I had intended on painting three 5 x 7 watercolor florals as possible entries to the Small Works Exhibit, but I only managed to paint two. Like the small landscapes I am using Strathmore windpower 140 lb watercolor paper.
The first one I painted is a small version of the apple blossom cluster I painted last spring. I positioned the flower cluster so that it fills 7/8 of the paper. Since this left only small bits of background I didn't mask the flowers, I just carefully painted around them. I used a palette of Cobalt Blue, Chrome Yellow, Aureolin Yellow, Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Rose.
The second is a closeup of a Swamp Sunflower. I masked the sunflower and used a wet-on-wet glazing technique I learned in Margaret Walsh Best's workshop to paint the background. I used Cobalt Blue, Chrome Yellow, Aureolin Yellow and Quinacridone Gold to produce the impression of an out of focus field of flowers. I used the same pigments along with Burnt Siena, Raw Umber to achieve the variety of shades in the close sunflower. The final touch is a Cadmium Red floret. A sunflower is a composite flower. A corolla of 'petal-like' ray flowers circle the dense disk of tightly packed small florets.