News Stories from November 2014

Natural History Illustrator Out & About: Inspirations: The C4 Rice Project

Story posted: 28. November 2014 by Lizzie Harper

I recently joined other botanical illustrators at an IAPI meeting on grasses (Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration), during which Peter Mitchell told us about an important and inspiring project set up by his friend John Sheehy at the International Rice Research Institute.

This is the C4 Rice Project, which aims to boost photosynthesis in rice and thus help to feed the poor in developing areas of the world.

The reasons for wanting to develop a rice plant which has "super-charged" photosynthesis are pretty self-explanatory, and we didn't go into these in our botany…

Read the full story

Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2068

Natural History Illustrator out and about: Grasses Class by IAPI November 21st 2014

Story posted: 21. November 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Scientific illustration and botanical art often means hours of sitting alone, staring at plants through a hand lens.  Sometimes getting out, especially spending time with like minded people who share your interests, can be a tonic.

IAPI (the institute for analytical plant illustration) is a fabulous organisation for botanists, botanical illustrators, and anyone interested in these disciplines and their overlap.  On September 21st I went along to their masterclass on grasses, presented by the Summerfields of  Westshores nurseries who have been specialising in growing, selling,…

Read the full story

Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1005

Scientific Illustration: Work for Bloomsbury Publishing November 14th 2014

Story posted: 14. November 2014 by Lizzie Harper

This week sees the publication of a series of graphite scientific illustrations for a book published by Bloomsbury ; The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright.

This was a wonderful job as I got to work closely with the author; to work in pencil (which I love, see my blog on Pencil illustration ); and had a wonderful array of species to illustrate.

In terms of style, I was told to think of the 18th century engravers; not only do I love this style, but it also meant many of the images I was using as reference were more than 100 years old, and thus I could be less…

Read the full story

Category: News of current projects    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1879

Botanical Illustration: Step by Step Painting a Fly agaric fungus November 7th 2014

Story posted: 7. November 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Natural history illustrators are quick to paint specimens that turn up on their doorstep, so when Dave Prescott of Herefordshire New Leaf appeared with a beautiful fly agaric fungus ( Amanita muscaria) I leapt at the chance to paint it.



First up, draw it.  I wanted to focus on the stem (stipe), so took reference from photos on how the ring (annulus) on the stem attaches.  Then I drew it up in pencil.  I favour pentel P205 automatic pancils with an 0.5mm HB lead; and work onto fabriano artistico 100% cotton hot press paper.



I looked at the stipe for a…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 5288