News Stories from May 2018

Support the Bees & Save the World: Guest Blog by Gus Stewart

Story posted: 22. May 2018 by Lizzie Harper

Support the Bees and Save the World by Guest blogger  Gus Stewart

Apples, peaches, pears, strawberries, onions, hazelnut, green beans, celery, coffee, watermelon, walnut – no, this isn’t a grocery list. These are just a few of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that we will  lose if the bee population continues to decline. While you might have thought that humans were responsible for food production, it is in fact the bee that holds the key. Without bees the world would look drastically different, but there are ways you can help.

Bees pollinating Pear blossom


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Category: Showcase of themed natural history illustrations    Comments: 0    Viewed: 356

Telling Bluebell species apart

Story posted: 15. May 2018 by Lizzie Harper

May is a really wonderful month for botanical illustration; all the spring flowers are in bloom and there’s almost too many subjects to illustrate!  I always like to visit our local bluebell woods at this time of year, and thought it might be an idea to write a blog on how you can tell the difference between a native bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta and a Spanish or garden variety Hyacinthoides hispanica (or a hybrid of the two!)

Native bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta

The iconic British bluebell wood, carpeted with deep purple-blue flowers, is one…

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Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 542

Botanical Illustration: Cheating doesn't exist

Story posted: 10. May 2018 by Lizzie Harper

When I chat to people who are just beginning botanical illustration, I quite often get questions about whether or not certain things are “cheating”.  This annoys and upsets me; everyone should be encouraged to draw and paint, and to use whatever tools are available to them.

There seems to be a strange idea that various shortcuts , tools, and techniques which are incredibly helpful to a botanical illustrator are somehow “cheating”.  I want to try and dispel some of these ideas, and by so doing I hope to encourage beginners to draw and paint plants and flowers without any…

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Category: Illustration techniques    Comments: 0    Viewed: 840

Illustrating a Pansy step by step sketchbook study

Story posted: 10. May 2018 by Lizzie Harper

Pansies and violas are one of the loveliest garden plants to study through botanical illustration; they’re also common, affordable, and quite easy to paint.  This blog will talk you through the basic steps in completing a sketchbook study of a viola or pansy.

First, choose a plant whose petals have colours that you think you’ll enjoy working with.  Purples, whites, yellows and warm pinks predominate.  I was taken with this pretty plant, and it also allowed me to play about with both pale and dark petals.

Draw up the flower in pencil, as always I use a…

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Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 646