Artwork – Iris pallida

I figured it is about time I featured some of my own work again. If I tried to limit my blog to only this then there would be long gaps between posts. Typically a piece takes me at least 8 weeks because really I can only work on them at weekends. The day job is highly inconvenient.

I also don’t sketch, so ‘in-progress’ opportunities are limited. My preliminary sketches are usually a simple outline and some colour matching. Even the colour matching is limited as I am trusting my instincts more and build up colour as I go along now. This has the upside of saving time. The downside is that if I need to recreate the match for another piece then my notes are insufficient and I have to start again. What I do now is gather together the pencils I have used and take a photo of them – then at least I have a reference point to start from.

I am accumulating work for an exhibition next year. For this reason I have resisted doing work outwith that plan but my good friend Roda approached me late last year about the possibility of my creating a piece as a gift for her partner. The brief was to draw Iris pallida as this plant has great significance to them.

This was my first experience of drawing to a specific request but thankfully Iris are one of my favourite subjects so I was happy to spend a few weekends on this.

Below you can see some pictures documenting the process:



The final piece:



The piece was successfully transported across the Atlantic this spring. and Roda sent delightful videos thanking me and showing me how she had the piece framed and hung. I was SO impressed with the job the framer had made of this – the matt colour is perfect for the piece. Here it is in Roda’s home:




  1. Wow! This is beyond stunningly beautiful, Darren! I so appreciate that you showed the different stages of your work as well, this is always something I’m interested in. πŸ˜‰ The details are so wonderful, it’s no wonder you need about 8 weeks when you’ve only got the weekends – rearranging your work schedule will improve this a lot and before you know, you’ll have enough material for two exhibitions! πŸ˜„

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  2. Roda has exquisite taste. I’m sure there are more of us who would love to buy your artwork? Do you have a portfolio of pieces for sale? Do you take commissions? You have a built-in customer base here! I truly do love this and it’s fascinating to see the process. Truly, I am in awe of anyone with the talent you have. πŸ€— ❀️

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  3. This is such an amazing drawing, Darren! I love everything about it. The details are so incredibly fantastic, it’s beyond words. Then again, all of your pieces have this ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that I could look at them all day. I see a book with your Botanical art in your future.. I definitely would buy it. Good luck with the coming exhibition.

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        1. You can’t compare them anyway Hannah. You have a creative vision and generate ideas constantly and I am in awe of that. My work is detailed but is very much the work of a scientist. I wish I could be as artistically free as you. I love what I have seen of the Santas, though they seemed to ge misding their heads at that point and I need to catch up! Xx


    1. Thank youπŸ˜„. I did a few weekend courses with Susan Christopher-Coulson of the Society of Botanical Artists and she recognised some ability and enthusiasm and with her encouragement I signed up for the SBA’s diploma course. Graduated in 2016 and am now working to exhibiting in their annual exhibition in London next year. I love every moment I spend drawing.


    1. Simple answer is I don’t really but the regular predictable salary is addictive. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am actually just on my way back from the bank after setting up mechanisms for selling work in future. Time to take it seriously. Xx

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  4. This is so beautiful and almost not humanly possible to produce such a masterpiece. But then you prove me wrong and you did it. I’m speechless my friend. How gorgeous and what an honor to have something you exquisite in your house. It is in good hands with my Fairy Sister. Great work Super D. Glad this one was created despite the darn day job. What an inconvenience indeed. Big hug to you.

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  5. The way you fold the petals, the subtle colours, makes the work jump out three dimensionally with an intimacy suggesting feminine parts of the anatomy. The unfolding of the flower is like the unfolding of the spirit… At once, shy and delicate, yet also bold and determined as only nature can be. Your talent goes far beyond paper and pencil… It extends into the creative world that only a sensitive soul possesses. Roda must look at that beautiful image and see new details every time she gazes at it. 😍❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there. Well the plan is to have prints available early in the new year. I need to get decent master scans made of all the exhibition work anyway. The only reason I have not yet done so is that the nearest place with decent quality would be a full day round trip and there has simply not been time yet.

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