The Art of Botanical & Bird Illustration is a guide for contemporary artists aspiring to master shape, color, and texture and render beautiful, realistic, and vibrant botanical artwork! An expert botanical artist educates you about the tools and materials traditionally used in botanical illustration, including pencils, colored pencils, watercolor, gouache, and pastels. This thorough yet easily digestible guide includes overviews of key illustration techniques and basic color theory and mixing an...
It starts with the very basics of recommended materials, their properties and how she makes use of them: from different types of paper to digital cameras and pinterest. She also uses different kinds of mediums: graphite, watercolors, gouache, pastels and colored pencils, which gives more freedom of expression depending what type of illustration we want to achieve.
This is not a 3-step DIY book for you to just follow and copy drawings, if you want instant gratification and a book that helps you create something ready in a day, if you don't want to spend the time learning, then I wouldn't recommend this book for you. If you are willing to do the work and take your time to practice, this book gives you foundations so you can choose your own subjects and create whatever nature illustration you want. It includes tips, notes and exercises that will help you polish your craft. Some of them are: graphite pencil tonal scale worksheet, color charts, brush techniques, how to photograph botanical subjects, surface contour, how to light a subject, leaf, flower and bird anatomy/ morphology (only what is relevant for achieving realistic illustrations), tonal rendering, several examples of her illustration process (with helpful images), how to achieve realism and three dimensionality, etc.
I specially liked how detailed the explanations were and how much of her own experience is shared in here. The way she uses mylar (which I didn't know about) on both sides of the page was totally new to me. I would have loved to own a book like this one when I was studying Biology, but it is never too late to start!. I think this book is a great resource if you want to create realistic nature illustrations with emphasis on plants and birds. Those who practice urban sketching or keep travel journals and include nature in their sketchbooks can also benefit from it.