How to paint an iris flower

Written by kittie mccoy
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How to paint an iris flower
Creat an iris flower with acrylic paints. (iris image by Edsweb from

Iris petals have a slightly irregular shape and a crepe-paper-like appearance, which means small mistakes made while painting may add to the finished appearance of your iris flower and may actually make it look more natural. Acrylic paints are a good choice for beginners according to Painters Online, because the paints can be thinned with water and will dry quickly, so multiple layers of paint may be applied without worrying about smudging or smearing the paints together.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paper plate
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Draw the outline of the iris onto your canvas or whatever surface you will be painting using a pencil. Refer to a picture of an iris as you draw, and keep the pencil lines light so they will not be visible on your finished painting.

  2. 2

    Squeeze a small dollop of purple acrylic paint onto a paper plate or an artist's palette. Use the dominant colour in your iris for this step, so if you are painting a blue iris, use blue acrylic paint instead of purple.

  3. 3

    Dip your paintbrush into a small container of water to thoroughly wet the bristles.

  4. 4

    Dip the wet paintbrush into the purple acrylic paint and begin painting the petals of your iris. The water on the brush will thin the paint and it may form small puddles. Move these puddles around with your paintbrush to keep the paint inside your outline. Paint each petal purple.

  5. 5

    Soak up any remaining puddles of paint by dabbing at them with a dry paintbrush. Let this first layer of paint air-dry or use a hairdryer on the low setting to speed up the drying process.

  6. 6

    Squeeze a small amount of white or yellow paint onto your paper plate or palette. Wet your paintbrush and dip it into the white paint. Apply the paint on top of the purple paint to form a small half circle shape radiating from the centre of each petal. Dry this layer of paint completely before you continue.

  7. 7

    Use additional colours of acrylic paint to fill in the stem and leaves of your iris flower and add additional detail to the painting.

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