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Healing and Hope
With everything happening globally right now, I have found myself on edge. This project is borne out of a strong desire to to offer a way to find hope and put forth that energy to the universe, whatever that means to you personally. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine as well as the state flower of Kansas, and so I have incorporated it into this healing drawing activity to show solidarity with Ukraine as they stand up against the Russian invasion as well as to put forth a call for peace.
In this activity, we will draw Healing Sunflowers of Hope. We start with a blank piece of paper and draw the outlines in black. We will then color in our sunflowers. You can use whatever media you like; the example is done in marker on photo paper.
Don’t feel confortable drawing yet?
Downloadable Sunflower for Tracing
First we will start with the seeds. Think about what you want for the future. What are your dreams and aspirations? What do you want for yourself, your loved ones, the world…? These things are your seeds. Think about how they will sprout and grow. Are they ready to burst forth to be planted or are they still just forming tiny buds?
Your seeds will make up the middle of your sunflower. They can be big and full of hope, or they can be little and still forming. They can be interconnected, elaborate, showy, full of crazy patterns, complex or simple. Whatever best represents your hope for the future. I tend to be crazy and complex, but that’s kind of me in a nutshell.
Using a black marker, you will draw a circle in the middle of the top third of your paper for your seeds. Be sure to leave some room at the top and sides for the petals (we will get to those next). You can trace around one or more circles (like jar lids) to be more precise, or you can freehand it. Then you will fill in the circle however you like to represent the individual seeds (hopes and dreams) within. This could be represented by grid lines, spirals, swirls, dots, lines, patterns, more circles or any combination thereof. However you want to draw your seeds is up to you.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller
Next, we will draw our petals. The petals represent the light we find in the world. These are the little things you are thankful for. They can be a walk in the park, the way your cat’s eyes smile when she blinks, the smell of blueberry pie… Whatever puts a smile on your face is a petal.
We’ll draw lines around each of the petals around the center seeds of the sunflower. Petals can be long and tall, stretching out towards the sun, or they can be short. They can be pointy or curved. They can be thick or thin. Since they will surround your seeds, they have as much or as little room as the seeds have given them, but that’s okay. They don’t all have to be exactly the same. They can hang off the edges of the paper. You can even have multiple rows of petals if you want to, if you just can’t fit all of your joy in just one row. So draw some petals around your seeds.
The stem and leaves are next. These are the things that nourish you and help you grow. They might represent family, friends, pets, faith, good food, taking care of ourselves, work, rest… All of these things come together to sustain us and keep us going.
The stem is what holds you up. It’s the things in your life that keep you balanced and connect you to the earth. It can be thick or thin. The stem will run from the midpoint of your sunflower down off the bottom of the page. Draw two lines around the stem so you have something to color between them. They can be straight or wiggly. You can add even more short lines to give your stem a bunch of hairs, long flowing lines like its woody, parallel or perpendicular lines for variegation or sections, or you can leave it smooth.
Your leaves are those things that nourish you and help you grow. Maybe you have an abundance of leaves, or maybe very few. Think about growing your leaves and reaching out to take in more sunlight. Your leaves can be big or small. They can be smooth or curly. You can add lots of lines for veins to represent all of the things that bring you nourishment, or you can leave them bare.
Now you’ve drawn your sunflower. This is the fun part – coloring. You don’t have to make your sunflower yellow and brown and green – it can be any color you want it to be.
Starting with the seeds, color the center in whatever way you like. Remember – this represents your future hopes and dreams. The seeds don’t have to be brown; they can be vibrant or muted. They can connect you to the earth or to some fantastic dream world. You can use one or more colors in circle patters, alternating or even just an explosion of color. You can add more dots and lines and draw with different colors into your seeds or just color them all the same.
Next, you will color your petals. These are the things that make you smile. The petals don’t have to be the same color. They can fan out in a bunch of different colors. They don’t have to be yellow, they can be any color(s) you like. They can even be a different color in the middle than the edges. I typically tend to make mine yellow, orange or red, as is more indicative of sunflowers, but rainbow is fun too.
Finally, you will color your stem and leaves. These don’t have to be green. Maybe your stem is yellow, orange or red like the fall, or maybe it is brown and woody… maybe it is purple because purple is just plain awesome. The leaves can be multiple colors. They can have different colored veins or maybe the edges are wilting and curling a little and are a different color.
Lastly, we will color the sky. The sky is your world. Maybe it is blue like the day or gray or purple like rain. It could be yellow like dawn or pink like the sunset. It could be full of clouds or totally clear.
Pinterest Sunflower Inspiration
Examples of more sunflower drawings ready to color
Examples of more color sunflower drawings
More Healing Sunflowers of Hope
The thing about this is to have fun with it. You can use thick or thin lines and color however much or as little as you like. Use colors you like to represent those things in your life that bring you joy and sustain you, and to represent the future. It is your sunflower and you can draw it however you like. You can even draw more than one sunflower on a page if you wish (though I recommend starting with larger paper if you plan to do this).
Thank you for creating Healing Sunflowers of Hope with me.
If you enjoyed this project, feel free to leave a comment below as well as share an image of your project in the Create For Healing Facebook Group. We’d love to see what you did with the project.
Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. Much of her work touches on themes of beauty, identity (especially gender identity), memory & forgetting, and institutional critique. Weigel’s art has been exhibited internationally as well as nationally in all 50 states of the United States of America, and has won numerous awards. Check out more of her art on her website here.