News Stories in category: Botanical Illustration step by step

Botanical Illustration step by step: Painting a Blackberry Watercolour

Story posted: 4. October 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I love doing botanical illustrations of blackberries, so I was thrilled when Jersey Post commissioned an illustration of the Jersey Bramble Rubus caesarius as one of the postage stamps on their “Fruits and Berries” issue .  I thought I’d break down the steps involved in painting a ripe juicy blackberry in watercolour, and  write a step by step blog.

All illustrations in this blog are copyright Jersey Post (www.jerseystamps.com) 2017 and must nbot be reproduced without the express permission of Jersey Post.

First, make sure your drawing of the blackberry is…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 655

Step by step Botanical illustration of the Greater Willow herb

Story posted: 19. May 2017 by Lizzie Harper

One of the botanical illustrations I was recently commissioned to complete for the Field Studies Council is the Greater willowher, Epilobium hirstutum. This will feature with 30 or so other of my common British wild flowers illustrations in an  upcoming leaflet on Wayside wild flowers.

Here is an explanation of the steps involved in creating a botanically accurate illustration which is also visually appealing, and allows a novice to identify that flower in the field.

First, I gather my reference.  The illustration rough was done in January, so no Willowherbs were…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 848

Botanical Illustration of Red Clover- step by step

Story posted: 20. April 2017 by Lizzie Harper

This botanical illustration of Red clover Trifolium pratense was completed recently for the  Field Studies Council who are producing a leaflet on identifying plants and wild flowers of the wayside and hedgerows.

First step with any sciart botanical illustration is to get good reference.  Not only do I know where a local patch of red clover is growing, so I can gather leaves to work from, but I also back this up with good reference books like HarperCollins Guide to Wild Flowers by David Streeter , Streeter and Garrard's The Wild Flowers of the British Isles , and the…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1007

Botanical Illustration step by step: Painting Heather

Story posted: 24. March 2017 by Lizzie Harper

One of the plants I completed a botanical illustration of recently is the Bell heather,  Erica cinerea; it'll be used on a leafelt on Heathland plants produced by the Field Studies Council, and is one of several British heather species (see my blog for more) on the chart. Although both leaves and flowers are small I thought it might be interesting to break it down into a step by step process.

First, I drew up the pencil rough onto Fabriano Artistico Hot press paper with a mechanical pencil (I like the Pentel P205 ).  For reference I used the plant itself, still growing in…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1052

Botanical Illustrations of Moss: Step by step Sphagnum tenellum

Story posted: 23. December 2016 by Lizzie Harper

I’ve been working on botanical illustrations recently for the Field Studies Council ; specifically on a big batch of Heathland plants.  Amongst these are several moss species.

The first step is to get your hands on the moss itself; drawing mosses is so unusual and new for me that unless I have a reliably identified specimen to work from, there’s no way I can even begin an illustration of the species.  I’ve been incredibly lucky in having the support of Ray Woods ( Radnorshire Wildlife Trust botany and mycology expert) and Jonathan Sleath ( British Bryological Society ), both…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 924

Botanical Illustration: Step by step painting of leaves

Story posted: 18. November 2016 by Lizzie Harper

I recently taught a workshop of botanical illustration of leaves , and broke down the process of painting a leaf into incremental steps shown on a demonstration painting of a blackberry leaf.



Demonstration illustration showing different steps involved in painting a blackberry leaf, and a breakdown of the colours used to mix the greens that I used for each step.

I thought it might be worth deconstructing and explaining the processes in a blog.  The illustrations below are magnified, and so are a little out of focus; my apologies.

It also needs to be pointed out…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step, Illustration techniques    Comments: 0    Viewed: 42018

Natural History and botanical Illustration of Long-tail tits and Cylamen

Story posted: 6. May 2016 by Lizzie Harper

A recent natural history and botanical illustration commission ended up being one of my favourite jobs of the year.

The painting is for a 90 th birthday, and needed to include an array of plants and animals that mean something to the recipient.  We sat together over a cup of tea and came up with some rough ideas which I took home and worked on.



Series of thumbnail sketches and roughs

Once I’d sourced reference material for all the elements (yet again I blessed my  sketchbooks – I seem to have pages of visual notes on Silver birch  Betula pendula !) I could piece…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 1427

Botanical Illustration: Step by step illustration of a Wild Strawberry

Story posted: 18. December 2015 by Lizzie Harper

One of the botanical illustrations I’ve been asked to paint as a natural history illustrator, is the Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca .  This will be one of the plants featured on a fold-out identification chart of Edible British Plants produced by the Field Studies Council .  There's also a 2 minute Youtube film of this illustration being completed online, in time lapse.

I begin by drawing up the rough in pencil, using a mechanical pencil such as the P205 .  I draw direct onto the paper I’ll paint on, Fabriano Artistico hotpress .  There are lots of wild strawberry plants…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 6827

Natural History Illustration: Step by step Painting of an Elder

Story posted: 4. December 2015 by Lizzie Harper

There's a really wonderful job I'm working on right now; about 20 botanical illustrations of different edible plants for a fold out chart, to be produced by the  Field Studies Council .  Other blogs on this job include the step by step of painting a dog rose, and the step by step painting of a wild strawberry plant.  This week I'm illustrating the Elder, Sambuccus nigra.

It's autumn, and although I'm fortunate enough to be able to find (slightly battered) elder leaves, and a few berries still hanging on, there's no elder blossom anywhere.  This is why I keep my sketchbooks ,…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 4025

Natural History Illustration: Step by step Painting of a Dog Rose

Story posted: 17. November 2015 by Lizzie Harper

I’m currently working on a series of botanical illustrations and natural history drawings for Field Studies Counci l, who will use them on identification charts.  One of the charts details edible British plants, and includes the Dog rose, Rosa canina.

The first step is to draw up a pencil rough.  I use a mechanical pencil, such as the Pentel P205 , and draw directly onto watercolour paper.  I use Fabriano Artistico hot press paper , which has a high cotton content, and a very crisp and smooth working surface.

It’s always easiest to work from live specimens as you…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 3278

Natural History Illustration: Step by step Painting a Hazel leaf and sprig

Story posted: 16. October 2015 by Lizzie Harper

I've recently started painting up some botanical illustrations commissioned by FSC Publications (for whom I did many of the "Caring For Gods Acre" natural history illustrations).

One that I knew would take some time, but was seasonally appropriate, was the Hazel Corylus avellana .  I drew the leaves and nuts from reference gleaned from a local hedge, and had information on the catkins and flowers in my sketchbooks .

I started by using a mechanical pencil ( Pentel P205 is a favourite) to draw the plant onto  Fabriano artistico Hot Press watercolour paper , which…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 2601

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…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 4231

Botanical Illustration: Step by Step Painting a Fly agaric fungus November 7th 2014

Story posted: 7. November 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Natural history illustrators are quick to paint specimens that turn up on their doorstep, so when Dave Prescott of Herefordshire New Leaf appeared with a beautiful fly agaric fungus ( Amanita muscaria) I leapt at the chance to paint it.



First up, draw it.  I wanted to focus on the stem (stipe), so took reference from photos on how the ring (annulus) on the stem attaches.  Then I drew it up in pencil.  I favour pentel P205 automatic pancils with an 0.5mm HB lead; and work onto fabriano artistico 100% cotton hot press paper.



I looked at the stipe for a…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 0    Viewed: 5920

Botanical Illustration: Step by Step Painting a rose July 4th 2014

Story posted: 3. July 2014 by Lizzie Harper

I'm loving the series of 50 natural history illustrations (done in a sketchbook style) that are needed for the follow up to The Hedgerow Handbook by Adele Nozedar .  The book's to be called "The Cultivated Forager", and will tell you what and how to eat common plants you may find in your garden.

This week I painted a gorgeous rose (we're unsure of the type of rose; if anyone DOES know, please let me know!).  I was rather up against the clock as the rose was looking a little tired on delivery, and they have a deadly habit of unfurling all their petals then shedding them before…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 2    Viewed: 5199

Botanical Illustration step by step - Painting a Sketchbook study of a quince - November 15th 2013

Story posted: 15. November 2013 by Lizzie Harper

My botanical illustrations being done for The Cultivated Forager (follow up to The Hedgerow Handbook , also by Adele Nozedar) are, inevitably, going to take a back seat over the colder months of the winter.  However, this sprig of quince was still looking fresh, and the fruit in perfect condition.



As before, this illustration will be incomplete, a s ketchbook study ; a pencil habit drawing of the sprig, and then I'll work into details so that I get to grips with colour, texture etc.

First, I get a sheet of paper ( Fabriano Artistico ) and a mechanical pencil ( Pentel…

Read the full story

Category: Botanical Illustration step by step    Comments: 1    Viewed: 4680

Categories

Links

Recent News


Subscribe to the RSS news feed