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    Illustration of the Stained Glass Irises project

Stained Glass Irises Project

  • Supply list
  • Color Key
  • Detailed line drawing
  • Complete step-by-step instructions

Now that you have practiced and learned the techniques of painting a controlled wash, charging colors, tissue blotting, and lifting out color from a damp wash, you are ready to paint your first project. The pattern for this project is an adaptation from actual stained glass windows designed by Judy Miller.

I created this watercolor project especially for beginners. The petal shapes are large and easy to block in with color using the controlled wash technique. The leaves are long and narrow to make the charging of watercolors easier and more manageable. If you happen to go slightly outside the lines while painting the irises and leaves, the lead design helps to conceal any imperfections.

Before you begin, look through all the steps to see how I've designed the project to be easy to follow. Each step tells you what areas you will be painting. A large picture on each page is there to help guide you. Just follow the instructions like a recipe, and you can't go wrong!

Supply List
  The following is a list of paints, brushes, and paper that I used and recommend for achieving equivalent results.

  • Cobalt Blue (W&N)
  • Carbozole Violet (DS)
  • French Ultramarine Blue (W&N)
  • Hansa Yellow (DS)
  • Permanent Sap Green (W&N)
  • Winsor Blue (W&N)
  • Permanent Sap Green (W&N)
  • Winsor Blue (W&N)
  • Cadmium Yellow (W&N)
  • Neutral Tint (W&N)
  • no. 8 round, to paint the lead
  • no. 10 or no. 12 round, to paint the petals, leaves and background
  • A half-sheet ( 22" h x 15" w )  ( 55.9cm h x 38.1cm w )
    Arches 300 lb. Cold Pressed watercolor paper

  • Several scrap pieces of Arches watercolor paper
       -   300 lb. for practicing
       -   140 lb. for testing colors
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Water containers
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Graphite paper

  • Masking or drafting tape
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Technical pencil
  • Tracing paper (if needed)
Color Key
Stained Glass Irises
painted samples of colors 1 through 9

[ 1 ]   Cobalt Blue + Carbazole Violet (tad) (lt./med.)
[ 2 ]   Cobalt Blue + Carbazole Violet (tad) (med.)
[ 3 ]   French Ultramarine Blue + Carbazole Violet (med./dk.)
[ 4 ]   Cadmium Yellow + Hansa Yellow (med.)
[ 5 ]   Hansa Yellow + Permanent Sap Green (med.)
[ 6 ]   Permanent Sap Green (med.)
[ 7 ]   Permanent Sap Green + Winsor Blue (med./dk.)
[ 8 ]   Cadmium Yellow (lt./med.)
[ 9 ]   Neutral Tint (med./dk.)

Detailed Line Drawing
You can print this line drawing of the irises and enlarge it to -
  • 20" high  x  13" wide
  • (50.8cm high  x  33cm wide)
using one or more of the following methods:

            the grid method



After the image has been enlarged, follow these directions for prepping your watercolor paper and transferring your line drawing.

Stained Glass Iris drawing

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