How to Paint a Sunflower With Acrylics

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Things You'll Need

  • Canvas
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Water-based varnish
  • Sponge brush
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sponge roller (optional)
  • Wide paint brush (optional)
  • Chalk
  • Tracing paper
  • Graphite paper
  • Stylus
  • Round brush
  • Bright yellow acrylic paint
  • Dark brown acrylic paint
  • Golden brown acrylic paint
  • Flat brush
  • Medium brown acrylic paint
  • Dry brush
  • Paper towel
  • Bright green acrylic paint

Sunflower paintings add a splash of color to a room and brighten up any decor. A sunflower is a suitable subject for someone new to painting because it it comprised of basic shapes and colors. Creating a sunflower painting yourself is possible by taking the process step-by-step and using the proper tools. Impress friends and family by creating a sunflower painting that brightens up your home and shows off your artistic side.

Sand a canvas with fine-grit sandpaper. Remove all dust and debris with a tack cloth. Apply one coat of water-based varnish with a sponge brush. Allow the varnish to dry.

Paint the canvas a solid background color of your choice using acrylic paint. Use a sponge roller or wide paintbrush. Apply two coats allowing each to dry thoroughly.

Draw the image of a sunflower onto the canvas using chalk. Use a photo or picture as a reference when drawing the sunflower. If you are not comfortable drawing freehand, trace the image onto a piece of tracing paper. Place a piece of graphite paper face down on the canvas. Place the tracing paper with the image on top of the graphite paper. Trace the image of the sunflower with a stylus, pressing firmly. When the papers are lifted, the image of the sunflower will be visible on the canvas.

Use a round brush to paint the petals of the flower with a bright yellow acrylic paint. Apply two coats and allow each to dry. Apply two coats of dark brown acrylic paint to the center of the flower.

Create detail on the sunflower. Apply a golden brown acrylic paint to a flat brush. Use the chisel edge of the brush to apply streaks of golden brown to each petal. This will give the flower depth and dimension. Apply medium brown acrylic paint to a dry brush; remove excess paint with a paper towel. Apply the paint in a pouncing motion in a ring around the flower's center. This will give a fuzzy look to the center.

Paint the stem and leaves of the sunflower in a bright green acrylic paint. Add highlights using the chisel edge of a flat brush and some yellow acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.


  • Apply two coats of water-based varnish to the painting to protect your work.