Last week I posted an Iris and got a great deal of pleasure from having produced it and I tim I mentioned that I felt a series coming on. I also mentioned that I had been inspired by a post by floral artist, Yvonne Harry. In her post she mentioned that she had used a photograph from a book by Claire Austin with photography by Clay Perry. A quick trawl on the net had me finding a new copy that the seller was parting with for less that £3, I jumped at the opportunity and paid the asking price with some alacrity. The book duly arrived and it is the most wonderful source material for anyone wanting to explore images of Irises.
Out with a 16" x 12" sheet of Waterford and down to work. This is quite a large size of paper for subject matter like this and also the particular approach that I was adopting. For much of the image I was going to attempt a nearly straight technique allied with a really loose background. The bloom that I selected was predominantly violet and this presented its own difficulties. Creating variation in the depth of colour was worked on by building up glazes with occasional lifting. There was also an awful lot of edge softening during that process and keeping the paint moist over big areas until working on the edges runs the constant risk of creating runs. All good practice but very time consuming. My admiration for floral painters rose by the wash.
The background was done in the loose way mentioned in the last post, with a little salt and cling film.
I'm looking on this piece very much as a steep learning curve in managing the working of paint. As I look at it I think I might have made better choices about the choices of colour and the treatment of the major colour by introducing some colour variation. Still, an enjoyable exploration.
Iris - Watercolour on Not paper 16" x 12"