News Stories from August 2013

Natural History Illustration: A Gallery of Butterflies - August 30th 2013

Story posted: 30. August 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Before they disappear for another year, I thought it might be worth putting up a collection of my illustrations of some of the more common British butterfly species.

These have mostly been comissioned privately, or by the Wildlife Trusts .

For a really good guide to British butteflies, you should get The Butterflies of Britian and Ireland by Jeremy Thomas .  The same excellent illustrator, Richard Lewington , also did illustrations for the FSC 's Butterflies of Britain chart, which is really handy for use in the field.

Red Admiral

Speckled Wood…

Read the full story

Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2087

Scientific Illustator Out and About: Introduction to Lichens - August 23rd 2013

Story posted: 23. August 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Botanical illustration involves illustrating what are traditionally known as the “lower plants” as well as the green leafy ones.  Lichens fall into this category (along with the very different mosses, and liverworts) although in fact they’re much closer relatives of fungi.

Study of Xanthoria parietina and Parmelia sulcata

Having been on a lichen course with Ray Woods, through RWT and written it up “ Fungal foray, lichens and dragonflies – October 15 th 2012 ” I was keen to learn more.

I'm member of the brilliant Institute of Analytical Plant…

Read the full story

Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 5457

Scientific Illustration: Life Cycles - 16th August 2013

Story posted: 16. August 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Often, commissions come in calling for a natural history illustration of the entire life cycle of an animal.  Although these are challenging, they're one of my favourite jobs as it's vital to include all the stages asked for and to make the image work well in terms of compostion; a perfect blend of zoological knowledge and artistic experience.

I'm repeatedly asked for frog life cycles.

This one has been used by the Widlfowl & Wetlands Trust and was the base for the pen and ink version which I did for The New Amateur Naturalist by Nick Baker .


Read the full story

Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 3040

Botanical Illustration of a honeysuckle - August 9th 2013

Story posted: 9. August 2013 by Lizzie Harper

As mentioned in earlier blogs ( Natural History illustration - Step by step study of a rose - July 12th 2013 , Botanical Illustration step by step - Painting a Sweet pea - July 26th 2013 ), I'm currently working on a series of common culitvated plants which are also edible.  Honeysuckle is on the list.

I love honeysucke (wild and cultivated), I love the way the pinks and reds flush on the flowers, I love the smell, and I love nipping off the base of the corolla tube and sucking out a drip of delicious nectar which was absolutely not intended for me, but for the bees who so…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 11386

Scientific Illustration of a Death's Head Hawkmoth - August 3rd 2013

Story posted: 3. August 2013 by Lizzie Harper

I received a private commission to do a scientific illustration of the Death's head hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos for someone who is passionate about moths.  Normally the first step is to get a specimen to work from, but alas in this case there were none at the local museum, and the deadline was tight.

I collated picture ref from as many sources as possible (it's always so much harder to work from images than from the real thing which you can rotate and examine), and combined it with the geometry and anatomy of the hawkmoth.  I chose to do a male as I prefer the tapering point…

Read the full story

Category: Illustration techniques, Zoological step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 4047