And then there were three

3 Sunflowers, watercolor on paper

One lonely sunflower became two sunflowers. Two was not enough. A third was added using the same process. Who knows? Maybe there will be a fourth and a fifth until there is a whole field of flowers. Or this is enough and a new painting will start with three and become four. The technique previously outlined in Drawing Expansion, makes it so easy to add more flowers without fear of messing up the original. The second flower was added first and completed before the third flower was brought in. Some people would say it should be done altogether in the beginning. It could be. Then again what if you didn’t know you wanted to add more until you saw the first flower. Drawing them in one at a time gave me the ability to choose to add more or see what a difference each would make while I could still change it.

2 Sunflowers with 3rd drawing

The two sunflowers together looked more fun than the single sunflower. But they just didn’t quite cut it. They needed a third friend. My great aunt, Sade, was a wonderful cook. She used to say, “if one stick of butter would make it good, two would make it better!” In this case, three would make it better! But the third friend wanted to be a bit different so it turned toward the sun in a different direction. One of the many fascinations with sunflowers is that they turn each day to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. This third sunflower decided to get a jump on the other two and start turning before they did. As in the previous painting, I started with an outline drawing to see how the third flower would fit into the overall painting before I committed to add it.

2 sunflowers with completed 3rd drawing

After I settled on the placement, I put the details in with a 7H Musgrave Unigraph pencil. The third drawing went much faster as the structure of sunflowers has become more familiar. Each new flower made the details that much easier. The difference on the the third flower was the depiction of the back of the bloom. That was another reason to turn the flower. The beautiful green on the back needed to show off. In doing the first two face on, the back didn’t get a chance to show. Now it will. Once I decided I liked the three together, I downloaded them to Fine Art America to see how they looked on different products. I don’t know if I like the tote or the pillow the best but I’m definitely getting a sunflower face mask. Maybe a mug too. In these days of everybody wearing a face mask, sunny sunflowers are one way of cheering up a masked face. Someone came to the sunflower painting class at Cheekwood with a different sunflower mask. For the next sunflower painting class, I will have my own sunflower mask!

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