New Floral Painting Iris in Watercolor

I know I’ve left y’all hanging on the Going Bananas series, but this most-recent floral watercolor painting is getting so much positive feedback on the handful of social media I’ve posted it to that I just had to do this one first. Plus, it’s a white iris in full bloom – how could I not?

The inspiration behind the painting

I never thought I would say this, but the inspiration for this came from Facebook … specifically, FB asked if I wanted to reshare an image from three years ago, an (overly) detailed drawing of an iris in full bloom. Seeing that drawing again made me realize I had never done anything else with that image, and the next thing I knew I was transferring the general outline to some watercolor paper to do it in better and in color.

detailed charcoal iris drawing from 2020 and the watercolor painting I made from it in October of 2023
my iris drawing from 2020 and watercolor painting from last week, late October 2023

Before I traced over it to transfer the lines, I did do a high-quality scan of the drawing first, so if you’d like an art print of it you can get one in the size you want. I used my first tinted charcoal (sepia) for the background, though looking at it now I can see it is both too dark and too light and didn’t provide me with the contrast I hoped to achieve. That is probably why it’s called drawing practice.

Recording the painting process

Since the little Nikon digicam died at the start of another art challenge, I was left with just using the old webcam my husband bought a few years ago when 1080p was the top-of-the-line in video. I used it for most of the four pieces in that challenge (I’ll link to it once I get those written!) and I have to admit: I love having video clips of it. In fact, I love it so much I am making an effort to do it more often. I also checked out the current top-of-the-line 4K webcam. It’s on my wishlist. (Edit: I bought it. Yeah, I am really impatient with some things.)

Once I get the video footage edited, I’ll embed that here. Until then, you can see a couple of short vertical videos I’ve uploaded to YouTube here.

software-generated mockup of a larger print of my iris floral watercolor painting in white matting with a slim dark wood frame
how my Iris in Watercolor floral painting looks in white matting and a slim dark wood frame

Notes about my iris floral watercolor painting

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, this was another one of those watercolor paintings that felt as if it just flowed from my brush. I absolutely LOVE when that happens. In fact, the part that took the longest was simply getting the background dark enough to provide the right amount of contrast for the white petals. I used alternating layers of dioxazine purple and indanthrene blue, going round and round the unpainted flower until it finally looked right. Painting the iris and its stem took less than a third of the total painting time, according to the video footage.

my Iris in Watercolor painting printed on the cover of a spiral notebook from RedBubble
Iris in Watercolor printed on a spiral notebook cover from RedBubble

Links to purchase

The 9 by 12 inch original painting is still available to buy through Daily PaintWorks. This artwork scanned beautifully, so you can order an art print through Pixels in sizes as small as 8×6 inch all the way up to 45×60 inches before framing. I also uploaded it to my RedBubble shop because my mother and sister like to wear my artwork. Finally, if you want an original but need a larger size, you can always commission me to do a similar painting. (I could not paint an exact duplicate even if I tried.)

Roses in Artwork: Feature Friday 10

I am on a rose kick this week! Roses are such popular flowers and subjects for artwork due to their beauty and elegance – and having a pleasing fragrance helps the real flower’s popularity in bouquets. While I have drawn and painted single roses, I had not yet tackled drawing or painting an entire bouquet of roses. This is in the process of changing, courtesy of my recent experiment with text-to-image software and digital art.

Everything is coming up roses

Sprinkled in among the three new rose bouquet computer-generated images will be blogging friends’ posts featuring roses in artwork in various media. I also wish to note that new hand-drawn and hand-painted art will be created and posted within the next month – before I talk to my Mom again on the phone. Yesterday, she did not beat around the bush or try to sugarcoat her opinion when she immediately asked me when I plan to get my paints back out and make real art instead of playing around on the computer and posting that. Mom knows how to use a clue-by-four!

Pink roses

It should be no secret that pink is my favorite color. So of course the first bouquet of roses I prompted the software to generate was specifically pink. No modifiers, just “bouquet of pink roses in vase on table,” if memory serves me correctly.

large bouquet of pink roses in a vase on the table
Bouquet of Pink Roses, digital artwork

This was only the second image I prompted the program to create, and I felt pretty lucky to get something that looked correct. Being a digital image, there is no original artwork available, but you can get art prints from my Pixels store. If you prefer to wear the art you buy, then take a look at my RedBubble shop options for this image.

If this is not enough pink roses for you, you can always take a look at Tatiana’s Spanish rose, a close-up photograph with enough detail the little ant on one of the rose petals is in clear focus. She found this pair in a garden in Andalusia, Spain. And on the subject of pink rose petals, Sharon Cummings beefed up her description of her rose petal mandala artwork at my request. (Sharon recently won a spot on one of Fine Art America’s billboards, and they even put that one near her in Tampa.)

Red roses

Red roses will be very popular come mid-February. While this won’t win me any points with the independent florists, I think it would be better to gift your Valentine with a rose that won’t wilt – in the form of artwork! Here is another lucky combination of text prompt and random number from the computer program that features red roses.

bouquet of red and pink roses with green foliage in blue vase on table
Roses in Blue Vase, computer-generated artwork

Buy your art prints of this beautiful bouquet through my Pixels store. Get your apparel and accessories with this image at my RedBubble shop. Again, being digital, there is no original painting or drawing available (yet).

If you need a little assistance getting into a romantic Valentine’s mood, check out Steve Heap’s flower photography where he revisits a red rose bouquet he had waiting with champagne for his wife’s birthday in 2012. He does his own version of digital art by using software filters on his photography.

Bouquet of multiple colored roses

In the process of searching for just the right set of modifiers for my text prompt, I noticed two that just go together like chocolate and peanut butter: romanticism (the art movement) and …. Thomas Kincade. Seriously, that would be how I would describe Kincade’s painting style in just one word. No “neo-” prefix, but straight up Romanticism. While he did mostly landscapes, I feel that soft, lovely style is best suited for floral artwork. When I did not specify which color of roses I wanted, I got this lovely image.

a very classic image of a bouquet of different colored roses in a fancy vase on a table, done in the Romanticism style with a Thomas Kincade look
Classic Roses in Vase, digital art

I must admit, I like this one. Not only because the notion of time-shifting Thomas Kincade back to the Romantic period of European oil painting and having him paint flowers appeals to me. Except for that odd but of red in the middle of the bouquet, this may well be the closest that computer program has come to generating the image in my mind. I may break out my oil paints and try this one myself (but after I do the yellow roses in pastel).

Meanwhile, if you want this classic bouquet of roses as an art print, get it at my Pixels shop. If you want it on a shirt or accessories for you home and person, it is available at my RedBubble shop. Again, no original of the digital artwork.

Finally, if you are in search of a perfect rose, Jim Hughes believes he has taken the perfect photograph of a perfect rose. The technical details sailed right over my head, but I do think that is a very good portrait style photo of an elegant rose. Be sure to read the backstory on said rose as well.

I hope all y’all have enjoyed this virtual cornucopia of roses in artwork! It may seem early to be thinking about Valentine’s Day flowers, but I want to be ready for 2023.

Summer Jalapeno acrylic painting

I am finally getting to the final image from the black and white challenge, which ended up being a photograph I took in early July of my husband’s jalapeno plant, cropped, straightened, and with the color taken out. I had a busy day out of the house that day, running errands up in Palatka, and was tired both physically and mentally once I got home. I really was not happy with the result, and immediately planned to redo it and replace the image with something better, something more “me” than a cluttered and busy photo.

black and white photo of my husband's jalapeno plant with blossoms and peppers
greyscale version of my reference photo

That something else ended up being the very next challenge, which I started with the Calla Lily painting in acrylic. Since the theme for the next challenge was “anything goes,” I figured to do up three images from the black and white challenge in color, using acrylic paint since I could use the practice with that medium.

Starting the painting

Some days, the paint just flows perfectly, and the painting comes together “like magic,” as the saying goes. Then, there are days when I feel as though I am fighting every step of the way … and the first day of this painting was definitely a struggle. I blocked out the position of everything easily enough, but my first stab at the background color turned out too purple, so I mixed up some more paint and tried again, with this time being too light a blue. Then, when that dried, I noticed I didn’t cover the too-violet paint well enough in some spots, so I went over it a third time, using the paint straight from the bottle. Then, I turned my attention to the green leaves and stems.

Trouble getting the green of summer

At the time, I only had two shades of green at hand, and neither one was dark enough to be a good jalapeno green. I tried mixing, but at this point it was time to put the critters up for the night and I was frustrated enough I needed to suppress the urge to throw the canvas across the room. That’s usually a clear sign to stop working on it, and try again the next day. So, this painting knocked me out of the short, three-day “anything goes” art challenge, which requires one completed work each day of the challenge. Dropping out of a challenge is only a minor disappointment for me, and one I actually prefer to posting up something I don’t like.

After officially dropping out, hubby was home and asked me what part of the painting had me so frustrated. When I got to the part about not having a good green, he started digging around his bunch of paint (he has used this brand for several years now) and started pulling out half a dozen shades of green for me to choose from. Then he remembered some blending medium that slows drying time that he tried but doesn’t use often, and also a wet palette setup to keep the paint you mix up on the palette from drying while you work.

Finishing the painting

With the expanded selection of greens available the next day, this painting came together so much easier! This one I actually like, and it is currently on display at El Amigo Mexican Restaurant – because that really is a perfect place to display a painting of a jalapeno plant that has a couple white blossoms, one dark green fruit, and two ripe red peppers (when jalapenos turn red, they are called chipotles). This particular painting may not be perfect (and to be honest, it isn’t because I can spot mistakes) but I like it much better than the photograph.

Summer Jalapeno, acrylic painting on stretched canvas
Summer Jalapeno, 11 by 14 acrylic painting on 5/8 deep stretched canvas, original available $175 USD

I’ll likely do a similar painting, or maybe recrop the photo for a more close-up view of it, and hopefully it will have fewer mistakes and be less frustrating. For those who may want a print either larger or smaller than the original 11 by 14, check out my Pixels store. If you want this printed on apparel or swag, look here on RedBubble. For the original, you can purchase through Daily PaintWorks – or call the number on my business card at the restaurant.