The Association of British Artists is developing a resource about Beginner's Botany for Botanical Art. This post highlights what is available.
It's part of a new series of articles and videos associated with promoting learning amongst those new to botanical art.
Elaine Allison, the new President, has produced two excellent videos which started off as a live streaming event - plus two blog posts. The focus of both is on The three B's.... Beginner - Botany-Botanical Art
You can find the videos on the BRAND NEW ABBA Channel called - ABBA for All. It's worth subscribing to this with your Google account if you want to follow what they produce.
I think it's an excellent idea. In my opinion, it's also something that more botanical art societies should do - although in order to emulate what ABBA is doing it does take
Episode 1: Simple Flowers
There is something more important than knowing what parts of the plant are called and that is what does it really look like. This requires detailed anatomical observation. Where possible, it is really useful to see the plant growing in the wild. Get to know the habitat, location with respect to other plants and if it is the same species, how the form can change depending on where it grows.
The FIRST module focuses on simple flowers and provides a short introduction to basic descriptive botany
Using a common native plant, the Geranium, the module considers
Episode 2: Complex Flowers
Understanding how the flower is put together is the first step in producing a great piece of artwork that is botanically accurate.
Today I'm sharing the 20 most popular pages on Botanical Art and Artists (excluding specific artists) over 2018-19.
One of the ways I try to improve Botanical Art and Artists is by paying attention to what interests visitors to the site. That's why I regularly look at the website statistics. Periodically I pull a pdf file of Google Analytics and take a look at which pages which get the most traffic and which pages which get the lowest and the highest bounce rates.
I've decided to limit the timeframe for the count to 2018 and 2019 as I've introduced quite a few new pages since it started, over 4.5 years ago, in April 2015. However sorting out the ranked order based on my Google Analytics data was not at all easy and I ended up using an Excel spreadsheet and sorting on two data sets!
1. Past Masters of Botanical Art & Illustration (1500-1900)
This one is way out in front and has been ever since I created the site. It gets more hits than the home page! This particular page is really interesting as it highlights and summarises some of the famous botanical artists and illustrators and Past Masters - between 1500 and 1900 - from the UK, France, Netherlands / Flemish, Germany & Austria, Italy, Australasia, Africa - specifically South Africa, North and Central America and South America. Plus and other notable artists working within botanical art and illustration. (Note Famous Asian Botanical Artists (600 - 1500) from China, India and Japan are on a separate page - and I probably need to create a seperate page for Europe too)
2. NEWS about Botanical Art and for Botanical Artists
My News Blog started after the main site was created but has become very popular ever since. The number of subscribers also continues to climb
3. Tips and Techniques
Extremely popular right from the beginning. A good tip for any botanical artist wanting to create traffic to their website is to provides tips and techniques - for free - on your website or blog or social media site. People love them. Next best tip is alert me to your tip and if it's good enough then I'll add it into this resource page and you'll get even more traffic!
4. Best Botanical Art Instruction Books
A very popular page because I only list the books I rate and I also provide lots of reviews - and some of them are in-depth. This is a VERY long page with LOTS links to sub-pages which review books by specific people
5. What is Botanical Art?
The perennial question - hence the ranking. I try to provide an answer by quoting others on this topic. I add to it when I find a great new comment or insight.
6. Scientific Botanical Illustration
How to draw plants to scientific standards. This page includes basic instruction on what to do and what not to do when illustrating plants to scientific standards; drawing aids which promote accuracy in measurement and rendering in scientific illustration links to practical tips and techniques for botanical illustration from leading scientific botanical illustrators and organisations providing support for scientific illustration. Plus articles about the history of scientific botanical illustration and the development of contemporary Flora.
7. Botanical Artists and Illustrators UK
This page highlights artists and illustrators creating contemporary botanical art and illustration of distinction who are based on or born in the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This page which has way more artists than any other continent or country in terms of people who qualify for the listing.
8. Plant Names and Botanical Latin
When recording a plant name wrong can affect the colour of medal you receive at an RHS Botanical Art Show it's worth making an effort to understand how plant names are constructed and how to write them. (There's a few artists who wish growers made the same effort!). Plus it's a topic which does not get a lot of coverage online!
9. How to draw and paint leaves and trees
I've been saying for a long time, botanical art is not just about painting flowers! The second thing I've remarked on more than a few times is there is a major market for the author who writes the definitive book on how to paint plants and trees. I get asked by publishers for names of artists I'd recommend for specific topics. If you're interested contact me.
This page is the "top tips" page dedicated to tips and techniques for how to draw and paint botanically correct trees and leaves. Drawing and watercolour painting instruction includes step by step demonstrations, videos and books. I'm currently working my way through an analysis of every instruction book in terms of how good it is in providing instruction for leaves and/or trees.
10. Contemporary Botanical Artists and Illustrators
This is the gateway to all the pages about the contemporary botanical artists and illustrators listed on this website who draw, paint and print plants and flowers AND have been recognised for their excellence and mastery of their individual approach to botanical art and illustration [Note Continent / country listings are not definitive. They're being updated all the time]
For those coming to the RHS London Botanical Art Show this week - and those watching social media and reading online - you may be interested in how a botanical art exhibit at an RHS Botanical Art Show is assessed for
Gold Medals are only given for exhibits of outstanding quality, whatever their diversity of approach, or visual impact
Candidates who have been approved to exhibit must submit at least six works - preferably on a theme.
You can earn extra marks if you illustrate a plant family.
ASSESSMENT: KEY POINTS are:
The best botanical illustration successfully combines scientific accuracy with visual appeal. It must portray a plant with the precision and level of detail for it to be recognised and distinguished from another species.
As a technical discipline, botanical illustration emphasizes the depiction of accurate information, documenting the anatomical and functional aspect of a plant throughout its life cycle.
Judges want to see.....
What I've tried to do is:
As a guide I've also included the average ratings out of 5 stars for each book (in the UK and USA). Plus a guide to how to interpret these ratings as they are various factors - detailed in my guide - that influence how many ratings a book has got to date.
Book Review: Botanical Illustration
Author: Valerie Oxley
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - This is an excellent manual for those who like their botanical art to lean towards illustration with a strong botanical slant.
This book differentiates itself by focusing on botany. It's very detailed and practical and consequently very helpful.
It provides lots of detailed facts, useful information, tips and techniques - doubtless derived from the author's many years of teaching botanical illustration and developing a diploma course.
For example, it includes
It's a sub-page of The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books in the Education Section.
Botany for the Artist: An Inspirational Guide to Drawing Plants
Author: Sarah Simblet
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - This is the best rated book on the market for those who want to understand more about
The quality of the text and illustrations is first class and the whole book provides a fresh perspective on botany for the artist while losing none of the fundamental and enduring truths of what is required of botanical illustration.
The emphasis of this book is on:
It's a sub-page of The Best Botany Books for Botanical Artists and Illustrators in the Botany section.
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
It will NOT be used for anything else and will NEVER be given to anybody else.
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