Create a beautiful hand-painted woodland iris with these step-by-step instructions.
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Project by Priscilla Hauser.
Materials and Tools:
Walnut Hollow wood plank
Folk Art Artist’s Pigments:
Dioxazine Purple #463
Warm White #649
Green Umber #471
Hauser Green Dark #461
Hauser Green Light #459
Hauser Green Medium #460
Red Light #629
Medium Yellow #455
Folk Art acrylic: Clover #923
Folk Art blending gel medium
Loew-Cornell 7300 flat brushes: #4, 6, 8
Loew-Cornell 7350 #1 liner brush
Masterson’s Sta-Wet Palette
white and colored chalk
graphite transfer paper
utility or wax-coated palette
brown paper bag piece with no print
soft absorbent 100% cotton rags or Viva Job Squad paper towels
1. Sand the piece, if needed, and wipe with a tack cloth. Neatly trace and transfer the design using chalk or graphite paper (lightly transferred) directly to the raw wood.
2. To paint the leaves: Undercoat the leaves with two or three coats of Clover. Let the paint dry and cure.
3. Float on shadows of Green Umber. Let dry.
4. Begin at the back of the design and work forward, completing one leaf at a time.
5. Apply a small amount of blending gel and then apply the colors: Hauser Green Medium in the center, Warm White on the light side, a little Hauser Green Light on the left side, and Green Umber at the base or bottom.
6. Wipe the brush and begin by stroking lightly from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom.
7. You may add a little more gel and/or paint as needed. Long, light, sweeping strokes following the curve or direction of the leaves will give the leaves shape and movement.
8. To paint the iris: Dampen or prime the petals with blending gel and let the gel penetrate the raw wood so your brush strokes will flow smoothly over the surface.
9. Using your #6 flat brush, stroke in a little Dioxazine Purple and then a little Warm White. Priscilla used variations of "S" strokes and comma strokes to paint the iris.
10. Some petals require a second or third stroke.
11. Pick up a little Warm White and over-stroke here and there. Often, Priscilla says, she will float just a little Dioxazine Purple here and there if the purple isn't deep enough, but especially where the petals join the center to deepen the flower color. Let dry.
12. The beard: Using the #1 liner brush and paint thinned with water, apply fine lines of Medium Yellow and a few dots of Red Light to create the beard.
13. Paint the stems with Hauser Green Medium or Hauser Green Light, shaded with Green Umber. Let dry and cure.
14. To finish: Gently rub with a piece of brown paper bag with no printing on it to smooth the nap of the wood.
15. Apply two or three coats of water based varnish of your choice.
Learn how an artist creates three-dimensional paintings, including landscapes that light up the room.