Paint A Watercolor Iris with Artist Carol Mann

click image to zoom in
No image caption available

Create a stunning watercolor painting of a vibrant flower with step-by-step instructions from artist Carol Mann! Simply print and trace, then follow along to learn basic watercolor techniques from start to finish.


Carol Mann is a watercolor artist, teacher, and co-owner of t...

Download PDF


  1. Print out a copy of the reference image of an iris.IMG 1388
  2. Place a piece of Sally’s Graphite Transfer Paper over your Blick Premier Watercolor paper, graphite side down. Place your printed photograph on top of these, and secure with a piece of Scotch Painter’s Tape.
  3. Use a pencil to lightly trace the outline of the iris. Graphite will be transferred in the process. Remove the tape, image, and graphite paper.IMG 1389
  4. Assemble your palette. If you are new to watercolor painting, it may be useful to group paints by color—for example, keep yellows together, then move to oranges, then reds, etc.
  5. Working one petal at a time, use your #6 Blick Master Synthetic Kolinsky Round Brush to apply a light wash of Quinacridone Magenta. Let dry completely.IMG 1390
  6. Paint each petal with Carmine and Dioxazine Purple in places where additional red or purple color is needed, using the image as a color reference.IMG 1393
  7. Apply a light wash of Intense Pink over areas where brightness is needed.IMG 1394
  8. Once petals are dry, paint in the yellow portions using Cadmium or Bismuth Yellow and a small amount of Transparent Orange.IMG 1395
  9. Create contrast by applying a wash of Dioxazine Purple mixed with a small amount of Lamp Black over any dark areas.
  10. Once completely dry, apply a wash of Cobalt Turquoise to the stems.IMG 1396
  11. Apply Chromium Oxide Green, mixed with a small amount of Lamp Black where darkness is desired, for stems and leaves. To create a cool color contrast, apply a wash of Cobalt Turquoise. To add warmth, add a wash of yellow color.
  12. Once your painting is finished and completely dry, erase any graphite markings that remain on the paper.
  13. Optional—using a Sharpie Ultra-Fine Point Marker, sign your masterpiece!IMG 1398