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The Creation of an Iconic Iris

The Creation of an Iconic Iris

Iris & Wild Cassis

Creating a striking, modern painting that portrays the personality of a fragrance is an artform, and something our chosen contemporary collection artist, Helen Campbell does so spectacularly. Helen is quite a unique botanical artist, putting a modern twist on a classic floral that captures the delicacy of the flower whilst at the same time being amazingly impactful.

Below you can see the fabulous journey the Iris painting went through to reach the final image for the Iris & Wild Cassis collection.

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We asked Helen a few questions on how she paints and created the beautiful Iris painting:

Helen Campbell – Botanical Artist & Illustrator

Visit Helen Campbell’s Website
Shop the Iris & Wild Cassis collection
Shop the Pink Peony & Rhubarb collection

How long did it take to paint the Iris?
The full painting took a couple of weeks, leaving time for layers to dry and working with the design and marketing team to really capture the depth of the fragrance.

What challenges did you come across?
My main challenge was making the iris appear translucent, it is important that it looked as though the light was shining through the layers of the petals.

How do you make your paintings look so lifelike and to jump off the page?
Careful observation and understanding of the floral structure is key to making the illustration look lifelike and 3D. Noticing the difference in the colours and tonal contrast across each part of the flower is key. It is something that comes with experience, but with practise you can begin to use light and shade to build up the structure of the floral detail.

What brushes do you paint in?
I generally use three size sable spotter brush for all of my paintings. I have developed a very special technique that I teach my students in order to create many layers without the painting going muddy and to keep the form of the flower.

When do you paint?
I tend to paint in the mornings, normally starting quite early, I’m definitely more alert and refreshed at that time and the lighting is usually a little better!

How do you get into the ‘zone’ for painting?
I am always in the zone! I am so lucky to be able to have one of my passions as my work which of course helps drive my motivation. I do find listening to music (I particularly love Miles Davis, from his album ‘kind of blue’) helps hugely!

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