I wasn’t immediately certain which flower I might consider my favorite. I’ve never really considered it before. So, I just sketched the first one that came to mind, which was a purple iris. I just remember this flower being one of my mother’s favorites growing up, so I guess I can adopt it as mine. Also, years ago, long before I ever started painting I loved macro nature photography and this was one of my favorite subjects to shoot. The transparency of the petals and the beautiful stripes and colors that were hiding inside them amazed me. I guess it’s no wonder, since this little flower takes it’s name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Over the years, these flowers have captivated painters and even found their way into Bombay Sapphire gin.

When it comes to sketching and painting, though, flowers are not my preferred subject. They’re so rare for me, that I can tell you this is only the 9th flower I’ve ever attempted to draw in my life. What’s wrong with him, you ask yourself? Who doesn’t like to paint flowers? Well, me, apparently, so I decided I would take a run at this subject once more. That’s when I realized this was my favorite flower. I actually enjoyed painting it because of the memories it evoked. Every animal reminds me of the zoo, for example, as it was my favorite place on earth as a child, and so I love painting them. And that’s when I realized that as random as all my subject matter has been over the past year of doodlewashing, there was actually something in common the whole time. Memories.

I don’t enjoy painting flowers because they don’t evoke any particular special memory for me. They’re lovely to be sure, but I often find myself finding more beauty in things that make me remember childhood. Perhaps if flowers had played a larger or more pivotal role in my childhood I might feel differently. In the case of this purple iris, I do. I remember wanting to cut some from the neighbor’s house in order to bring them back to my mother. Though, doing this once was met with a severe reprimand, it’s still a beautiful memory of growing up. A simple and meaningful connection to my past, found in the delicate form of a fragile purple iris.

Join Us For The August Doodlewash Adventure! Click Here to Learn More! 

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Dioxazine Purple, Gamboge, Permanent Green Pale, and Ultramarine Blue. Sennelier L’Aquarelle Watercolours: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

49 replies on “My Favorite Flower

  1. A truly beautiful iris,, Charlie, painted with all the delicacy of the flower that we love.
    Many years ago, I hand painted purple irises on wedding invitations for friends. For our own invitations, I painted yellow daffodils. Your iris reminded me of both moments, so thank you. You’re triggering my happy memories as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Delicate but powerful, rather like the commentary. Awesome! I don’t tend to touch flowers as subjects because I find they’re damn difficult; you’ve made this look a breeze though – go Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My mother loved flowers! 💜🌺 I can smell the sweet scent of an iris flower as I enjoy your AMAZING painting, Charlie! 😃 Iris was one of my mom’s favorite flowers too. And one of the ways I connected with my mom. I agree that memories play a big part in what I enjoy drawing and painting. 😍 I imagine this wasn’t an easy flower to paint! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jill! 😃💕 And yay to wonderful times with mom! Yeah… I need to have some kind of emotional connection to paint I guess. Also… flowers are super hard to paint so if you don’t really love to paint them then it’s not super fun! My lovely friends (like you!) paint beautiful flowers so I’ll just cherish their paintings!!! 😉😍🎨

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Absolutely stunning painting, love the depth and curves with all the detail, just brilliant. I would never have guessed this is only your 9th attempt, it is so beautifully expressed. Painting with emotions and memories are a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Haunani! 😃💕 yeah, you know you don’t favor a subject when after 397 days of painting you’ve only managed 9! Lol But no worries… I covet and love all botanical illustrations and their adept artists, so I shall continue to enjoy their amazing work and stick to random things and food!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Irises aren’t easy but oh so beautiful! And WOW to your photos, Charlie, they are amazing! I saw so many that would make wonderful abstract studies. And realistic studies too of course. Would you mind if I used one and put a link back to both your sites with my post? I fell in love with many of your photos, never knew you had this added gift!! Amazing. And this is a terrific Iris painting. My fave color too. 💜💜💜


    1. Yikes! I had to retrieve your comment from my spam folder! Why is WordPress trying to keep us apart! hehe… Thanks so much, Laura!!! 😃💕 So happy you liked this and my photos. It was a fun hobby at the time. Yes! By all means!! You’re free to use any photo you like there as a reference! I’d love that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful, Charlie! Your highlights are amazing! Irises are a difficult flower for me because of all of those folds! I used to draw and paint a lot of flowers, too, until I became obsessed with sea creatures, especially sea turtles! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Patsy! 😃💕 I highly support sea creatures as an obession!! Hehe… Love painting them! Almost made it the Doodlewash adventure theme this month, but figured I needed something a little broader. (though Prompt number 13 is Favorite Ocean Creature so I hope you’ll share yours that day! hehe)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m linking out to the tag #WorldWatercolorGroup on various social networks at the website: worldwatercolorgroup.com. You can see the social networks I’m linking out to there. If you add the tag your piece, it will appear in the gallery. (including on WordPress!).


  7. This is lovely, Charlie! I sometimes feel the same way about drawing flowers for their own sake, they’re so precise and difficult to replicate on the page. But the memories and emotions attached to them make them more fun.🙂 I love the story behind this one.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s