News Stories from January 2015

Natural History Illustration: Step by step Painting a Waxwing

Story posted: 29. January 2015 by Lizzie Harper

Science art, natural history illustration, natural science illustrations, botanical drawing; all these terms cover what I do,  But this week's blog is about creating an ornithological illustration, in this case of the Waxwing  Bombycilla garrulus.

First step is always to draw up the bird.  I wanted to include background, and hoped scarlet and orange berries would echo the reddish areas in the bird's plumage.  I use a Pentel P205 mechanical pencil, and draw striaght onto my hot press fabriano artistico watercolour paper.

Then I open my watercolour box, predominantly full…

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Category: Zoological step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2655

Botanical Illustration: Painting an Ivy sprig

Story posted: 22. January 2015 by Lizzie Harper

I recently had a commission to illustrate the common Ivy Hedera helix .  I'm often asked to do botanical or natural history illustrations of this common British plant, and always enjoy it enormously, not least because the reference is so very easy to come by.

I had a little look on the wall at the back of the garden, and decided the shape of this Ivy sprig was perfect; fluid but not extreme.  I picked it, and using my new Pentel Graphgear 1000 mechanical pencil drew it up.  I try to be as clear as possible with my pencil lines, and to include enough information, but no tonal…

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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 5299

Natural History Illustration: Anatomy of an insect January 2015

Story posted: 15. January 2015 by Lizzie Harper

Insects are my favourite creatures, and I love illustrating them in my natural science commissions.  It always helps to fit form to function, so here's a brief overview of the parts of any insect which should help anyone about to do an entomological illustration.

Insects are invertebrates; they sport an external skeleton rather than bones on the inside.  Their limbs are jointed, they're cold-blooded, they have six legs and (mostly) two pairs of wings, and a body split into three sections; namely the head, thorax and abdomen.

Basically, any insect can be split into…

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Category: Zoology Terms and Anatomy    Comments: 0    Viewed: 5821

Natural History Illustrator Out and About: Botanical Illustration Workshop painting autumn leaves

Story posted: 9. January 2015 by Lizzie Harper

I took a botany illustration class recently, and the group (Hereford Botanical Art Society) asked for some back-to-basics drawing tips, and chose fall leaves for their subject matter.  Having collected a wide variety for them to choose from, I set up the workshop .

Variety of autumn leaves; both flat and curled, and of 12 different species.

Drawing skills are vital, they lie at the root of all illustration; so I was keen to get the group to look and to draw what they see instead of what they assume to be there.  The excersizes I used are loosely based on Drawing on…

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Category: Painting workshops, Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 585