An Iris ( plus a bit more about wildlife artist of the year)

An Iris ( plus a bit more about wildlife artist of the year)

This is a blog post from a few years ago, and look I had another octopus in the wildlife artist of the year. Unfortunately in2021, the ceremony was virtual, this year it's back in London at the Mall Galleries...and I am so excited.

To get selected as a finalist is such an honour , and although I have achieved it several times , last year I wasn't selected and I was devastated ....

This year however more than makes up for it as my daughter has also got through, and we can all go together, help wildlife and view our paintings in a swanky London Gallery,


I feel very lucky , this week we went to the framers together, I never expected either of my children to follow me , but Eliza loves her art, and I like to think sessions on the kitchen table as a little one have helped , a little. Her Jelly fish piece is very painterly, and I shall forgive her for using acrylics and not watercolour 


I painted another octopus, so our paintings kind of match each other.


Anyway enough about this year, here's my blog from 2021....



Tuesday I spent a happy evening with my hubby watching the wildlife artist of the year virtual award ceremony, but not with a virtual glass of bubbly !


 Amazed at the standard of work  on show , beautifully executed and thought provoking


( mine is the octopus BTW which I am thrilled has sold !) 


So as well as watching the ceremony, and popping backwards and forwards to the post office, I have been making the most of the sunshine, and potting up some bedding


And finally taking a look around the garden, and smiling , as some of my iris are out, time to think about painting one maybe,

in the meantime here is one I painted earlier 




So armed with a reference photo from Pixabay, my paints and water I sketched out the rough outline, and began. The puzzle ,always, with a new subject is figuring out how you can make the paint 'read' as the subject you are painting. I knew i didn't want to be too precise, I also wanted a vibrant finished piece...I swallowed hard and set off.



I began by spraying the paper then dropping in the colour, I wanted this part to be loose, and see if I could get the veins on the flower's petals. I was also looking for lights and darks.

there is a lot going on all at once, and I am feeling my way though , this could all go horribly wrong but be brave, and just put it all down to experience if it doesn't work.





Working quickly, wet in wet, I am adding and taking away, these colours stain so they are difficult to remove, Alizarin Crimson, rose, Cobalt blue, then a drop of yellow. All good fun but sometimes it all seems a bit out of control. I am working things out as I go along seeing what happens and responding it.



Now stepping back as the painting dries , I can see where I want to put in some darker tones, to show where the petal is folded or in shadow.





Working through the tones step by step, standing back and really looking at what I need to change. It isn't an exact representation of the photo ( at all) but the reference photo helps me to see where the shadows lie. This piece is turning out to be much tighter than I anticipated, which is often the case with a new subject , you need to know a subject well before you can be very wild and free.I thinks it needs something to make it 'pop'



So I decide to add a background. I put my darkest colours next to the lightest parts of the petals to really show the light. I love letting my imagination go a bit wild, and adding colours I just like, 



And so my first ever iris is finished, I like the way the yellow runs into the background, I like to let the watercolour do it's thing . 

Have a go at something new, and have fun x


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