News Stories from September 2014

Natural History Illustration step by step: Painting a Puffin September 26th 2014

Story posted: 26. September 2014 by Lizzie Harper

When completing a natural science or scientific illustration of a species, the process varies according to variables including what reference you have (photos, stuffed specimens, or the living plant or animal); and how long you have to complete the job.

However, there are some general steps which are common to the evolution of all my illustrations, and for this blog I'll use my ornithological illustration of a puffin to show what I mean.

Set up your equipment.  This is to be a watercolour, so I use Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton hot press paper which is nice and smooth.  I…

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Category: Zoological step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 3065

Botanical Illustration: Basic Botany Terms 19th September 2014

Story posted: 18. September 2014 by Lizzie Harper

If you're going to illustrate botanical or natural history specimens, you need to know what you're drawing.  Biology provides words for almost every part of an animal or plant; and although sometimes these terms sound intimidating (many have latin roots so sound unfamiliar) they don't need to put you off.

This blog is an introduction to the basics of botany, so you can tell your corolla from your sepal, and your stem from your root.  Below is an annotated illustration of Lesser spearwort ( Ranunculus flammula ).

Many of these terms will be more than familiar; a leaf,…

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Category: Biological terminology    Comments: 0    Viewed: 3753

Natural History Illustration: British Lizards September 5th 2014

Story posted: 5. September 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Of the six species of reptile found in the UK (see last week's blog on the snakes), three are lizards.  My scientific illustrations of these reptiles have been done over the years for Wildlife Trusts and books (The Bumper Book of Nature by Stephen Moss , amongst others.)

Our first British lizard is often mistaken for a snake, but is in fact a legless lizard, the Slow worm ( Anguis fragilis ).  This is a beautiful slender bronze creature, the only clear markings being a black vertebral stripe in the females.  It can reach 45cm in length.  Like other lizards (and unlike snakes)…

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Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2484