I can never go too long without having another go at these lovely flowers. I took the image from my book on Iris by Claire Austin ( daughter of the famous rose grower, I believe ) and the photos are by Clay Perry, a phenomenal flower photographer, whose name I always look out for. If I see a Gardening or flower book with photos by him, I always buy it as I know it will be inspirational.
At a recent demonstration, Paul Weaver talked about the way in which any pencil with 'H' in its description often scratches the paper causing permanent damage. In light of this, I did my drawing in 2B pencil, trying to hold the end of a fairly long pencil just by the tip and keeping the fleshy part of my hand off the paper to try to avoid getting the paper dirty.
I found it really difficult and the resultant drawing still smudged and the lines were much more pronounced than I wanted them to be. This meant that I would need to be extra careful with the initial washes, not to go over the lines, so that I could rub them out before proceeding any further!
I started the painting by lightly identifying each flower, trying not to put in too much detail at this stage, although I did get a bit carried away with the RH semi-bud. I also added a 'fall' to the RH bud to give it a bit more interest and to complete the arch of the composition.
At this stage I was able to remove most of the drawing lines and give the rest of the surface of the paper a good clean, as despite my efforts, the 2B had smudged quite badly.
Once all the flower shapes were identified, I proceeded in the usual way, going over each petal and adding background where I thought it helped me to get the strength of colour right.
It seemed a bit 'fiddley' at the time and I was a bit afraid that the finished painting would be a bit tight, but there was little I could do about it at this stage.
I used lots of blues in the background hopefully to compliment the oranges of the iris ( achieved mainly by using glorious Translucent Orange and Quinachridone Rust with some Indian Yellow. I tried to leave some light passages in the background to make the finished painting more interesting, and I gave it a good splatter using the Translucent Orange and white acrylic gouache to loosen the finished painting.
I used Fabriano Artistico Extra white paper, 300g Rough 30 x 45 cm, and my palette for the flowers was an initial wash with mainly Indian Yellow, followed by detail using the same yellow, Translucent Orange and Quinachridone Rust and the background is mainly Ultramarine Blue, Apatite Green with some Translucent Orange and Anthraquinone Blue