News Stories from September 2013

Botanical Illustration step by step - Painting a Nasturtium - September 27th 2013

Story posted: 27. September 2013 by Lizzie Harper

We recently got the wonderful news that The Cultivated Forager (follow up to Adele Nozedar's best-selling The Hedgerow Handbook ) will be published, probably in late 2015.

This means that I have to get painting; 49 garden plants to illustrate in the sketchbook studies style, which is to carry through both books.  Althoough I've completed a good selection of plants to be included, there are lots which are about to finish flowering for the year, and which need doing.  The beautiful nasturtium in one of these.

As with all these studies, the first thing I do is to draw the…

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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 1    Viewed: 19397

First ever blog - Sketchbooks and landscapes. Late September 2012

Story posted: 24. September 2013 by Lizzie Harper

This then is to be the first of my blogs in which I tell you what I've been working on, and any other news.  I hope to pop one up once a week....

Lots going on at work.  I've been illustrating final artworks for a secret job which involves meticulous painting of insects, and I'm loving every minute.  I'll be able to say more about it in 2013, when the products of my labours are published.

I'm also about to start a sketchbook page  of studies of ivy for a private comission; the client wants buds, flowers, and berries, so I'll keep coming back to it through the winter.  I love…

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Comments: 5    Viewed: 22

Scientific Illustrator Out & About – The Benefits of Demonstrating Illustration - September 20th 2013

Story posted: 20. September 2013 by Lizzie Harper


As a natural history illustrator, I sometimes get asked to publically demonstrate (draw and paint) at exhibitions of my work, or at events such as the recent New Naturalist Collector’s Club Symposium .

Initially, these events would fill me with fear and trepidation, but I have learned to view them as brilliant opportunities to meet like-minded people, to network, to (hopefully) sell some artwork and cards, and to get some illustrating done at the same time.

This cornflower was done for The Watercolour Artist’s Flower Handbook by Particia Seligman where various…

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Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 9312

Botanical Illustration: Autumn fruit and flowers - September 13th 2013

Story posted: 13. September 2013 by Lizzie Harper

I thought this week it might be a good idea to cut down on text, and just pop up some of my illustrations of wildflowers you may still be able to find as autumn comes.  All of these species are pretty widespread and common (except for the somerset redstreak apple and autumn crocus).  Try scouring hedgerows and field margins.

The illustrations come from various commissions including the Wildlife Trusts , the Bumper Book of Nature by Stephen Moss, and the Hedgerow Handbook by Adele Nozedar.

Hop plant.  Before they go yellow and are used for beer, they're a bright…

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Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 4998

Natural History Illustration in Pencil - 6th September 2013

Story posted: 6. September 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Pencil doesn't seem to be a very fashionable medium for scientific illustration, or indeed for illustration as a whole.  I think this is rather a pity as highly rendered pencil illustrations can be not only stunning but also a true joy to work on.

I always use mechanical pencils, preferring pentel P205 0.5mm HB or H leads above all else; and a soft eraser rather than the one built onto the end of the pencil.

I love pencil for quick line drawings, and habit sketches of plants.  The way you can alter the depth of the line by applying varying pressure, and the crisp but…

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Category: Illustration techniques    Comments: 3    Viewed: 8596