Follow along with this step by step easy sunflower painting for kids. Capture the texture and color of a sunflower with these simple materials!
Materials list for your step by step sunflower painting….
- paper, any size, heavier is better
- oil pastels or crayons
- watercolor paints
- soft paintbrush
- a real or artificial sunflower for reference, or online images
Beginning your easy sunflower painting….
Take a few a minutes to really examine a sunflower if you’re lucky enough to have on in front of you. Look at the great variety of colors and textures that are evident in a single flower.
Next grab a pencil. Before your kiddos start drawing talk about the concept of composition. Composition is the way in which elements of an artwork are combined or arranged. A composition is the most dynamic and pleasing to the eye when it has an asymmetrical balance. Placing the sunflower off center is an easy way to accomplish this.
Encourage your young artists to begin their drawing BIG! A single sunflower should stretch from one edge of the paper to another, going clear off the edge of the page on at least three sides of the paper.
Sketch your sunflower painting….
These pencil lines are just a few sketchy lines to guide the next few steps of the sunflower painting. Encourage your kids to draw very, very lightly as we want these lines to disappear into the oil pastel and watercolor of the next few steps.
Begin by drawing the largest circle. Imagine that this is the exterior of the entire flower, encircling all of the petals.
Follow up with an another circle inside, being the center of the sunflower. Add another, even smaller circle inside of that one. This will help to distinguish the different areas of texture that can be seen within the center of the sunflower.
Add a stem and a leaf or two, whatever can be seen on the sunflower you’re using for reference. Be sure to keep drawing lightly and most importantly- draw BIG!
Adding texture to your sunflower painting…
Before adding paint we’re going to spend some time with oil pastels. Sunflowers are these beautiful amazing flowers made up of so many tiny individual parts. Making marks with oil pastels (or crayons) will make it easy to showcase all those little pieces that add up to such beauty!
Start in the center of your sunflower, in the very smallest circle. Use short lines to show the pattern of the seeds growing there. Notice that different spots within the center of the sunflower will have different size seeds, directions, etc.
Remember, the idea is to add detail without coloring. White space left behind will be painted. White space is good!
Defining the petals of your sunflower painting…
Continue using a series of short oil pastel marks to clearly define the edges of your sunflower. Get creative with your colors, really noticing the variety of colors you see in your reference sunflower.
Adding color and texture to your sunflower stem….
Really look at the variety of blues, greens, browns, and other colors in the leaf and stem of your sunflower.
Use those colors to add some definition to your stem and any leaves you have drawn. Remember the goal is not to color IN, but rather just emphasize details and texture.
Add background to your sunflower painting…
Now it’s time to have a little fun and add a little movement to the background of your easy sunflower painting.
There’s no right or wrong way to do this- the possibilities are wide open! Keep using those same short marks and create a pattern that fills your background. Imagine that the short lines drawn will lead the viewers eye all around the painting. Use these lines to draw attention where you most want it.
Painting a sunflower…
Now it’s time for the magic. Oil pastels, or crayons, are waxy and will resist the watercolor paint of this next step. This means that all of those short, textural marks that were just made will shine right through the watercolor paint of this step!
Use a clean brush, plenty of water, and the colors of your choice to create a watercolor wash that will fill your sunflower painting with color.
The waxy oil pastel lines will help create a natural “fence” to keep the watercolor colors vibrant and separate. The waxiness of the oil pastel will resist the watercolor paint. Paint right over the oil pastel marks and see them “pop” right through the paint!