News Stories from October 2012

Dragonflies and pond, work in progress - October 28th 2012

Story posted: 28. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper

I had a wonderful week working on the Dragonfly landscape commission.  Once I’d got the go-ahead I put in the sky and the distant landscape, keeping it light and working from far to near, giving closer shrubs and water a bit more colour.

Then I worked into the detail, again, the distant things first (like houses and vegetation), and then the foreground.  The plants and flowers always get painted in first, then the animals.  I slot them into the painting like pieces of a jigsaw (you can see this in the image below with both the dragonflies and dragonfly nymphs).   It’s…

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Hen harrier hunting grouse, natural history illustration -October 22nd 2012

Story posted: 22. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper

This week I very much enjoyed working on the landscape painting of a pair of hen harriers chasing down a red grouse:


The first step was combining all the elements into a decent composition.  This was complicated by the fact that the moor-land was based on a real location, Beacon Hill in Powys.  However, my lovely clients at Radnorshire Wildlife Trust ( ) were positive and speedy in their feedback.

Working on the final was wonderful, although I find painting heather (purple) into a generally grassy landscape (green) an ongoing…

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Fungal foray, lichens, and dragonflies - October 15th 2012

Story posted: 15. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper


This week has been a treat; although I’ve been working in the studio, I also got to be out in the countryside.

First was a day studying Lichen and fungi with Ray Woods, a mycological expert, at Gilfach ( ).  Organised by Radnorshire Wildlife Trust; we got to search for fungi, learn about their biology and classification, and have lots of cups of tea.  The part on lichen was equally amazing as we learnt about fungi competing for symbiotic algal species needed to become a “lichen”, and got to key out species with the…

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Ivy sketchbook scientific illustration and a landscape - October 8th 2012

Story posted: 8. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper


Autumn is well and truly here; with flat yellow leaves on the pavements, tractors hauling trailer-loads of potatoes through town, and windfall apples rotting in the wet grass.

I had a wonderful time with the ivy, getting the depth of the glossy dark greens was really tough, but it was wonderful when I felt I’d come close.  The structure of both the flowers and berries is exacting and fascinating, it was a treat to have to get out the dissecting microscope to have a proper look.  It’s finished, and my studio is no longer full of the sticky scent of ivy flowers.  It was a…

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Violet botanical illustration and an annotated rough - October 1st 2012

Story posted: 1. October 2012 by Lizzie Harper

Firstly, I’ve finished my secret job!  All I’m waiting for now is the go-ahead (or request for minor changes) from an extremely helpful entomological expert, then I can send off the finished articles.  And invoice my client, and get paid!

I’ve spent some very happy hours collating research for this big private commission; getting old dead damselflies out of matchboxes, flicking through past artwork to see if there’s a picture of a newt I could re-use, finding red campion and violet ref in my sketchbooks , and ploughing through files of photo reference to get images of all the…

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