How do you become a botanical illustrator? What does the job involve?
How do you get a job in botanical illustration at one of the major botanical gardens that employ botanical illustrators?
Below is a 5 minute video created to illustrate a career in botanical illustration. It features botanical illustrator Catherine Wardrop, who is one of two botanical illustrators employed by the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. She works at the herbarium and prepares black and white illustrations in pen and ink for botanists and publication in of Flora of New South Wales revisions, Flora of Australia, Telopea and other scientific journals. She also curates key Margaret Flockton works.
Note: the video is old but the principles of the approach to creating a botanical illustration for a scientific publication remain the same.
It shows techniques used by botanical illustrators - including
You must love both nature and detail and have a number of drawing skills to be a professional botanical illustrator. Skills required include:
The video finishes by explaining her educational background and how she got a job in botanical illustration. Catherine has a a first degree in printmaking and a Diploma in Plant and Wildlife Illustration from Newcastle University in New South Wales.
[Note: Newcastle University has a Degree in Natural History Illustration. This page outlines requirements and the core and optional courses for the degree.]
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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