News Stories from January 2014

Natural Science Illustration: Painting a Bumble bee January 31st 2014

Story posted: 31. January 2014 by Lizzie Harper

I was commissioned to do an entomological illustration for a natural history illustration interpretation board on flight by Anglezarke Dixon Associates .  The client wanted a White tailed bumble bee (Bombus lucorum) to accompany my scientific illustrations of the pipistrelle bat and peacock butterfly in flight (which he purchased for re-use from my online image library ).

As always, the first step is to assemble your reference.  I use as wide of a range of reference as possible; this decreases the chance of "copying" mistakes, and helps show the main features to highlight.  I…

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Category: Zoological step by step    Comments: 2    Viewed: 16811

Natural Science Illustration: A Week's Work January 24th 2014

Story posted: 25. January 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Natural Science (or natural history) illustration is like all other jobs, you have good weeks and bad weeks.  Last week was a really happy one; I had  plenty to do (but not overwhelming amounts); I finished up a big project; and I got two smaller jobs completed.  Being able to feel productive and efficient always puts me in a good mood.

Monday and Tuesday I finished up the last of the bonsai tree diagrams for the DK/Penguin book being written by Peter Warren .  Here it's the whole tree being wired:

Below, it shows you how to start wiring the base of a trunk:…

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Category: News of current projects    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2402

Natural History Illustrator: On being asked to work for free January 17th 2014

Story posted: 17. January 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Recently, a natural history illustrator ( Claudia Hahn ) tweeted that she’d been asked to do a load of work for a successful music company…for free.  What’s sad is that this was a very familiar tale, and I decided to write a quick blog this practice.

There are various times when I’m asked to work for free, or donate paintings.  Sometimes these are completely valid; I can choose to allow a charity I admire use of my illustrations and not charge them.  I will happily donate paintings to raise funds my kids’ school PTA (such as this salmon).

Other times, small…

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Natural History Illustration: Golden Plover in a Landscape January 17th 2014

Story posted: 11. January 2014 by Lizzie Harper

As well as scientific illustrations and botanical and natural history illustrations which are cut-to-white, I often have to illustrate subjects within their natural habitat.  This can be a challenge, but also highly enjoyable as you can put in specific details (such as someone's home, or a tree they really like) and it stirs the mind as you have to figure out what array of plants and animals are representative of the ecological niche you're illustrating.

I recently worked on an illustration of a Golden Plover, as a diary cover for my father's Christmas present.  I knew I wanted…

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Category: Zoological step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1515

Natural History Illustration seen in context: Published work January 3rd 2014

Story posted: 3. January 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Most of the natural history illustrations I do are for use in published form; either in books or magazines; on interpretation or visitor boards at zoos, nature reserves or aquariums; or for packaging of such diverse things as CDs and mugs.  It's always a treat to see the illustrations in context, and helps make more sense of them.  Here are some examples.

First up; stamps.  These sets are done for Jersey Post .  It's tricky designing stamps as you have to be responsible for the layout of the text, price, and queen's head as well as for the illustrations themselves.…

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Category: News of current projects    Comments: 1    Viewed: 1202