News Stories from March 2018

Pencil Botanical Illustration: Drawing a Bean leaf

Story posted: 29. March 2018 by Lizzie Harper

In order to complete a decent botanical illustration, you need to understand about lights and darks, and be able to see where your shadows fall.  One of the excersizes I recntly got my flower painting workshop to try was to complete a detailed pencil study of a relatively simple leaf, in this case the leaf of a runner bean.

Working on cartridge paper, with a soft eraser and a sharp pencil (I love mechanical pencils like the Pentel P205 , and use HB and H leads), I started out by plotting the outline of the leaf shape onto the page.

Step 1: Basic rough outline


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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 877

Woodpecker Skull Biomechanics: Natural History Illustration

Story posted: 16. March 2018 by Lizzie Harper

Sometimes I get asked to complete natural history illustrations on topics that are as fascinating as they are random.

Last week, Bloomsbury Publishers got in touch to ask me to do a diagram for one of the books in their “Spotlight” series of natural history titles , this book will be all about woodpeckers.  (I've done diagrams for other titles in the series including "Spotlight: Robin" and "Spotlight: Bumblebee").

This specific illustration was to be showing how a structure called a hyoid helps support the woodpecker tongue, and also has a vital role in cushioning the…

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Category: Zoology Terms and Anatomy    Comments: 0    Viewed: 628

An Eye For Nature: Lizzie Harper's Exhibition of Watercolours

Story posted: 15. March 2018 by Lizzie Harper

Lizzie will be holding an open envening on

Tuesday 29th May at  Shepherd's , 6.30-9pm

She'll have her sketchbooks and portfolio on show, and will be chatting and selling prints, greetings cards, and a wide selection of unframed original drawings and paintings; along with the framed work in the exhibition.

Please come along!


Lizzie's watercolours of wild flowers and animals will be on exhibition at Shepherd's Ice-cream Parlour in Hay on Wye from

April 27th - July 11th 2018


Browfield landscape, on show at the exhibition


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Step by step Botanical illustration of a Sliced orange

Story posted: 2. March 2018 by Lizzie Harper

In the middle of winter it can be hard for a botanical illustrator to find good subjects to paint; so for my Monday Botanical illustration drop-in class in Hay on Wye I chose to work on a sliced orange as a subject.  The process of breaking down a painting into steps can be tricky; what surprised me most about this subject was how much harder it turned out to be than I’d anticipated!

A good thing about choosing an orange as a subject is that in most places you can get your hands on one easily, and no matter what the season.

(I do need to offer a minor apology, I took the…

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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 808