News Stories in category: News of current projects

Hereford Art Week & Upcoming Winter Hereford Open Studios (Nov 25th/26th)

Story posted: 17. November 2017 by Lizzie Harper

Back in September, I took part in Hereford Art Week for the first time.



Hereford Art Week logo

Going under the name of Beautiful Botanicals , Lea Gregory (another botanical illustrator) and I set up in her gorgeous hill-top studio, and opened our doors to whoever chose to visit.



Busy working desk during Hereford Art week

We decided to have a bit of everything on show, so her flower art prints were on the walls alongside my original framed watercolours.



Lea Gregory: Framed prints and greetings cards on sale

Lea does a good line in…

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Natural history illustration of Gull anatomy

Story posted: 5. November 2017 by Lizzie Harper

Sometimes commissions for natural history illustration or botanical illustration can be really straight-forward and simple.  I recently had a job for Bloomsbury Publishing which fell into this category.

Bloomsbury needed a few very simple illustrations for their upcoming publication, “Gulls of the World” by Klaus Olsen.

These were to be pen and ink line drawings for anatomical reference, they’ll be reproduced in black and white, and the art editor provided me with lots of reference to work from.

As with all job, its vital not to infringe anyone’s copyright by making…

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Botanical Illustrations of Fruit for Jersey Post

Story posted: 22. September 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I love doing botanical illustrations of fruit, so when Jersey Post commissioned a series of "Fruits and Berries" for a postage stamp issue I was delighted.

The fruits and berries that needed illustrating were the Dewberry Rubus caesius , the Elderberry Sambucus nigra , the Wild strawberry Fragaria vesca , the Jersey bramble Rubus caesarius , Sloes Prunus spinosa , and Black bryony Dioscorea communis .

All the botanical illustrations in this blog are copyright Jersey Post (www.Jerseystamps.com) 2017, and must not be reproduced without their express permission.…

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Sciart Natural History Illustration of a Chironomid Midge

Story posted: 4. August 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I recently was commissioned to complete a natural history entomological illustration for an expert in fossilized midges at the Natural History Museum in London, as a surprise retirement present.

The recipient is Steve Brooks, who examines the fossilized heads of non-biting midges (Chironomids) to examine climate change through time.  For an overview of his work, do take the time to read this article , it’s fascinating.

The person commissioning the work ( Kimberley Davies ) not only is an expert in midges herself, but also grew up in Hay-on-Wye (where I’m based), an extra…

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Natural History Illustration: Water Meadow Landscape

Story posted: 12. June 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I was recently commissioned to complete a large natural history natural science watercolour illustration of a landscape of a water meadow habitat, complete with wildlife and botanical illustrations of the plants that grow there.   This illustration will be used on an interpretation panel, and was a challenge and a joy to create.

Linda Francis is a designer friend I’ve worked with before, so I was more than happy to take on this job for The Wychwood Project and Woodstock Town Council .

There are to be two interpretation panels, one will have archeology information and…

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Botanical Illustration: Fungal Diseases of Wheat Crops

Story posted: 26. May 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I was recently commissioned by Farmer’s Weekly Magazine to do some botanical illustrations of both Wheat ( Triticum aestivum ) and three common diseases of wheat crops.



Common wheat plant ( Triticum aestivum ), free of disease.

The first one is the fungus Septoria , the other two are rusts.

Septoria

Septoria triitici is a fungus that affects the leaves and stems of wheat plants.  Infection occurs in autumn and spring, with fungal ascospores brought on the wind.

Once established, the disease spreads as pynidiospores through crops by…

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Botanical Illustration: Comparing Three Heather Species

Story posted: 23. February 2017 by Lizzie Harper

Whilst undertaking botanical illustrations for The Field Studies Council , I was asked to illustrate three different species of heather for a leaflet on heathland plants.



Illustration of Common heather or Ling in prgress; you can see the plant, The Collins Flower Guide, Garrard and Streeter's The Wildflowers of the British Isles, Stella Ross-Craig's amazing line drawings, my Series 7 Winsor and Newton 000 paintbrushes, and a 10x magnifying glass.

Although there are eight species of heather or heath found in the UK and Northern Europe, the three I illustrated are…

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Beautiful Bryophytes: Botanical illustrations of moss

Story posted: 2. February 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I've been working on lots of botanical illustrations for the Field Studies Council recently, and a lot of the plants on the list of heathland species are bryophytes, beautiful mosses.

I'm lucky enough to have had an enourmous amount of help assembling species to work with (see my blog ) and have been working on the painted finals over the past few weeks.



Moss specimens in storage

Below is a gallery of some fo the moss illustrations I've completed so far for this job.  This blog is more of a "what I've been up to" posting than a mossy step by step , or…

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Natural History Illustration of a new Damselfly species

Story posted: 6. January 2017 by Lizzie Harper

One of the more exciting recent natural history illustration commissions I’ve had is to complete a Sciart watercolour of a newly discovered species of damselfly.

The insect in question is the Sarep sprite, Pseudoagrion sarepi .  As with all damselflies, it lives in and near fresh water  and was named after the SAREP expedition to Eastern Angola.  Although similar to a few other species it is indeed a distinct new species, one of 60 new Odonata discovered recently in Africa (for more on this amazing set of new species please read the report from Odonatologica ).

There was…

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Botanical Illustrations of Moss: Bryophyte reference and pencil roughs

Story posted: 21. October 2016 by Lizzie Harper

Sometimes a botanical illustration commission appears that calls for something totally new – in all my days of natural history illustration, I’d never been asked to do a whole lot of mosses before.

The closest I’ve been was illustrating two mosses for the FSC Churchyard Plants leaflet



Moss: Grimmia pulvinata and Tortula muralis

The commission came from the Field Studies Council’s publications department who I’ve worked with before (see my blogs on Churchyard plants and edible plants ).

When confronted with a list of 15 bryophyte species, the…

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Natural History Illustration: A Landscape view of a wildlife garden

Story posted: 23. September 2016 by Lizzie Harper

A recent natural history illustration job for the North Yorkshire Dales National Park involved painting two large landscapes for use on a desk at Malham Cove visitor centre .  The first landscape was of Malham Cove , the second was of birds commonly seen in the garden at the visitor centre.

As always, the first step is to get a pencil rough drawn up and sent off to the client for feedback.



Malham Visitor centre annotated pancil rough

I needed to add a few flowers to the turf, and then we were good to get going on the painting.

As with the Malham Cove…

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Natural History Illustration: Landscapes, a map, and an otter

Story posted: 9. September 2016 by Lizzie Harper

Recently my natural history illustrations and botanical illustrations have been used for an interpretation board for the Combe Mill visitor centre and nature reserve in Oxfordshire.

It was a pleasure to work with the excellent graphic and museum designer Linda Francis (who'se also a friend); this means I don't have to worry about laying out my illustrations, but can conentrate on doing the illustrations themselves.

There were a wide range of illustratioms required for this job, so I began by focussing on the straightforward natural history ones - namely a treecreeper …

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Natural History Landscape Illustration: Malham Cove

Story posted: 8. July 2016 by Lizzie Harper

A natural history illustration job I've been working on recently is two large landscapes for the North Yorkshire Dales National Park. These are to go on a desk in their visitor centre in Malham .  Each landscape focuses on bird species found in two different habitats; one of the landscapes is a view from the desk, into their wildlife garden.  The other is a view of Malham Cove.

Although I am able to paint landscapes it's not something I ever feel confident or complacent about, and illustrating the dramatic cliffs at Malham were no exception.

The first step was to get a…

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Colouring in for Mindfulness: Winter time Illustrations for Harper Collins

Story posted: 22. April 2016 by Lizzie Harper

Natural history and botanical illustrators get asked to do various illustration jobs which aren’t directly related to sciart and natural science illustration.  These are often varied, different, and fun as they call for a very different set of skills than my regular wildlife and plant illustration commissions.

A recent job to fall into this category was to illustrate  “Art for Mindfullness: Winter Wonderland” an adult colouring in book for HarperCollins.  There were to be sixty illustrations on a wintery theme.



Cover of "Art for Mindfulness: Winter Wonderland" by…

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Botanical Illustrations for Foraging for Edible Plants Chart: Working with Field Studies Council

Story posted: 8. April 2016 by Lizzie Harper

I've recently been working on natural history illustrations for The Field Studies Councils publications department, in this case for a fold out chart of edible British plants which has only just come out.  I'm delighted with the result, they've used my illustrations beautifully and the way the information is included is innovative and clear.



Despite it being November when I began the job, and January when it was completed; I was able to get my hands on lots of the plants needing to be drawn because of the mild winter.  Infact, the BSBI Plant HUnt 2016 results show…

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