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Old 08-01-2007, 02:57 PM
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Lady Carol Lady Carol is offline
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Arrow Forum Guidelines and Resource index

Welcome to the Florals/Botanical forum!
In this forum you may post floral works of all kinds, still lifes that are primarily floral, floral art which has other associated elements such as pollinators, and botanical/vegetation art of all types. All mediums are welcome. You may cross-post any image that has been posted in one other forum on WC!

When posting a piece of work, please try to give some information about it - medium, size, support and anything else you feel is relevant. If you want a critique, please request it e.g. C&C appreciated, comments and critiques welcome, etc.

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Guidelines were compiled primarily by bayoudragon, with help from Charlie's Mum and Lady Carol.

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Moderator Acrylic Forum Floral/Botanical Forum Drawing and Sketching Forum Reference Image Library
"Mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence" - Time Bandits
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My RIL Photos Discoveries With Color My Photos

Last edited by Charlie's Mum : 01-29-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:26 PM
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bayoudragon bayoudragon is offline
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Florals/Botanical Forum: Resources Index.

Welcome to the Florals/Botanical Forum's Index! Below you will find links to useful information and inspiration! If you have an addition you would like to add to this wonderful resource, please bring it to the attention of a member of the Team.

Reference Image Library
Flowers, Plants and Trees
Macdragon's Spring Flowers - until RIL uploader is fixed.
Madragon's Summer Flowers
Macragon's Rose Frenzy
Macdragon's Australian Flowers thread
More from macdragon including cannas and orchids.
Heirloom Vases for reference, by Catjoe

Floral projects in the Art Project System
White Flowers
Tree Portraits
Sunflowers en Plein Air
Detailed Floral Miniature
Close Focus Leaves
The Patterns of Nature
Floral Florigenium
Roses and other Flowers
Flowers and Leaves
Phabulous Phalenopsises
Choose a Flower

Great Books for Botanical Artists
Art of Botanical Illustration - by Wilfrid Blunt
The Art of Botanical Painting - by Margaret Stevens
Botanical Illustration Course - by Meriel Thurstan and Rosie Martin
Beautiful Botanicals: Painting and Drawing Flowers and Plants - by Bente Starcke King
Botanical Illustration: Painting with Watercolours - by Siriol Sherlock
How to Draw Plants: The Techniques of Botanical Illustration - by Keith West
The Art of Flowers: A Celebration of Botanical Illustration, its Masters and Methods - by Jack Kramer
The Botanical Palette: Colour for the Botanical Painter - by Society for Botanical Artists
Some How To books

Keys To Painting Fruit and Flowers edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf. It has information from 16 artists and covers watercolor, oils, pastels, color pencil and acrylics. It includes tips on floral anatomy, composition and drawing. 1-58180-003-7, North Light Books.

Painting Close-Focus Flowers in Watercolor by Ann Pember. Focuses on creating dramatic macro florals and includes step-by-step instructions: also included are tips on photographing flowers for references and color mixing.
Published by Northern Light Books. ISBN 0-89134-947-2

"A Passion for Plants" by Shirley Sherwood, ISBN 0-30436-166-6 and
"Contemporary Botanical Artists" also by Shirley Sherwood. ISBN0-297-83600-5.
These are not books of instruction but are images of the paintings/drawings in her collection. Her collection is considered to be the finest group of contemporary botanical images in the world.

Watercolor Flower Portraits by Billy Showel, ISBN1-84448-066-6, Search Press - this book focuses on botanical illustration with step by step instructions with corresponding photographs

The Watercolour Artist's Flower Handbook by Patricia Seligman, ISBN 0-88762-157-0, Thomas Allen Publishers - this book has a broader scope and covers both floral and formal botanical illustration; lots of reading and lots of ideas

If you feel that a book should be listed here, please PM the Moderators or Guides.

Botanical Societies
Botanical Art Society of Australia
Botanical Society of America
Botanical Artists of Canada
Botanical Society of South Africa
Botanical Society of the British Isles
Society of Botanical Artists
Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands
Botanical Society of Japan
Pakistan Botanical Society
Royal Horticulturalist Society

If you do not see a society that you would like to be listed, please PM the Moderators or Guides.

On-line Resouces:

Flowers of India.
Weeds and Wildflowers... and new site - Wildplants and Critters by Sue, (Moccasin)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/botanicalart International forum dedicated to the realistic portrayal of plants, flowers and natural science subjects.

Botanical Artists
Margaret Saul
Wendy Hollender
Anna Knights
Marilyn Bass
Heidi Willis

Watercolour Rose
http://www.how-to-draw-and-paint.com...on-videos.html (Bob Davies website - including Rose Tutorial)

Photographing Flowers
Tips and Tricks

Useable Photo sites
Free Flower Photos
They authorise non-commercial use of these images and particularly encourage their use for educational purposes.

Image bank
Photos of flowers, Landscape Photography
This service is a bank of photos. You may purchase any amount of photographs in formats that are appropriate for using them in printing and on Internet web sites.

If using these sites, please check that the refs. are indeed available for use in artwork for sale.

Last edited by Charlie's Mum : 03-07-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:11 AM
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Sandy1 Sandy1 is offline
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Information about Botanical Painting and Drawing

This is an abbreviated copy of the original thread, edited to keep available the information about the rules and requirements of Botanical Illustration - with many thanks to Karen, below. (Charlie's Mum).

Hi there:
Here is another painting I have done in my series of six florals.
Reference photo thanks to lisilk who is an amazing photographer. Check out her reference photos.
8 x 10 on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper
Winsor Newton Watercolour paint

All comments welcome, I love botanicals but I don't know all the rules that apply so any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Charlie's Mum : 10-27-2007 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-11-2007, 09:12 AM
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Sandy1 Sandy1 is offline
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Here are some close ups
Attached Images
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:18 PM
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Botartist Botartist is offline
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Hi Sandy, my name is Karen and I am a botanical watercolor artist and teacher. You mentioned that you did not know the rules of botanical art. Basically, it is "absolute accuracy in form, colour and texture." Depending on the botanical society you might belong to, all the other rules vary. Most agree that the plant cannot be in any container - it must be surrounded by blank space or it must be "in situ" meaning it must be shown as it grows in its natural/native habitat. Many groups do not allow insects, etc. unless they are the specific pollinators of the plant depicted. The other thing you might want to know is that most botanical artists paint from real life not photographs. This is especially true when submitting art for juried shows. Many judges can immediately spot a painting done from a photograph. If you would like more information, contact me. Don't hesitate to ask for help, either. I usually check my email daily. I am away next week however.

Good painting. Keep it up.

Karen Taylor
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:53 PM
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Green Ink Green Ink is offline
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Karen,I'm glad you posted that about the rules of botanical art. I admire greatly those who do it or have done it in the past and I'd like to try myself,tho I can't paint at all. Not too bad with coloured pencils tho,but how about pencil only,is that acceptable?
"An artist must have the freedom to create"
Edward Weston
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Old 10-19-2007, 06:09 PM
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Botartist Botartist is offline
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Hi, Green Ink. Yes pencil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic - what ever you like. Most botanical illustration is done in pencil or waterbased media like watercolor and gouache. Many of the traditional illustrators do the illustration in pencil and perhaps only one flower in colour.

If you want to see the best contemporary botanical images in the world, look up Shirley Sherwood's books: A Passion for Plants isbn 0-30436-166-6 ; Contemporary Botanical Artists ISBN 0-297-83600-5.The first book has some wonderful pencil drawing by Mariko Imai.

The best advice I can give to any botancal artist is to learn to see. Not paint what they think is there but to really look at the plant. To begin try drawing from life - that way you can really examine the plant from all sides and understand how it is put together. This is a great help when you down to the actual drawing.

Good luck. If you need help or more info, don't hesitate to contact me.

Karen Taylor
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Mar.ilyn Mar.ilyn is offline
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Hi Karen,
This is wonderful information. Can you tell me what clues a judge uses to spot a painting done from a photograph?


Last edited by Charlie's Mum : 10-27-2007 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:01 PM
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Botartist Botartist is offline
Richmond Hill, Ontario (near Toronto, Canada)
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Re: Monarch on Echinacea

Hi Sandy and Marilyn, Many judges can tell if something is drawn from a photograph in several ways. When a camera takes a photo, it captures only one distance in perfect focus. Anything behind it begins to blur - the farther away, the more blurred it becomes. The human eye captures all distances in focus (barring someone not wearing their glasses. When a person paints from a photo, the area in focus can be depicted with great accuracy and detail yet as you move farther into the painting, the detail diminishes. If you work from life, all parts of the plant will be very accurate and detailed. Also, the camera can fool you - for example, you might think that a certain leaf is attached to the stem you are painting. In reality, that leaf belongs to another stem. If you work from life, you can't be fooled as you can examine the plant, with a magnifying glass if necessary, to understand fully the plant's construction. As well, a photograph is flat - many artists can make their painting look three-dimensional but few can do it as well as a painting from real life. The last clue is colour. Botanical illustrations must be absolutely accurate in colour. If for example, the green foliage is a shade too gray, a botanist might assume that the plant is suffering from disease. Good judges know their plants inside and out and can spot an inaccurate colour from miles away. Thus, if you paint from photographs and it has not been checked for colour correctness, you can be off by a mile. Have you ever seen a photo with a paper bar with coloured boxes/stripes on it? These coloured strips are standardized so that when it is developed/printed, the colour in the photo can be checked against an actual test strip in hand. As I have said before, painting test colours on scrap w/c paper against the actual plant is your best insurance in getting a very accurate colour for your painting. Hope this helps. Happy painting!


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