Summer Iris

By  Sue Beckerton 

  • Summer Iris
  • Painting Steps


  • DecoArt Traditions Artist Acrylics: Carbon Black, Dioxazine Purple, Indian Yellow, Light Grey, Light Violet, Medium White, Pine Green, Raw Umber, Red Violet, Teal Green, Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Oxide
  • FM Dynasty: Black Gold, Series 206: Shader, #10, #14, #20; Flat Wash, 3/4"; Chisel Blender, #6, #10, #12; Round, #1; Script, #20/0; Tooth, 1/4"; Oval Wash, 3/4"
  • Decorator Collection: Mini Mop, Series 400, 1/4", 1/2"; Micron X-Long Detail, #5/0
  • Stretched canvas, 8"x24" from Gwartzmans Art Supply


  • Traditions Mediums: Glazing; Extender & Blending; Multi-Surface Sealer; Satin Varnish

Pattern - Summer Iris

  • Artist's Tips
  • 1. Periodically seal completed steps with glazing medium; this seals and protects paint from lifting. All dry brushing is done using decorator and chisel blender. Use #10, #14 or 3/4" flat wash, dressed with a touch of Glazing Medium, to do most floats; soften floats with mop brush, gently pouncing over water's edge. Use liners to do all line work; thin paint to inky consistency and blot tip on paper towel to "sharpen" point. Flick tips of bristles on hard surface such as the edge of your palette to remove immediate paint build up and to open bristles. For ease in painting, turn surface to stroke towards yourself; rest wrist on table, hold brush straight up at base of area, and flick brush towards yourself pivoting tip of handle away from you, and allowing bristles to taper off naturally.
  • Tints
  • 1. Side-load flat wash with color; tap in wishy-washy movements in soft "C" strokes, wiggles, and squiggles always keeping water side of brush to outside of tint area and always making sure to keep water side of brush clean and clear of paint. Avoid repetitive pattern. Use mop to soften edges of tints, working mostly in water area, and not so much in paint. Immediately wipe mops dry on paper towel.
  • Color Mix Chart
  • 1. Soft Purple: Titanium White + Ultramarine Blue + Lt. Violet (6:2:1)
  • 2. Very Dark Purple: Red Violet + Lt. Violet + Dioxazine Purple (2:2:1)
  • 3. Light Purple: Soft Purple Mix + Titanium White + Very Dark Purple Mix (5:3:1)
  • 4. Medium Purple: Light Purple Mix + Very Dark Purple Mix (1:1)
  • 5. Dark Purple: Very Dark Purple Mix + Medium Purple Mix (2:1)
  • 6. Light Green: Med. White + Yellow Oxide + Lt. Grey + Pine Green (6:5:1:1)
  • 7. Medium Green: Pine Green + Raw Umber + Light Green Mix (2:1:1/2)
  • 8. Dark Green: Pine Green + Raw Umber (1:1)
  • Preparation
  • 1. Lightly sand canvas; wipe dust. Base entire canvas with Soft Purple Mix; let dry and sand lightly. Working small sections at a time, apply thin coat of Extender over one-third of canvas. Apply three to four drops of Extender into Soft Purple Mix; lightly brush mix and apply over wet Extender area on canvas. While wet, use oval wash to slip-slap Medium Purple Mix along outer corners and odd edge, lightly blending into background. Pick up a touch of Titanium White and work into open spaces; wipe brush and lightly brush over to soften brush marks. Wet next third of area and repeat above steps. Repeat same for final third until entire canvas is covered for a nice soft mottled look. Remember to load very little paint at a time.
  • 2. Print out pattern; transfer basic pattern lines. (Transfer details as needed.)
  • Painting Instructions
  • 1. Use color mix numbers on chart as painting guide to numbers on pattern.
  • 2. Refer to worksheet.
  • Basecoat
  • 1. Base leaf blades and stem with Light Green Mix. Base front petals with Light Purple Mix (3) and under petals with Medium Purple Mix (4). Base one very back petal with Dark Purple Mix (5).
  • Leaf Blades and Stem
  • 1. Use Medium Green Mix to float all shading, folds, and creases; darken with Dark Green Mix, then darken again with brush mix of Dark Green Mix and Carbon Black. Highlight with brush mix of Light Green Mix and Titanium White. Float soft tinges here and there with brush mix of Yellow Oxide and a touch of Teal Green. Apply a soft Medium Green Mix wash over lower blades to tone down a bit.
  • 2. Shade narrow Dark Green Mix along either side of stem. Use chisel blender to dry brush Light Green Mix highlight; brighten with a touch of Titanium White.
  • Top Iris
  • 1. Top Petal Basecoated in Light Purple Mix: Wash Medium Purple Mix over petal. Shade narrow Medium Purple Mix on center vein along each side; float wide, but soft and subtle shade, on petal along each side of center vein and along outer edges of petal. Shade again to darken. Shade again with Dioxazine Purple. Use Dioxazine Purple to heavily dry brush indentation markings. Use chisel blender and Dioxazine Purple to dry brush veins and ripples, keeping soft. Dry brush Soft Purple Mix highlights between indentations and ripples; brighten with a touch of Titanium White. Use 5/0 detail liner to add smaller delicate veins with Medium Purple Mix and/or Dioxazine Purple. Float Yellow Oxide on base of petal to either side of vein; darken with a second float for opaque coverage. Add bold Dark Purple Mix markings. Darken with Dioxazine Purple.
  • 2. Top Left Petal Basecoated in Medium Purple Mix: Use Dark Purple Mix to shade along back side (curved area at right); darken with Dioxazine Purple. Float ripples with Dark Purple Mix; darken with a tad of Dioxazine Purple. Float subtle Light Purple Mix highlights along ripples. Use chisel blender to dry brush narrow veins with Dark Purple Mix and/or Dioxazine Purple. Add Medium Purple Mix veins. In between these, use chisel blender to dry brush Light Purple Mix highlights. Use 5/0 detail liner to add smaller delicate veins with Medium Purple Mix and or Dioxazine Purple. For little inside petal, shade Medium Purple Mix and highlight with brush mix of Light Purple Mix and a touch of Titanium White.
  • 3. Top Right Petal Basecoated in Medium Purple Mix: Follow same instructions for Top Left Petal. For white markings, dampen base of petal with thin layer Extender; use round brush to line markings Titanium White. Add subtle Dark Purple Mix lines in between. Float Yellow Oxide tinges under petal in same manner as above.
  • 4. Top Front Petal Basecoated in Medium Purple Mix: Wash Dark Purple Mix over petal. Dry brush indentation markings with more Dark Purple Mix; darken with Dioxazine Purple. Use chisel blender to dry brush veins with Dioxazine Purple. In between these, dry brush subtle Light Purple Mix highlight. Use 5/0 detail liner to add smaller delicate veins with Medium Purple Mix and or Dioxazine Purple. Float soft Light Purple Mix highlight along outer edges. In same manner as Top Right Petal, add white markings. For cool reflected light, use brush mix of Ultramarine Blue + Teal Green + Light Purple Mix to float narrow tinges here and there.
  • Tufts
  • 1. First rake with Light Purple Mix; add a few darker Medium Purple Mix lines. Line tips with brush mix of Yellow Oxide and Titanium White; add a few Indian Yellow tips.
  • Bottom Iris
  • 1. Follow same instructions for Top Iris paying close attention to placement and details, carefully studying photograph.
  • Finishing
  • 1. Apply two to three varnish coats.
  • Tip
  • 1. Petals are shaded with soft floats or dry brushed with next darkest purple; line colors on palette from lightest to darkest. (Note: Some brush mixing between colors is also a good idea if your shades are too dark with first application.) Shade and highlight with several thin layers as opposed to one thick coat. Shading should be subtle and light to achieve a look of soft ripples. Avoid going to dark as your petal will look striped; keep it soft and simple.