I have recently returned from France , the flower of the moment was definitely the Iris. I had never painted an iris and was asked how I would go about painting one, I promised next year we would have a yesterday I thought I had better see if I could paint one !!!



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



  • Nancy Wimberley

    I just discovered you via Pinterest. I am so excited and have bookmarked your page. I have just started back to painting this year after 50 years away from it. Always enjoyed watercolors, but started back with acrylics that I never used before – it was not easy at first! Your watercolors are so inspiring! Looking forward to reading more of your blog and sharing you with my sister (who loves watercolors too, but paints in oil).
    Thank you, thank you – best regards from South Carolina, USA!

  • Jeanette

    I love your paintings and have been following you on Instagram. So I wanted to check out your website. How wonderful you share you techniques. Thank you so much for sharing.

Leave a comment