Seeing Double

It turns out that I had not had enough of painting irises. These two watercolours were a follow-up to my previous acrylic paintings, using those paintings as reference for a change, as suggested by my Dad.

What I found was this: having already done the job of filtering nature through my eyes into two paintings, these sketches required a lot less thought when it came to working out the shapes and shades. This meant that I had more brain to devote to actually using the paint and trying to manipulate it to achieve the effect I was seeking. (I grudgingly acknowledge that this is indeed why proper artists go to the trouble of doing preliminary sketches. Shucks.)

The first picture has quite a graphic feel to it. I think I was still thinking in acrylics at this stage, and not allowing the watercolour to work its magic.

Iris watercolour2

The second attempt clearly uses more of the properties of the paint, to better advantage. I’d ‘got my eye in’ somewhat at this point. I’m still not sure whether I should have further darkened the background, as the busyness of the bloom and bleed effects somewhat detract from the flower, but then again, sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone. So that’s what I did.

Iris watercolour1

18 thoughts on “Seeing Double

  1. Oh definitely on the second one, your “eye was coming in” I like that expression, I always love it when that finally happens. I agree, you leaving the background as it is was a good idea…..just right. At first I wasn’t sure but I like how the dark edges kind of bleeds out into the lighter color.

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  2. Loved reading this Rebecca – beautiful work on the Iris’ they are a difficult subject to paint and yours turned out wonderful. I tried two weeks ago and ended up scraping the entire subject off the canvas. I can relate to what the mind is thinking vs what the eyes sees.

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  3. Great to see both Iris’ and read your thoughts. I’ve gone as far as painting something three times to turn off what I think should happen verses letting it happen. Your two painting really are beautiful but to your point the second one really utilizes watercolor for all it can do. I think the white edge of the flower helps pull it forward out of the background. Glad you stopped when you did, its really perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathe, it seems so many of us are familiar with this problem! We just have to keep trying I guess…I’m glad you liked the second one – it was more what I was actually trying to achieve! 🙂


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