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Step by Step Sunflowers Painting

Updated on July 16, 2013

How I painted Sunflowers against a church wall

This article is a step-by-step story of how I created this watercolour painting. I don't write step-by-steps so that you can copy what I do, that would be boring, and it is of little use (in my opinion) to blindly re-create what someone else does, like paint-by-numbers.

When an artist paints a picture it is like standing at a crossroads of a hundred different paths. Each artist makes a series of decisions, each affecting what happens next. It is a bit like dungeons and dragons, except that the choices are about colours, tones, detail, composition. When I read a step-by-step written by another artist, I like to consider the choices made, and think about whether I agree, and would have done the same. Often I learn something along the way, and I hope that you will learn some new ideas, or that it will at least give you food for thought.

I hope too that you will enjoy seeing the painting develop into a finished piece!

Long Melford Church
Long Melford Church


Finding something to paint:

Whilst looking through my computer files recently, I found some photographs I had taken last year at the church in Long Melford, Suffolk, UK. I am not a religious person, but do appreciate the stonework, architecture and beauty in churches, chapels and graveyards. I especially love interesting gravestones, beautiful stained glass windows and gargoyles. But the downside to painting churches is that it can be difficult to capture the beauty. It is so easy for a church painting to look dreary, dark and cold. Long Melford is just up the road from, and my art class and I often use it as a place to meet casually in the summer holidays and do some outdoor painting. There is the church itself, the churchyard, a village green and some pretty cottages, so lots of different things to paint.

Long Melford Church
Long Melford Church

Photographing the church

Need a wide angle lens (don't have one!)

Last summer I wandered round the back of the church taking photos. The church is large and I struggled with my little camera to get it 'all in' with any kind of decent composition. At times like this I often wonder if I need a wide angle lens, or a helicopter to get a bigger view!

Sunflowers behind Melford Church
Sunflowers behind Melford Church

Choosing the right photos

(I always take lots)

As you can see from the photos, they are not bad, but they are not overly exciting either. I believed that the sunflower photos from the back of the church would give a much more interesting and intimate view, with more scope for beautiful colours.

This is where digital cameras come into their own. I am still old enough to remember the sickening feeling where you picked up your prints from the chemist, and saw them for the first time, and realised they were all pants and you could have had a takeaway Chinese for the same amount of money. These days you can take 25 and delete 20 or so without worry!

Final photograph choice

Quite a challenging view

In the end I settled on this photograph of a close up view of the sunflowers. It is certainly challenging, and a good example of four point perspective. If you look at the uprights in the window on the left, and the drainpipe on the right you will see they converge inwards as you look up. Four point perspective is something you don't often have to worry about when painting, but it is apparent when looking upwards at a tall building. Try looking up at a skyscraper and you will see what I mean.

The fabulous bright colours contrasted against the grey stones and the leaded windows above in spectacular manner, I will try to do them justice!

Initial drawing
Initial drawing

Starting the drawing

Pesky perspective

Despite my understanding that the lines converge upwards, I still struggled to put this on the paper and was disgusted to find when I came back to my picture after an overnight break the perspective was wrong, with the uprights all leaning to one side rather than in to the middle. When it comes to perspective and angles your brain will play tricks on you. Because your eyes send the information to your brain which needs to pick out the most important points so your body can respond. I suspect our brains are fairly primitive in this respect, and once they have identified an object as a church, and not something that might eat us, fall on us and is not edible, it loses interest. After all, as far as the brain is concerned, all it has to do with a church is make sure we don't walk into it. It doesn't give a stuff which way the angles run, or what shade of grey the stone work is.

It is therefore up to us to make our eyes and our brains work a little harder; to look at things in detail and really analyse the angles, the colour, the tone.

There was nothing for it but to move each line individually, then rub out the wrong ones.

Eventually, whilst not perfect it was ready to put some paint on. I don't want to obsess about the architecture too much, the sunflowers are the real stars after all; the stonework is just the backdrop to show them against. And to be honest, I am sick of the drawing and just want to get on with the painting. I often do more drawing later, for example if I am waiting for the flowers to dry I can fill in some of the brick and window details.

Did I use a ruler? Yes I did, it's not against the law; although rulers should be used with caution and just where you need them.

TOP TIP Make your corrections before you rub out the wrong lines, it gives you a base to start from.

Painting the flowers first
Painting the flowers first

Starting to paint

Flowers first

Deciding which colour to start with is easy; I need to do the petals first. It is almost a shame because they are probably the most interesting colour in the painting, but I really want to make sure they don't get pushed aside or minimized so putting them in first will assure they take centre stage. Although not the lightest thing on the page I will still start with them as I want to use them to judge other colours against.

Looking carefully at the flowers I see they are in several stages of life. The huge flower on the right is the oldest, having lost all of its petals and only really being a seed head now. The large flower in the centre of the left hand group has just a few shriveled brownish petals and the four surrounding it are in full bloom with plenty of sunny yellow petals. The two flowers furthest to the left are starting to wilt, with the petals deepening towards orange. The lightest yellow I have is cadmium yellow, but I will discount that as it is too cold and too biased towards green. For the brightest petals I choose Cadmium Yellow Light, a nice sunny yellow. For the petals that deepen towards orange I will use Cadmium Yellow Deep, a nice egg yolk colour, and for the oldest petals I will go for Yellow Ochre, an earth colour. For the darkest parts of the petals and shadow areas I pick a colour opposite and use Permanent Blue Violet.

TOP TIP It would be disastrous to use black or paynes grey for the shadows on the yellow flowers, as the amount of blue pigment in them would lead to dull, greenish colours. Although the petals are fading and dying in places it is important to preserve their overall yellow brightness. Using brown or warm grey as shadow on flowers will always make them look dead!

Mixing a well of colour
Mixing a well of colour

Working from light to dark

(Always a good idea)

After a quick de-tour to put in the yellow, it is time to return to the traditional method of painting watercolours; working from light to dark. I also want to get a large area of the painting covered, so that I am not working at it in disjointed 'bits'.

The colour I am looking at is the lightest part of the stonework, a fairly delicate, warm grey. I don't want to use Paynes Grey in this instance as it is too blue, although I will probably use it for the larger, darker stones later on. One option is to mix the grey from colours I have already used, in this case Violet and Cadmium Yellows. This is something I always try to consider, as sticking to a minimum of colours (a 'limited' palette) give harmony. In this case however, I feel that I need a more delicate colour, so I will use a mix that I often return to for greys, creams and pale skin tones: Lemon Yellow, Quinachridone Pink (Permanent Rose would be an alternative) and Cerulean Blue. This mix is basically the lightest, coolest version of the three primaries.

It is important that I mix enough of the colour to cover in a smooth manner, so I utilize one of the many little plastic pots I keep in the studio. You too can acquire these if you eat enough supermarket hummus!

In order to mix enough paint I pour some water into the little pot first, I also squeeze some fresh Cerulean Blue onto my palette, it is a very weak colour, and dried paint simply won't release enough pigment.

Painting the background wash
Painting the background wash

Applying the main background wash

Not all over...

Once the colour is mixed to my satisfaction and I have tried it out on a scrap of paper I start putting it on in a big brush. As you can see, the colour in the pot looks completely different to the colour on the paper. The only areas I wish to avoid are the flowers/leaves (as if would dull the colours) and the leaded window. So I gradually apply it, carefully rubbing out any excess pencil marks in each section first.

Top Tip:Cerulean granulates, so each time I dip my brush in I stir, otherwise the blue pigment would settle to the base of the pot changing the colour as time went on.

The colour is a little darker than expected, but I consider that the photo is somewhat over exposed, and I want the lightest, brightest areas to be the sunflowers, so I continue without adjusting the grey.

Did you know?

Long Melford is so named because it famously has the longest High Street in East Anglia, estimates vary but it is said to be at over 2 miles long!

Filling in more light areas

Continuing 'light to dark'

Whilst I definitely am not in favor of covering a new sheet of paper with an all-over wash, nevertheless it is a beginner’s mistake to leave too many white areas. What happens is that excitement takes over, mid-tones and darks are added, then at the end there is an uncomfortable amount of white paper dotted about here and there, with no easy way of covering it up. Of course whites should be reserved, but look carefully at the start; there may not be any.

The next areas I want to fill in are the leaves and the windows. In the case of the windows I would like to have the leaded cross sections lighter (mostly) than the glass. I also want the veins on the sunflower leaves to be light. Rather than risk trying to paint these small lines in later, it is easier to cover the whole area with a light wash, allowing them to show up as the darks are painted around them.

With leaves, it is usually a good idea to decide if the veins are light against dark or vice versa. In reality there may be many variations within the same plant, but unless you are doing a botanical close-up view it is best to simplify.

For the window wash I choose Paynes Grey, although this wash is for the light areas, they are comparatively dark. Being able to look ahead and consider the finished balance of tones is one of the most difficult things to achieve in watercolour painting. For the leaves I am going for a bright green mixed from Cadmium Yellow and Prussian Blue. The painting now looks rather odd, with flat areas of colour, but it should all work out in the end.

The next stage

On to the green leaves

Now in theory I could do either the background or the plant greens now, but by doing the foreground leaves first, it will allow me to manipulate the tones, ie put dark against light leaves and light against dark, so I will work on the greenery next. The main outsides of the sunflower heads and the stems seem to be a lighter, warmer green, and the leaves a darker green. I have already put the pale wash on for the veins, so I need to remember to paint round these.

I will use the colours I have already used for the greens, Prussian Blue and Cadmium yellow for the leaves, Cadmium yellow deep (warmer) for the stems and the heads. To make darker areas I will simply use more blue. I have painted the leaves fairly flatly, as I think it will be set off nicely against the more textured stonework behind.

Working into the background

Stronger mixes of the same colours

Although it doesn’t really make a difference, I will leave the centres of the sunflowers until the end, just to enjoy the last minute drama of it! Now I need to work on the background, starting with adding some shadows to the window pillars and carvings. Again I am working light to dark, and using stronger mixes of the same initial colours I used. Often in watercolour the shadows are added at the end, over the top of all the detail, but this can disturb the layers below, and because watercolour is transparent it can be done the other way round, which, on this occasion I think is most suitable. Whilst studying the shadows I notice that the sunflowers also have shadow areas on the leaves. I will put these in later with dark green, so as not to make them look dull or dead.

Back to drawing...

And my painting takes a day trip!

Here I pick my pencil up again and put back in some of the architectural details that have rubbed off or smudged and add more accurate details. Next I make up more of my grey mix, putting a little more of the blue in to make it darker and cooler. Although I want these areas to be dark, the darkest areas will be the sunflower centres and the leaded windows behind them. Mostly I want the stonework to be mid-toned, just setting off the more interesting elements. I work into the carved archways with subtle, blended shadows to make them look three dimensional.

The next bit is fun, I have been asked to sit and demonstrate watercolour painting in the Banqueting House at Melford Hall: (That is me on the right)

Painting at Melford Hall

1000 window panes later...

The hall is having an art exhibition and all through the week artists are demonstrating. I am in on a Saturday afternoon, there are few visitors because the weather is pretty appalling, but the time goes quickly as another artist is demonstrating with me and several house volunteers are on duty too.

The Banqueting House was apparently designed for desserts; you ate your main dishes in the hall then walked across the lawn to an entirely different building. Imagine: a separate building just for eating pudding!

Using a mix of Paynes Grey and a touch of Rose I spend the whole afternoon painting in the leaded window panes, blotting occasionally to take out little reflections in the glass. It all takes ages, but at last with some darks the sunflowers start to come forward. When I get home my daughter points out that the stems of the sunflowers look far too yellow, and she is right. Colours reflect and change according to those around them so sometimes it is necessary to adjust as the painting develops, but I will do this later.

Why visit Long Melford?

Apart from this beautiful church, and the endless High Street, Long Melford has no less than two large country houses open to the public: Melford Hall, and Kentwell Hall (famous for it's historical reconstructions...)

Finishing the background

Putting in the stonework walls

Time to finish the background now and I don't want the stonework as dark as the windows so I make a mix of Raw Umber and Paynes Grey, varying it from place to place and occasionally dropping in a little yellow or blue.

Using a glaze

To change the tone, not the colour

The stonework is still ‘coming forwards’ a little too much and the painting generally is looking a little less colouful than I would like, so I have decided to put a glaze over the brickwork. First I go over the whole painting with a putty rubber, to remove guidelines. Everything is in place now so I can get rid of as much pencil as will come off, and avoid it getting ‘trapped’ under final washes. I will use Permanent Blue Violet for my glaze; although I could mix a purple from the colours I have already used, I want this glaze to be transparent and avoid granulation so I chose this ‘staining’ colour knowing it will be clear with no opacity.

Back to the flowers...

And the stems

Now it is time for the finishing touches on the sunflowers. First I want to address the centres of the flowers. Although dark there is some colour variation and speckles which are seeds, so I am going to paint them in two stages. I make up a mix of Sepia with a touch of Lemon and Prussian Blue to turn it slightly green, I paint this on, adding extra Sepia for dark areas. While that is drying I will go back to the leaves. I want to put some strong shadows on, using a darker mix of the original leaf colour (Prussian and Cadmium Yellow). I also go back to the main stems which are looking too yellow, over-washing with more Cerulean blue to turn them greener. After adjusting the flowers I put in the darker areas of the sunflower centres; giving an impression of seeds without going in to too much detail. Lastly I look over the whole painting and darken one or two shadows, and define one or two architectural details.

Finally finished! - And ready to frame...

After removing all final traces of pencil and signing the piece it is ready for photographing and scanning for prints. As for the original I am earmarking it for the next exhibition of the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists. After this it will be exhibited locally and listed on my website for sale.

Materials list

If you want to know what I used...

Here are the technical details

Pencil: 6B Derwent Graphic

Putty Rubber: Daler Rowney 'Firm'

Paper: Saunders Waterford High White 140lb Stretched onto board

Brushes: Round brushes sizes 4, 6 and 10 SAA 'Silver' synthetic mix

Paints: 'Rembrandt' range artist's quality by Royal Talens


Lemon Yellow

Cadmium Yellow

Cadmium Yellow Deep

Yellow Ochre

Cerulean Blue

Prussian Blue

Paynes Grey

Quinacridone Rose

Raw Umber


Permanent Blue Violet

Limited Edition Print - This painting is available as a print...

Limited Edition Signed Print
Limited Edition Signed Print

I make each of my paintings available as a high quality giclee print: Each print is individually numbered and hand-signed, and your print(s) will come beautifully wrapped in cellophane, with a leaflet of helpful framing and hanging tips plus a discount code for use against any further purchases from my shop: Just click the image to see full details/sizes/prices in my Etsy shop. Clicking does not commit you to buying!

Click here to go to my website
Click here to go to my website

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Whilst I am happy for you to share the link to this article, if you want to reproduce text or images, please read on for full clarification.

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Feel free to leave me some feedback on this article! - Is there anything else you would like me to include?

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    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 3 years ago

      @rgbritoart: Giclee prints are a good idea. I sold the original of the sunflowers painting and 3 weeks later someone else wanted to buy it, she was disappointed it had gone but I persuaded her to have a print. Do ask your printers if they use 'archieval' inks, as just like paints cheap inks fade incredibly quickly and you don't want people to be disappointed after they buy your work. Good luck, Michele.

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      rgbritoart 3 years ago

      Fabulous non-tutorial tutorial: painting yellow flowers. The idea of giclee prints is fantastic. I am considering rendering a couple of my acrylic paintings into giclee prints. We have several places close by that will do it at very competitive prices. Congratulations. Keep up the good work! robert

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks very much for your kind comments!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Fabulous! Love your painting. It was stimulating to experience your process and talent. Wonderful subject choice. Quite the perfect interplay of elements.

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      extraincome 4 years ago

      I loved the paintings used here and also thanks for the nice article.

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      longlakelifestyle 4 years ago

      I like flowers on the wall. It's soothing.

    • josietook profile image

      josietook 4 years ago

      Great choice of composition!!

    • profile image

      SamanthaHaupt 4 years ago

      Great tutorial and beautiful painting!

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @asiliveandbreathe: Thank you Marion, it is a small world :-) I am strangely missing the lizards!

    • asiliveandbreathe profile image

      asiliveandbreathe 4 years ago

      I too have looked at your website and found you on facebook.

      Lovely work Michele, and I love the visiting lizards on your blog.

      I'm from your neck-of-the-woods so maybe I'll see your work in person one day.

    • KateFeredayEshete profile image

      Kate Fereday Eshete 4 years ago from Ethiopia

      @MicheleWebber: Michele, That's great news about putting more tutorials on your website. I could tell from the comprehensive advice available that you have put a tremendous amount of work into your website. I know how time-consuming that can be! Alas, I've got quite a lot of work to get my own website into as good a shape as yours. Anyway, I published my first Squidoo lens today and so I suppose, subject to approval, it will be available tomorrow. So take a look! All the best. Kate

    • EpicEra profile image

      EpicEra 4 years ago

      Lovely tutorial for drawing such a joyful flower

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @KateFeredayEshete: Dear Kate, thank you for such lovely comments! My website is very new (in it's current incarnation) and I am still adding lots of content. I intend to put up lots more tutorials, as well as, in the future, book reviews and art materials for sale. I am delighted you have decided to take up painting again, it is a wonderful hobby, of course it can be frustrating at times, but so rewarding too. Good luck with Squidoo, it gets easier each time as you find your favorite modules and ways of using it, I look forward to reading your first lens. Michele.

    • KateFeredayEshete profile image

      Kate Fereday Eshete 4 years ago from Ethiopia

      What an excellent tutorial! I had a look at your website too, and it is packed with information - I shall certainly revisit it, not only to read your advice, but also to visit your shop. I dabbled in watercolour painting years ago, and your Sunflowers lens has inspired me to take it up again, this time with the advantage of the advice for beginners on your website. I'm new to Squidoo and am currently wrestling with putting together my first lens (about my home in Ethiopia), which I hope to publish soon. I'm impressed with the quality and attractive layout of your lens, which is a very good example for me to refer to. I look forward to reading your other lenses and am glad that your Sunflowers lens was selected as Lens of the Day, otherwise I might not have found you!

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      tinylittlebird 4 years ago

      Wow they lppk beautiful! I love painting as well ^_^ :D

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 4 years ago

      @fotolady49 lm: Since I'm unable to edit my comment I wanted to clarify a few sentences. I meant to say that since my orientation is photographic art, I tend to focus more on mixed media and collage as my favorite way to paint, and using acrylic paint along with clear matte and/or gloss mediums are a perfect combination. I also noticed I had a typo in the word media.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 4 years ago

      Gorgeous painting - lots of detail! I really enjoyed reading this lens; nicely done, and a well earned LoTD. Congratulations! :o)

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @Kazee LM: Oh the lack of time thing drives me nuts. I also like to write, teach and sew clothes, I never seem to get as much done as I would like though. Thanks for your kind comments!

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @fotolady49 lm: I tend to go for a kind of lino based print technique, mixed with a bit of monoprinting. I shy away from anything that uses too many scary chemicals or uses the press that looks like a mangle - the darn thing needs so many adjustments it scares me, I like the big presses with the plates. A print workshop is a good thing to join, apart from a few lino cutting tools I have no equipment, I just go along and use theirs, plus I get to exhibit with them. I would like to do some experimenting with watercolours and printmaking combined! Thanks for your kind comments :-)

    • BestofHalloween profile image

      BestofHalloween 4 years ago

      During my Folk Art workshop I painted a sunflower plate which still hangs on my wall today. I was very pleased with the finished results.

    • Miratex profile image

      Miratex 4 years ago

      Very nice painting, original scene.

    • Kazee LM profile image

      Kay Collier 4 years ago from Australia

      Very very interesting lens Michele, and the finished product just beautiful. I do some painting too (I'd spend all day if I could) but I have lenses that I want to create! Did you know that there are now only 12 hours in a day, and 6 months in a year? Who did that!!!!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Great watercolor painting! Love the angle and colors...very nicely done and informative instructions. Thanks for sharing!

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 4 years ago

      I just read your Bio and see that you are also a printmaker among other accomplishments. I love printmaking and studied it while earning my B.A. in Studio Art. I enjoyed printmaking even though it is labor intensive. I kind of miss it and might do some small linoleum cut prints and just use a brayer. I would like to find a printmaking co-op studio to work in since buying big presses is cost prohibitive. What is your favorite form of printmaking? I enjoy them all but I think Intaglio is my favorite.

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I love your style of writing, and the bits of humor you toss in. Some of the things you say, are similar to the same kinds of things I would say. This lens is very informative and easy to understand. Although I am an artist, I focus more on mixed media and collage and primarily use acrylics. And of course Photography is my main meida. I've painted with oils some and water colors very little. Thanks for the step by step tutorial. Very nice lens! I also bookmarked for reference.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 4 years ago

      Spectacular painting! Beautiful job! I really enjoyed this lens!

    • maxsuccess59 profile image

      maxsuccess59 4 years ago

      Great lens very informative and creative. Nice painting!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      You're so talented! It's a beautiful painting. Thanks for showing the steps. Congratulations on LotD!

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      anonymous 4 years ago check it out

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I took a watercolor class and found it quite difficult. Your painting is amazing. Your attention to detail resulted in a marvelous piece of art.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Wow, that is an awesome painting, you are pretty talented! I love the historical old churches in the UK too. Just incredible. Painting is not my thing though, I am more into photography myself. Congrats on LOTD! :-)

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      dellgirl 4 years ago

      Congratulations on making Lens of the Day, and for getting the Purple Star for this wonderful lens. I love your lens. Thank you for sharing this great information and these valuable tips.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      What a wonderful talent! I would have to really work on this - my prior efforts to paint have not been very successful, but I'll continue to try! Beautiful!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Michelle, this is a wonderful lens! Congrats, too, on the LOTD. Well done.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      It's funny. The flint walls of the church caught my eye initially. I know Norfolk quite well, Suffolk less so. I knew it was likely to be one or the other. The flints make a great background to the flowers.

    • maxsuccess59 profile image

      maxsuccess59 4 years ago

      Nice lens very enlightening and creative, painting looks great!

    • seymabel profile image

      seymabel 4 years ago

      At first glance of this painting, the sunflowers look alive and natural.

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      changrcoacher 4 years ago

      Congratulations from the Sunflower State, Kansas! I could never begin to replicate your artwork, but I appreciate your creativity and sharing.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Thanks for the glimpse into an artist mind at work. You are so talented. Congrats on LOTD!

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      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      Nice paintings.great work,i like all pics.

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Beautiful, wonderful article. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD. You've shown how much work goes into making a painting.

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      OILDALE1 4 years ago

      What a great idea..nice lense

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      Mobley5 4 years ago

      You are very talented. Great lens deserving of LOTD.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 4 years ago

      very talented work and great lens. Congratulation on LOTD!

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 4 years ago

      You are a very gifted person I must say that. Excellent art work. Congrats on getting LOTD too.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      Beautiful painting, well-written, interesting lens. I don't have one shred of artistic talent, but enjoyed your creative process. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 4 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing this amazing instruction on painting flowers, great job P.S. Flowers rock!

    • LauraCarExpert profile image

      LauraCarExpert 4 years ago

      Wow that looks beautiful....Its also making me hungry for sunflower seeds!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Lovely painting and great instructions. Thank you for sharing and congrats on LOTD

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @Elizabeth Braun: Zoomsnog lol I wonder what one of those is!! Well I think oil painters often paint dark to light, makes more sense really, but since watercolours are transparent you have to do it the other way round as you can't paint light on dark. My daughter is just starting to make embroideries, I love textile art although haven't done any. I do run up the odd skirt though...

    • Elizabeth Braun profile image

      Elizabeth Braun 4 years ago from Sheffiled, UK

      Well done, lovely painting!

      Some artists do dark to light as well (at least in part), so I never quite know which is best. Having said that, I'm more of a textile artist (embroiderer) than a painter, so I don't give painting as much time as I would need to in order to attain to your skill level.=)

      Thanks for sharing. (Tee-hee! The security word is 'zoomsnog'!!!)

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      Thanks to all those congratulating my for winning lens of the day, it is the second time I have got a lens of the day so I feel especially lucky. I didn't even realise, I just wandered over to the front page of Squidoo and was quite shocked to see my painting there! I now try to catalogue each of my paintings step by step, so there will be more like this.

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 4 years ago

      Very nice... Love your little notes.. Pinned it so I can read it again. Love sunflowers..

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @julieannbrady: Thanks Julie. Yes painting Sunflowers actually on a church would be fun!

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      myspace9 4 years ago

      Congrats on Lens of the Day.

    • SusanAston profile image

      SusanAston 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens - I wish I could paint.

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      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Great painting you are a talented artist.

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      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your lens of the day award. Your work is quite uplifting! You know, I am hugely inspired by sunflowers - at first glance, I thought you actually were painting the sunflowers on the church wall and thought that pretty cool [if they would let you.] This past March, I grew my first ever sunflower garden from seed and wrote step-by-step blog posts along the way.

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      Andrew4M 4 years ago

      wow, great lens I liked it.

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 4 years ago

      Wow! The stages you've described make the whole process of paining seem so simple. I definitely wanna try.

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: Thank you Stephen, I do teach privately. No one teaches watercolours in school or college anyhow so it is something you have to learn from artists/books etc...

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Although I was made to study art no-one before ever explained the process in such detail! They mainly left us to experiment with the colours on our own. I got very good at abstracts but never had enough knowledge of the process to make the more photographic style paintings like this. I totally agree that you would make a fine art teacher (pun intended!). Well done on the LOTD.

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @sierradawn lm: Thank you sierradawn!

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @rattie lm: Thank you for the kind comments, well it is never too late you know!

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Now, had I had a teacher like you, my artistic abilities may well have been better....Lovely, well-written lens.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      Your lens is informative & delightful!

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @Stuwaha: Thanks for your kind comment, yes you are right, it's not a medium for the impatient! Michele.

    • Stuwaha profile image

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      Gorgeous painting and I loved reading through your step by step process. I really enjoy working with watercolors too but they are very unforgiving so you need to be so tediously careful!

    • MicheleWebber profile image

      MicheleWebber 4 years ago

      @paynui: Thank you Paynui, very kind of you to take the time to comment!

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      paynui 4 years ago

      I am very impressed with your talent and beautiful lens.

    • DeeRight profile image

      DeeRight 4 years ago

      Really well thought out lens. Beautiful work!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      This is a fine job of bringing the viewer through the steps you used to the final product.