After doing all those small miniature paintings I went in the complete opposite direction and created a full size watercolor (22x30") of sunflowers which were drawn and painted at many times their original size. However, many of my working methods remained the same. I started with fresh sunflowers which I am always adding to my grocery cart. Whether I end up painting them or not, it helps my creativity to have fresh flowers in my studio. Usually I don't get around to painting them until they have begun to droop which I actually like to capture in the art. There is something more powerful to me about beauty that is fading which evokes an existentialism. Again I start with the black and white drawing. With this piece I drew the sunflower in pencil directly onto the watercolor paper.
Once the drawing is complete I work very little with the actual flowers, just as I do with my life drawings that I turn into watercolors. I let the painting dictate what I do. In this particular piece I started with the background floating in darks and blues and just playing with color and water. Then I painted the leaves and stems and finally with the flowers. I love leaving some white of the paper showing through and adding touches of blue into the yellow petals. With my fingernails I scratched out pieces in the petals and details in the leaves.
The paper was taped to my painting board so when I was finished I pulled the tape off which left a nearly pristine edge all the way around the art. At first I thought I would fill it in but then I decided I liked the tension of the white edges against the rich background.
I have a spot in my foyer where I will hang this. That spot has been a rotating gallery of art as inevitably the best pieces I place to show off there are quickly sold either to collectors online or friends and clients who come to visit my home studio.