Oil seed rape botanical illustration, and quacking ducks - January 28th 2013

Story posted: Friday, 25. January 2013 by Lizzie Harper

The snow has finally melted, and the river Wye was amazingly high yesterday, flooding lots of the river-side footpaths.  Very dramatic.

I’ve been getting on with the illustrations of ducklings for Waterlife Magazine this week, although waiting for feedback has slowed things down.  I’ve finished the quacking ducks, and hope to have a couple more done by the end of the day, depending on client approval of the roughs.

Ducklings quack instead of

I also did an image of an oil seed rape plant for a farming friend of mine who is diversifying into producing gourmet style, premium rape seed oil for sale direct to the consumer.  In keeping with the quality of the product, he wants to produce a classy label for the bottles, and thought my illustrations would fit the bill.  After deciding on medium (colour pencil?  Pure watercolour?  Acrylic?) and settling on pen and ink with watercolour over-wash, I drew up the rough.  It was a treat to get approval and be able to take the illustration to final art work in the space of one day.

Pencil rough of oil seed rape plant


Illustration of oil seed rape plant for use on bottle label

Great excitement and kudos; an email came in from the Hunt Institute in Philadelphia USA.  It seems one of my grasses plants, completed for the HarperCollins Flower Guide by Streeter has been selected for inclusion in an exhibition they’re holding to show the public what botanical images they collect, and why (What We Collect: Recent Art Acquisitions, 2007–2012). To be shown at such a prestigious institution, and along side real luminaries in the field is incredibly flattering and I am delighted.

Harper Collins Flower Guide Grasses Plate

Finally, it seems I’m through to the next round of selections for my confidential job.  Again, I’m delighted.  However, I now have to start producing some of my best ever work to convince the client I am the right candidate for the job, which is enormous (but exciting) pressure.  I’ll also have to figure out how to blog when all aspects of the job that’ll be taking all my time are to be strictly private.  Expect some illustrations completed a while back to appear in this column over the next few weeks!

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