News Stories from November 2013

Scientific Illustration: Birds along the River Wye - November 26th 2013

Story posted: 29. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Over the years I've done natural history illustrations, ornithological illustrations, scientific illustrations; call them what you will, but I've painted loads of British bird species.

It's always a joy to see the birds I've depicted in the flesh (in the feather), and this often happens by the river Wye.

I go for a swift jog every Wednesday morning, and my route takes me to a lovely stretch of open land called the warren, which abuts the shingled beach of the Wye.  It's common to see birds there; this week I saw a dipper balancing in the rapids, searching for tiny…

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Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1595

Botanical Illustrations, a Sparrowhawk, and some Butterflies November 22nd 2013

Story posted: 22. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

I’ve just finished a whole set of botanical illustrations for “Rodale’s 21 st century Herbal” by Michael Ballick; a mix of full watercolours like this cross section of an Echinacea;

pen and ink with colour wash, like this sheet of seeds and fruit;

step-by-step gardening illustrations like this layering of marjoram,

and a bundle of garden plans.

I’ve recently been giving some serious thought to the pressures of social media, and have realised I’ve been spending far too much time scratching away at the keyboard, and not enough with a…

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Category: News of current projects    Comments: 2    Viewed: 2337

Botanical Illustration step by step - Painting a Sketchbook study of a quince - November 15th 2013

Story posted: 15. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

My botanical illustrations being done for The Cultivated Forager (follow up to The Hedgerow Handbook , also by Adele Nozedar) are, inevitably, going to take a back seat over the colder months of the winter.  However, this sprig of quince was still looking fresh, and the fruit in perfect condition.

As before, this illustration will be incomplete, a s ketchbook study ; a pencil habit drawing of the sprig, and then I'll work into details so that I get to grips with colour, texture etc.

First, I get a sheet of paper ( Fabriano Artistico ) and a mechanical pencil ( Pentel…

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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 1    Viewed: 5370

Natural History Illustration: Gardening step-by-steps: Drawing hands November 9th 2013

Story posted: 8. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

As scientific and botanical illustrators; it’s unlikely that you’ll choose to draw the steps involved in various gardening techniques unless you’re getting paid for it.

However, there are benefits to taking on this sort of work (it can be quick, the pay’s not too bad, and I know a great deal more about gardening now that I did four years ago).  One of the greatest benefits is that you HAVE to lean how to draw hands.

The illustrations in this week’s blog are taken from the How to Garden series of books by Alan Titchmarsh, those I’ve done over the years for…

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Category: Illustration techniques    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2337

Botanical Illustration - Tips on Leaf Shape: Margins, Venation & Position November 1st 2013

Story posted: 1. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Further to last week’s blog on illustrating botanical subjects, and the discussion of simple vs compound leaves and basic leaf shape; this week I thought I’d tackle leaf margins, different venation patterns, and key ways that leaves are attached to the stem. The terms discussed are in bold text; the examples are all illustrations I've done over the years; and if you find any mistakes feel free to tell me, I'm not a botanist, just a keen and interested amateur. .

Leaf margin refers to the edge of the leaf.  A smooth edge is called an entire margin.  There are no teeth…

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Category: Biological terminology    Comments: 4    Viewed: 18173