This was my first thistle painting. I really enjoyed it and have done several since this painting. When I create a watercolor there are several methods that I can use to begin the piece. Generally for flowers with watercolors I begin with a sketch. I did do several sketches of thistles before attempting my painting. These prickly little beauties are fascinating to create and I really enjoyed playing with the different methods, but for this painting I decided to free paint. This means I didn't use a pencil outline. Once the painting was complete I liked how it looked, but it was to rugged and incomplete. So, I decided to go back over my watercolor with a pen, creating a rough outline and giving a little texture. This is something that I hadn't done before, mixing my watercolor with ink, but I loved the way it turned out and it inspired me to create several other pieces in a similar manner. .I am happy to say this painting was recently sold.