Sunflower Painting Ideas – Oil Pastel + Watercolors & Salt

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Sunflower Painting Ideas Using Oil Pastels with Watercolors & Salt

 
Are you looking for a fun new way to teach your students about Vincent van Gogh?  I’ve used a Sunflower Roll & Draw Page, made by Expressive Monkey to get started with the drawing. 
 
 
 

Sunflower Drawing Pages

 
 
Draw a vase of sunflowers.  You can draw from life or use one of Expressive Monkey’s Sunflower Drawing Pages.
 
 

Sunflower Drawing with Sharpie Marker

marker drawing of a vase of sunflowers
 
I’ve gone over the pencil lines with Sharpie Marker.
 
 

Add Oil Pastels

 
Tracing over the lines with an oil pastel
 
Using oil pastels, I’ve outlined everything using a bright color. I’ve also used a white oil pastel to color in the spots on the vase.
The oil from the oil pastel will resist the watercolor. As a result, I’ll be able to paint over the spots, and they will stay white from the white oil pastel.
 
 
 
 

Sunflower Painting Idea – Add Watercolor to the Sunflower

 
painting red paint over green paint in the center of a sunflowersunflower painting idea - dropping salt in wet watercolor inthe center of a sunflower drawing
 

Add Watercolor

To make the salt technique a little more interesting, I’m painting the center of the flowers a bright color first, then a darker color. In this case, I’ve started with green. Then I’ve gone over green with red (its color complement).
 

Add Salt … At Just the Right Time

Quickly, before it starts to dry, sprinkle just a little bit of salt. Notice the salt in the second picture. There should be a little bit of room around each grain of salt, leaving room for the salt to push away the paint. If your paint is in puddles, wait for the paint to dry a little first. The paper should “glisten.”
 

Paper

I’m using thick copy paper in this example. The paper wanted to absorb too much of the paint, so I had to keep adding paint until I saturated the paper enough to stay wet while grabbing the salt. After that, I just used regular table salt. Of course, watercolor paper would work the best!
 
 
 

Sunflower Painting Idea Using Oil Pastels

 

painting orange watercolor over a white oil pastel circle on the vase     

 
 
 I’m painting over the spotted vase. The oil pastel is creating a watercolor resist.
 
 
painting blue over read in on the table under the vase of sunflowers
 
Sunflower painting ideas - sprinkling salt on the wet paint of the table top
 
 
In the tabletop area, I’ve painted a reddish-brown first, then blue. I’ve also sprinkled salt in this area.
 
 
painting green over yellow in the leaf of a sunflower
 
To make the leaves and stems a light green, I’ve painted with yellow first, then green.
 
 
close up of the finished sunflower painting ideas                The finished vase of sunflowers
 
This image(above) is how the painting looks now that it is dry. I had to brush away some of the salt that didn’t completely melt. I think Vincent van Gogh might have liked this technique! What do you think?
 
 
 
You can check out the Sunflower Roll & Draw Pages here.
 
 

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Stacey Peters

Stacey Peters

I create engaging drawing resources that help students build confidence and express themselves through art. I'm a former elementary art teacher of 25 years turned business owner. Giving you the tools you need to bring more drawing into your classroom brings me joy.

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