sure to add a little brown paint underneath it to create a tabletop.
rustic wood box
Next, I fill in my box with a cream color. Later, once it has time to dry, I go back to the box and dry brush some brown paint on to create the rough wood texture.
To create a full bouquet, we will begin with the greenery and fill it forward. With a mixture of greens and yellow, I start layering in different leaves and stems to fill in the area behind where the flowers will go. This is pretty loose and messy, not exact, just the idea of those so we can add the flowers on top.
I like painting these arrangements because it’s fun to see all these random layers of little brush strokes turn into a bouquet of flowers.
Easy Filler Flowers
Baby’s-breath can be painted quickly by making clusters of white irregular blobs with a small round brush. I move all over the place adding bunches of Baby’s-breath. Don’t make them into a pattern. Keep moving along fairly quickly. If you move to slow, you can become too strategic with your placement, which doesn’t look organic.
For Carnations, I use an angled brush with two colors of pink on it. Let the brush do the work. Hold the brush with the tip of the angled pointing away from the bud. Press into the page just a little and mimic the shapes of each petal. Not one flower is the same.
Purple Statice filler flowers are a vibrant purple, but I still mix in blue to have a little shade and contrast. Use an angled brush and a stippling technique with both colors on the brush to create a crepey appearance.
Start with the large, dark centers of the sunflowers. The Sunflowers face all directions, so not all of them appear perfectly round. Some blooms are facing up making just a small line of black visible, and others are more oval. Only a sunflower that is facing directly forward will have a full round center.
These sunflowers have multiple little petals painted with a vibrant yellow and orange. With an angled brush, keep the tip of the angle pointing outward and pull a single stroke to the dark center. As you create petals, rotate your wrist to ensure the brush’s pointed edge is always facing away from where you want it to connect to the dark center. Not all of your petals will be the same length or direction and depend on the angle the bloom is facing. Just play with it as you go.
Yellow is a more transparent color, so you want to get the base petals on and then go back over, creating layered dimension. I couldn’t help but add a little golden ray on my sunflowers!
Watch and Learn How to Paint A Sunflower still life!
Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what you can to do for a fast still life painting. You could create a much more detailed sunflower still life, but remember this is a quick artistic getaway.
Try this style of quick painting with your own inspiration. Just grab a few things from around the house, build a composition, and take a snapshot. Then when you can sneak away, enjoy your quick, creative moment.