Watercolor Iris: Pro Techniques Explained

Anna Bucciarelli, Professional Illustrator

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10 Lessons (1h 45m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:36
    • 2. Supplies

      9:24
    • 3. Color Palette

      6:28
    • 4. Process Overview

      1:00
    • 5. Step 1: Outline & Masking Fluid

      4:15
    • 6. Step 2: Background Layer

      21:46
    • 7. Step 3: Definition Layer (Part 1)

      17:36
    • 8. Step 3: Definition Layer (Part 2)

      8:45
    • 9. Step 4: Accent Layer

      13:28
    • 10. Step 5: Finishing Touches

      18:48
56 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class I'll show exactly how I paint a realistic purple Iris flower, and you can follow me along in real time. 

Of all the botanical subjects I paint, the most requested one is a purple Iris. I am thrilled to share my watercolor process with you in this in-depth class. As many of my students asked, I will be narrating every step of the way, explaining the rationale for every stroke and color placement. You will also see fragments of the reference photo, along with the detailed notes on the split screen. In addition to the painting, I will take you through the palette building process, so you can practice building your own botanical palette using a simple and straightforward system I’ve developed over the years.

Key concepts we will cover in this class include:

  • Understanding {sun} light and how to use it in your color selection - including warm and cold shadows, highlights and boost pigments.
  • “Interrupted stroke” and how to you use it to create beautiful textures on the petals.
  • Layering the colors to build a realistic flower shape - from base wash, through definition and accent washes, and all the way to finishing touches.
  • How to choose your watercolor paper, including advantages and disadvantages of different paper types.

Key techniques we will practice:

  • Applying masking fluid to protect highlights
  • Painting wet on dry
  • Painting wet on wet

Resources you will get as part of this class:

  • Reference photo
  • Black and white outline of the painting
  • List of my supplies, along with some alternatives you may consider
  • List of the pigments I used, along with some alternatives you may consider
  • Botanical palette structure - a guide for future reference

This class is aimed at intermediate artists who are already familiar with the basic wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet techniques. But of course all beginners are welcome as you may get inspired to challenge yourself and try something new.

I look forward to seeing you in class! :)

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