Botanical Illustration from Life
A visual guide for Botanical Artists
A book for education, a book for inspiration, this is all about. My new book ‘Draw From Life’ is on progress.
I was and I am still working on ‘Draw From Life’ that hoping will be a guide book for botanical artists and an inspiration for all.
‘Draw From Life’ will be published by Editorial Parramon, Barcelona. So first edition will be in Spanish. This might be a good news for those native Spanish speaker who seek some guides about Botanical illustration. This will be a start, but let’s see where this project will take us.
Content of the book will be mainly cover that how I actually start and complete a scientific botanical illustration with the help of ‘step by step’ guides. I will try to introduce many wild species around the world that are my inspiration, and hoping they will be for you too. I was looking for wild plants from mountains to the forests.
I have designed the book in six chapters, where you will be starting from the base and will lead you to the mastering botanical illustrations. I hope you will enjoy as I did during preparations.
Modern botanical illustration has evolved as part of science, in some respects: aiding natural scientific recording, understanding and communication through the use of various types of drawing.
Learning the art of drawing and painting plants is a matter of observation and practice. One of the most important skills you need to develop is observation. The most beautiful thing about botanical illustration is working with live specimens.
The beauty of preparing a botanical illustration is drawing from a live plant specimen: seeing it, touching it and even smelling it. In this way, you are truly looking at the plant, not only through the eyes of an artist, but also as a scientist. You will be able to take correct measurements, analyze and investigate, by simply touching the plant and getting closer to it.
Watercolour is such a refined painting style: you can achieve both delicate and loose washes, as well as vivid, detailed images. It is very adaptable and versatile, and capable of infinite variability when applied with skill and precision. This is why for centuries it has been the preferred medium in botanical illustration, capturing the delicacy and variation of plant forms.
The main purpose of botanical illustration is to record, describe and identify. To fulfill this function, the artist needs to understand the diverse external shapes and structures of the plant.
After many years working on plants in a detailed way, you might feel that you are mastering plant painting. This will take a very long time as it requires dedication a lot of practice, and perhaps innate talent. Achieving high standards and feeling that you can be called a highly proficient botanical artist will never happen over night. The best to hope for is that if you practise, you will develop a beautiful style of your own. So you will not just be recording the plant, but recording it in your own personal way.