Watercolour and pencil on paper, 2xA4: Made a few years ago the drawing spills across two pages but it has a liveliness I like and get inspired by, but will it fit the square format I think would suit this subject.
Oil on Canvas, 60x60cm: Choosing a pre-prepared stretched canvas with a darkish blue/green undercoat that I think is eminently suitable for this subject I start with drawing out the principle shapes in a variety of coloured oil pastels. Next I spend a bit of time mixing quantities of the colours I intend to use - tit.white with touches of blue, mauve, yellow and green; ult.blue with alizarin and a touch of white, same again with some green added; and various greens themselves ranging from lemon yellowish to dark blue-ish. The palette at this juncture is looking great and I think about stopping here, taking a picture of it, and posting it as the finished work! But no, I must press on.
With the mighty palette knife I start blocking in - the white flowers first, then the Iris, then the background. Working, working, working. Scraping off, laying on, Scraping off, laying on. Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important. [walks away, still making circular motions with hands]. Sorry, I got carried away. For a moment there I was the Karate Kid listening to Mr Miyagi's instructions. [Back to the plot] I've now lost the thread. Is there anything more to be said? The final painting is there for all to see. I'm pleased with it.