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.
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.