The irises have been quite spectacular in the garden this year, and one dusk I was struck by how well the white irises stood out against the mass of foliage behind. I resolved to paint this, and thought acrylics would stand me in good stead, due to the vibrancy and depth of colour I struggle to achieve with watercolour. (Last year I drew the irises in pastels and then in ink; who knows what next year will bring?)
I used a lightly sanded piece of hardboard, larger than usual (24 x 9ins), sketched out the flower spray, and began by putting in a very dark green background. As I began on the flowers it became clear that there was going to be more blue in this picture than I’d originally thought, but it worked quite well with the dark green. I enjoyed the fact that I was able to show the flowers in three different stages on one stem, and it was a delight to see everything come together as I added the white highlights and the little sparks of orange stamens.
Maybe some lessons on how to photograph large, shiny acrylic pictures would be a good idea?