Iris Painting Comparison

21 Jun 2017

I was really excited earlier this year when I realised that my iris was going to flower. I bought it in 2013 when it was already in flower. Unfortunately that's the only time it had flowered. Last year I took a risk and moved it a little further up the flower bed after reading that the tubers needed a certain amount of sun in spring for flowering in summer.

The gamble paid off! One flower spike from three tubers and there have been about 5 flowers on that spike. When I originally bought the plant I tried a little plein air watercolour painting. I think I was pretty pleased with the result at the time. I do remember being disappointed with the background though. So when the first flower opened this year I decided to have another go.

The best laid plans and all that though! For one reason or another (the wind was a factor one day), I didn't get a chance to paint the iris from life. I did grab a quick half and hour or so to sketch it and I took a photo. I had every intention of painting it the next day but that flower faded.

So I have painted from the photo and the sketch that I did. I am really pleased with the end result. I feel that the dark purple really looks like a velvety petal, and the paler purple at the top shows the fragility of those petals.

I dug out the previous painting as I was curious to see how my painting style had developed over the last few years.

I've done a lot more painting in that time and I know I've improved. I was a little shocked with how awful the first painting was! I don't mind admitting that because I've made a vast improvement in my handling of watercolours. Of course, it would've been more of a comparison if I'd attempted the painting outdoors but I like to think that wouldn't make much of a difference.

Here are both paintings side by side...I'm hoping you know which is which!

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