The students showed up and finished the little bit they had to do on their little black cows. Then didn't have anything else to start so I got out the watercolor books I own and came up with some sunflowers we could try.
I printed out photos we could trace, reminding them that this is a copy of someone's work so we can't do anything but use this as a study. Then I made mine vertical and carried the stems down with more sky area to change it from the photo.
We are going for a dramatic and varied background to just some pretty sunflowers in the foreground. I took a tip from Shirley Travena and got out my watercolor pencils and scraped some of the points off on sandpaper, letting the "dirt" fall on the paper while it was still damp. This adds some interesting and varied textures.
I'll do the greenery next but probably save the sunflowers for last to do along with the class so I can help them with their flower petals. I hope the rest works out as well as the background, which worked out pretty well.