Iris Unguicularis Algerian Iris
Loving the sound of this gorgeous Iris Unguicularis, but then it might just be my own peculiar way of pronouncing it (emphasising the vowels). The Iris Unguicularis is special because it is a winter flowering Iris, adding a splash of colour when we need it most (too much muddy brown lately). Being an Algerian Iris it prefers dry, rocky environments once it’s established and if you want to see it flower you have to be extra vigilant at removing the snails.
Sourcing Botanical Subjects for painting
While the internet is a great resource, it’s better to see the subjects you paint in the flesh. By studying a subject you get to see it in 3D, assess the true colour of the flower and observe how the flower is constructed. Overall by seeing it insitu, you’ll have a better understanding of the subject.
I have an array of flowers and plants within our garden to choose from, but of course there are never enough. Therefore I regularly attend national gardens in different seasons to sketch flowers, plants and anything else that draws my eye. I also take notes about the subject and its official title. I take photographs as a final reminder, but I prefer not to rely only on digital images.
Also I regularly walk and sketch. I am always looking about for different subjects to paint. It can be surprising what you can find under a leaf or even just by sitting still and observing. Never be in a rush to move on.
Iris Unguicularis watercolour process
For this Iris Unguicularis watercolour I mixed three palettes, yellow, green and purple. I started with light weak washes, then built the layers for more depth. I finally mixed a stronger deeper purple hue for the markings on the petals.
If you’ve been regularly following my watercolour sketches, you’ll know how much I adore Irises. It was just a matter of time before I painted a winter Iris. A great splash of colour for the dull wintry months.