Here's a 10.5"x13.5" watercolor of sunflowers. It's really one sunflower and five petals of a second, but I feel like going with the plural for the title. Because of Vincent. The reference photo I used came from my former student (and current University of Wisconsin-Madison student) Mara. She took the photo a couple of summers ago and kindly gave me permission to paint it--I finally did that over the past few days.
I think sunflowers are kind of boring when they're in full bloom--too symmetrical and repetitive--but I loved the shape of this one that's just starting to open up. I made the leaves and stalk fuzzy with some white acrylic paint and a small messed-up brush. I normally don't like adding acrylic paint to a watercolor painting, but on this small scale that was the only thing that made sense to me. And I really wanted that sunflower to look fuzzy!
I wish I could add a button marked "animate" that you could push to watch the sunflower open up, time lapse photography-style. Instead, please watch this beautiful thing (with surprising but totally great Edward Scissorhands soundtrack!).
I wish I could remember Gustav Klimt's quote about sunflowers being the artists of the garden--I read it in college and I think of it whenever I see them. His idea was that sunflowers are the tallest flowers (and therefore different and therefore outsiders), and it seems like they are observing the smaller flowers when their heavy heads tilt down.
I may have added the different/outsider idea myself. I would also like to see a picture of a sunflower holding a sketchpad and drawing the other flowers. I'm sorry. The Edward Scissorhands music--which made me tear up, how about you?--is filling my head with twee and maudlin ideas.
gggggggggggggg <--Typed by young Hypatia, seen below (left).