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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Sunflower notecard
4th in a series

The notecard below is one of a set of four I made on 07sep2020. These bright yellow flowers are currently blooming in my yard, and, providentially & very conveniently, right at eye level if I sit on the steps to my deck. How could I resist? Besides, it was a golden (heh, heh, heh) opportunity to continue using up the green-contaminated yellow paint in my mini-watercolour box, an ongoing project dating back all the way to the creation of the kit, when I failed to let the goopier green paint dry thoroughly, packed up the box, and had it run next door into the yellow, much to my annoyance.[1]

IOW, there's not actually this much green in the petals:)

watercolour on pH balanced paper, 9x12" folded into quarters; photographed 08sep20 with oneplus phone camera, iso 800 1/50sec, f1.7; assorted gimp edits including crop, unified transform, and warp tools

I suspect somewhere on the site I've documented what these flowers actually are before, but I can't find it, and as it happens I was looking up something else, and since the leaves do in fact have winged petioles, are usually opposite lower down, alternate higher up on the hairy stems, these are probably Helianthus tuberosis—Jerusalem artichoke. The plants certainly produce a great many swollen roots, one reason they a) spread b) resist drought and c) are difficult to completely eradicate.

Same drawing, now with some felt tip marker doodles added. Similar gimp manipulations to the image above.

So I've never worried about pulling out every one I could find, secure in the knowledge that a few will certainly pop up the following year.

Like the nasturtiums I featured yesterday, these are easy—in fact, even easier—to paint, to the point that, like the black eyed susans (which I will eventually feature, I'm sure) that I can paint a petal in one, twisting motion of the brush, a delightful (and fast) process. However, since the attachment point of the petals was often sloppy in this example, I decided to add a bit of henna inspo decoration, which didn't really help. So then I added a bit more with a brown marker, highlighting the actual florets (the “petals” are called rays, but it's the stuff in the center that is, I believe the actual “flower” part) adding some extra texture to the background.

It still doesn't really look finished, especially in the photograph, but since the card was being sent to a lady in hospice, and I'd promised to get it out by Tuesday, I needed to wrap this project up and call it done. I hope she enjoys this bit of almost-Autumn nature.

[1]So, in other words, this has been going on since...at least the winter holidays in 2019, and possibly a year longer than that—it takes me a loooooong time to use up watercolours.


[garden] [drawing] [flora] [painting] [2020]