Sunflowers and Bird Houses

Sunflowers are one of the most popular flowers for artists to paint, and they also are very popular as themes for interior decor, especially for garden rooms, conservatories and even kitchens, as the cheerful sunflower face seems to fit well into places where the sun often shines.

For this painting I decided to add some whimsical birds and their bird houses to give a story-like feel to the image, and bring it to life. The sketch is available for you to download for free here.

Using the Primary Colors to create many colors

You don’t need a large range of colors to create a colorful painting. For this one I chose to use a selection of yellows – lemon yellow, cadmium yellow and quinacridone gold. Combined with Indigo as my blue and Cadmium Red I was able to mix all the colors I needed for this Sunflowers and Bird Houses in Primary Colors painting.

Before I began to paint I tried to mix as many greens as I needed and used that as my warm up. I do recommend a warm up before you start to paint, so that you give yourself a head-start.

Watch the video on YouTube here:

Sunflowers the easy way!

Sunflowers are such a popular subject for watercolorists, and birds and their houses are just as popular too. Sunflowers and Bird Houses in Primary Colors is an ideal painting to just let go and let your imagination take you where it will, without needing to worry about the fine details of composition or color mixing. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the bugbear of perspective, as a simple, flat rendition is just as lovely as a lifelike version.

All the materials I used for this painting of the Sunflowers and Bird Houses in Primary Colors video are listed in the description below the video on YouTube, and there are full instructions in real time on the video. There are also subtitles in several languages as well as a transcript of the script of the video. Message me if you can’t find something you are looking for.

If you want to download the free sketch for this painting Sunflowers and Bird Houses in Primary Colors you can find it here.

I recommend Jacksons Art for supplies. They are in the UK but their prices are so good it’s worth paying their nominal shipping fee. They also have other interesting features, such as expert-written guides to materials and techniques, an annual competition with a valuable prize, free shipping in the UK for over £75 orders, and very reasonable rates for international orders. Plus they have great discounts. Click on the image below to find out more.

Colors for Sunflowers and Bird Houses

Quinacridone gold


Cadmium Red

Lemon Yellow

Cadmium Yellow

Other materials and equipment

I also used a Staedtler pigment liner size 0.05. The link below takes you to sets of 6 pens so the price is not unreasonable. My paper was Clairefontaine Etival from Canson, 100% cellulose cold press 140lb. I buy it in packs of 50 sheets and that means I can forget all about running out of paper for a good while. I also recommend Bockingford and Strathmore cellulose papers as alternatives, both very good value and all these are Amazon links.


My brush was a Drawell size 11 Golden Round – a very good synthetic brush from Japan. You can order them here: by contacting them direct. The prices are very reasonable and they ship worldwide at minimal cost.

I also often use a brush from ZenArt which you can click below to order. They are an ideal starter set for anyone just building up a collection of good watercolor brushes.

Here is the video showing you how I painted this picture


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