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Botanical Illustration from Life


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword 8
Communication through drawing 12
Plants for life 14
Past and present 16
Different approaches 18
Different techniques 21
Learn to see what you're looking at 26
Observing plants in their habitat 28
Plant selection 32
Pressing specimens 34
Searching for plants 36
Preserving plants 41
Positioning plants 42
Positioning yourself 47
Drawing from life 50
Starting to draw 53
How to draw 56
Measured drawing 61
Perspective drawing 66
Aerial perspective 72
Complex subjects 75
Let's draw plants 78
Composition 80
Ready to paint 84
Watercolour 88
Starting to paint 90
How to paint 94
Colour 98
Mixing colours 100
Colour contrast 103
Colour perspective 104
Texture 107
Sketches 108
Let's paint 112
Final touches 118
Botanical illustration is all about details 122
Exploring many different types of plant 125
Identification of species 128
Roots 131
Stems 134
Buds 140
Leaves 145
Flowers 159
Fruits and seeds 174
Finding your style 188
Finding solutions 191
Inspiration from nature 192
Inspiration from other artists 196
Akiko Enekido 198
Lizzie Sanders 199
Anne Hayes 200
Constance Sayas 201
Jacqui Pestell 202
Gustavo Surlo 203
Plant list 204

About the Author

Born in 1983 in Ankara, Turkey, Isik Guner studied Environmental Engineering at Marmara University in Istanbul. During her undergraduate course, she also began studying Botanical Illustration, attending courses by Christabel King and immediately after graduating in 2006, she began working full time as a botanical artist.
Since then, Isik has been working on various international botanical projects around the world. She is a visiting tutor for the Diploma of Botanical Illustration at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, UK,


This book is stunning, it definitely bridges the gap between botany and botanical art. There is so much to learn from this book if you are interested in drawing and painting plants and flowers.

It's beautifully illustrated, teaching you a better way of observing plants and flowers, and shows you in detail how to select the right plants and draw from life.
I have a few botanical watercolour painting books by other artists, this has to be one of the best.

With so much information in it from start to finish, it starts you on your journey of collecting specimens and understanding their structure to help with drawing them.
The artist covers how to tackle complex detail when drawing and painting plants. To adding the finishing touches that make your paintings come to life. She also teaches you how to take care of the specimens you pick, how to get a good composition and how to add texture, through to mixing the right colours of paint.
This book is beautifully illustrated and finishes with how to take inspiration from nature and other artists. I can fully recommend this book from Search Press.

-- Jill Birks * Customer review *

The author's passion for her subject is absolutely clear from the first page, the distinction between botanical art and botanical illustration is also made clear. This is the area where art meets science and the importance of the accuracy in the art work, down to the smallest details of plant anatomy is apparent throughout. The text is straight forward and the illustrations, as to be expected, are beautiful, the book follows the whole process and the information is very clearly stated.

Observation, accuracy and practice are the keys to achieving success. For anyone starting on this particular journey this book has all the information you would need. Having said it is about botanical illustration any botanical artist would benefit from the technical advice, how to observe the plant structure and the painting techniques and colour palettes. The author says that botanical illustration is about communicating information to the observer or botanist, her book is a great exercise in communicating her art and its importance to anyone who is interested in following the same path.

-- Anne Chalkley * Customer review *

The regularity with which flower painting books appear is a testament to their popularity as well as the almost infinite variety of ways in which they can be painted. Do you want the impressionism that portrays Wordsworth's daffodils, or the precise but still informal flower portrait? Do your thoughts perhaps turn to the rigid discipline of botanical illustration? If the last, how scientific do you want to be?

You might as well ask, "if not from life, how else?" and it's a reasonable question. Botanical portraits are supposed to represent a species rather than a specific example and a photograph won't give you that. Whatever your quibble, this is an original approach that teaches ways to capture details in stems, petals, leaves and fruit. It's a thorough course, with plenty of examples and demonstrations and the amount of instruction you'd consider necessary at this level. Clear and engaging, it's a delight.

* The Artist *

Isk Guner is an award-winning botanical artist, producing striking and scientifically accurate paintings of plants from around the world. Here, she demonstrates how to select, preserve and position your specimens to best effect, as well as how to paint plants directly in their natural habitat. She then demonstrates how to draw your subject, including information on perspective and aerial perspective, before moving on to paint, how to mix colour successfully, achieve contrast and create texture. Emphasis is very much on detail and in looking closely so that you understand your subject well. Specific areas of plants are explored in more detail including roots, stems, buds, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds.

* Leisure Painter *

Just about every aspect of botanical subjects is covered - I mentioned flowers, leaves and stems, but roots, fruit and seeds are here too. These, though, are only the subject matter and the technical aspects of portraying them are dealt with extensively as well. Once again, the extent is put to good use and, despite the comprehensive nature of the coverage, there's never any sense of rush, or of things being crammed in. The pages are relaxed and very user-friendly.

-- Henry Malt * Art Book Review *

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