View Full Version : A Sunflower

08-14-2015, 12:11 PM

Title: A Sunflower
Year Created:
Medium: Watercolor
Surface: Watercolor Paper
Dimension: 8x10
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a sunflower I painted a few months back and I've never felt quite like its complete. I would like to change something about this inside but I'm not sure how to fix it. This came from a picture I pulled out of an old magazine.

Should I change the middle?
How should I fix it?
Should I give it a background or leave it blank?

Dana Design
08-14-2015, 01:43 PM
I think you could increase the intensity of some of the yellows and the greens. Not sure about the middle. The stripes don't say "middle of sunflower" to me. Wouldn't the darks in the middle be comprised of all seeds?

08-14-2015, 07:14 PM
nicely stylized sunflower. Delicate handling.

08-15-2015, 11:50 AM
Thank you both for your input :)
Dana Design, I agree I should increase the intensity of the greens and yellows. And about the middle, I wish I still had the original picture so I could show you what inspired me to do the middle the way I did. But I agree it doesn't look right. Just trying to figure out another way to fix it. :confused:

08-15-2015, 12:03 PM
It would be fine to leave the painting alone and go do something else.

The interior seems a bit dark and uniform. I might be inclined to break up the darkness somehow. I'd look at lots of sunflower photos to decide how I wanted to go about such a thing. Then again after looking at a bunch of photos I might conclude that this painting "is what it is" and do nothing.

Adding backgrounds after the fact is a pain in the butt so I wouldn't recommend it. The painting probably would be better with some kind of background, but who knows what. Just do another painting and start with a background, so that the whole work has integrated composition and color treatment.

Framing the painting with some kind of colored frame, that works with the colors of the flower somehow, might alleviate your desire for a background. I would think in terms of color schemes and contrasts rather than simply "a yellow frame" or such.

08-15-2015, 12:11 PM
bvanevery, should I at least maybe give it a stem so it isn't a floating flower?
and what if I just painted the whole background black? I did that with a poinsettia I painted and I really liked the turnout

08-17-2015, 10:55 PM
Stem, why bother? I see pieces like this from a production hours standpoint. The piece as it stands is a complete work, regardless of whether more elements are put in, fiddled, or tweaked. Production hours are justified either by (1) the painting bugs you, in which case you don't need to ask me, or (2) the painting increases in monetary value for the labor spent.

I don't think doing anything to the painting itself is going to make it into a higher dollar value painting at this point. I could be wrong in some instances; for instance, my Mom's a potter and if she paints any pot blue, it will sell quickly. But financial cynicism does not drive her artwork, so mostly she works in browns, blacks, and abstract patterns reminiscent of the Southwest.

In other words, quit wasting your production time worrying about this painting. Move on. Any problem you think you had, you can explore in a new painting, if it's worth exploring at all. Make a background in a new painting. Make a stem in a new painting. This painting maybe could use a good framing job, that's about it.