Watercolour No 9 – Iris foetidus

Regular visitors to my blog will know that I go to an art class which is called ‘Botanical Illustration’.  However, this title is a little loose as during the 18 month I have ben going there have been pictures of chickens, squirrels,  a bird of prey and a tiger!!  Our tutor is very laid back, his attitude is that it is our class and he is there to help.  But the one over-riding thing is that we all use watercolours.

I think I am not blowing my own trumpet too  much when I say I can draw, I have always been good at copying things.  I have used pastels and I am used to doing big pictures but watercolours has always appealed as I suppose it is the complete opposite to pastels.  You have to be neat, tidy, and generally things are more precise and on a smaller scale – none of these are my fortai!!

I think this tutor is the best one I have had.  He is excellent at assessing your strengths and helping you improve bit by  bit instead of finding lots of faults and undermining your confidence.  I feel that I have slowly and surely improved over the last 18 months.  He has shown me how to do fine lines, how to blend colours and how, more importantly, to mix colours with a limited colour pallette.

I have made particular friends with two of the other women that go and I think we are the naughty part of the class and we suspect the tutor dispairs when he gets to us and this really makes the class for me.

At the top of this post is my latest effort which I am thrilled with – there was no way I could have done this 18 months ago.  I could have drawn it and probably coloured it with pencils or pastels but I would have had no idea how to do it with watercolour and to be honest I wouldnt even consider giving it a go.  I may even frame this one.

Next is another Iris. This time a close up of an Iris sibirica flower head from my garden; lots of lush blues and purples.  I may have it finished by Easter but maybe not!!


22 Comments on “Watercolour No 9 – Iris foetidus

  1. This is spectacular! I know how difficult watercolor can be. Yes, definitely frame. I would so love to take the class with you. Sounds like so much fun as well as true learning. Big pat on the back.

    • Voiletfern – thanks, feeling more confident with watercolour now not so scared of making a mess

  2. You are a truly talented woman. It makes the world of difference having a good tutor. I did English A level about 12 years ago and had a brilliant teacher – he showed me how to write using words as a painter would use paints. Its all very satisfying isn’t it?

    • Thanks Ronnie you are kind but I can assure you that there are others in the class whose work I truely aspire to. An inspirational tutor does indeed make all the difference

  3. Amazing work! At first glance I thought it was a photo, until I started reading. I even zoomed in on the watercolour to see the detail. You are indeed very talented. It sounds like your class has a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere in which to learn and improve.

  4. Love this – those seeds are brilliant, totally 3D, feels like you could pick them off the page.

    Well Done you for persevering x

  5. Absolutely beautiful. You have such a talent for this and it’s wonderful to see it blossom. The next time you’re in London, we must try to get to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew.

  6. Helen that is spectacular!! You really have improved by leaps & bounds. Watercolour I am told is an extremely difficult medium. Kudos to you!

  7. I can’t believe you are part of a naughty group – judging by that stunning watercolour, you must be teacher’s pet 🙂

  8. Love this.Do hope you frame it. You seem to have captured the very ‘character ‘ of Iris foetidus, a true portrait to be proud of, rather than a technically delicate and accurate botanical illustration. An uplifting delightful post.

  9. Hello Helen, Your water colour really is amazing and something to be proud of, I would definitely have it framed, You naughty (naw)

  10. Gosh! I thought your earlier pictures were excellent but this one shows just how far you have progressed . Making friends with people in the class is an added bonus.

  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention Watercolour No 9 – Iris foetidus | The Patient Gardener’s Weblog -- Topsy.com

  12. Wow! I really did think your watercolor was a photo at first! You definitely need to frame it. Well done! It’s nice that you have made some friends in your art class. I think that must make a fun class even more enjoyable.

  13. Pingback: Watercolour No 10 – Iris sibirica | The Patient Gardener’s Weblog

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