Today I have some of the Tips I received from my interviews with the RHS Gold Medal Winners at last month's RHS Botanical Art Show.
Later this week you will also have tips from the RHS Gold Medal Winners in 2017 too! This is because although I drafted most of it last year for some reason I didn't finish the post and publish it!
This is a LONG POST with lots of content - so you might want to get a hot drink and a notebook before you start to read!
It's been my habit, for some years, to ask each of the Gold Medal Winners who speaks reasonable English to tell me what would be the three tips they'd like to pass on to people aspiring to exhibit at the RHS Botanical Art Show. Some include ones I've heard before - but good tips are always worth repeating.
I have however omitted
TIP: Focus on what you are passionate about
Recommended by Laura Silburn and various artists. More than one artist told me this - in various ways. Variations include:
It is so much easier to complete a major project - such as a portfolio for an RHS Botanical Art Show if you are in love with your subject matter.
TIP: Being a grower helps a lot!
Recommended by Simon Williams Nepenthes
Simon Williams told me he has been growing carniverous plants since he was 16 - and loves them. He's invested in heated greenhouses. The advantages of being a grower are that you get to see your plants through a complete life cycle and can watch them through every season.
TIP: Keep a sketchbook
sThis is the third of my three book reviews this week. It contains:
Botanical Painting is the latest in the series of books written by Margaret Stevens, past president of the Society of Botanical Artists.
When The Art of Botanical Painting by Margaret Stevens (with the SBA) was published in 2004 it became the standard text for the Distance Learning Diploma Course pioneered by the Society of Botanical Artists - and sold a LOT of copies - and not just to DLDC students!
I initially thought that Botanical Painting by Margaret Stevens (with the SBA) - published by Batsford on 2 August 2018 - was going to be a revamped and revised edition of the first book. That's because:
In this new book the Society of Botanical Artists provides a comprehensive guide to the different styles and methods of botanical painting, harvesting the talent of both Members and Distance Learning Diploma Course students around the world, past and present. Botanical Painting features techniques and materials for all levels and demonstrates how these skills can be used to develop your own expertise
However, I regret to say that, in my view, this book does NOT replace 'The Art of Botanical Painting' which in my opinion remains the better book for instruction.
If limited funds mean you have to choose between the two, I'd recommend you buy the first book rather than the latest publication. It'll also cost you less!
Let me explain why...
I've created a new section on my website Botanical Art and Artists for information about and recommendations of Art Materials used by Botanical Artists and Illustrators. The aim is to
Many of you will be aware that I've been steadily compiling tips, techniques and recommendations about the use of art media, materials and equipment for botanical art and illustration. If not, take a look for example at:
I've got a number of NEW PAGES to develop in this section.
One of the ones I'd like to develop first is a new page about Favourite Art Materials - the ones people openly recommend. The new page will cover both favourite art supplies and favoured art materials suppliers - to the extend that these have been independently identified by botanical artists and illustrators on their own sites.
What I'm now trying to do is identify all those webpages and/or blog posts created by reputable botanical artists that provide information about
I've highlighted some examples below.
Highlight favourite art supplies.
For example a post which provides a compendium of recommendations is
Others highlight one specific type of art material, the options available and what they've noticed about them. This includes products where you really like them right up until the point at which they need to be misplaced (often relating to comments on brushes)
While others provide information on the tests they've done on different options eg for paper
Nominate favoured suppliers.
Others will highlight the art supplier they favour as being reliable and stocking good quality products.
If you have a recommendation
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This review of the exhibition - which includes images of the paintings and some of the artists - should have been written a very long time ago. The reason why this hasn't happened is explained at the end.
I've written two previous posts about Tradescant's Orchard Exhibition at the Garden Museum exhibition which are:
Below are photos of the exhibition - and of some of the artists with their paintings at the Private View - held on the evening of 13th June 2017 - organised as follows
The Tradescant's Orchard
Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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