Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Botanical Illustration



Tulipa species - a painting in progress

Today I am going to be painting, but here is a snap shot of the piece as I did do some work on it last week and didn't post anything. I am working from photographs a lot at the moment and I am desperate to do some painting from life*.  I'm starting to think about a painting holiday for after Christmas, it'll consist of a week off work and lots of sitting in Kew's glasshouses. There doesn't seem to be much growing out of my window at the moment so I will have to go under glass. However, there are things growing on my window sill! Cindy and Phil both have flower heads on them! I am so pleased with myself - I see this as a huge achievement as my dad can never get his orchids to flower. Sadly, Milly passed away this month after battling with baggy leaves for 10 months. I think the climate just wasn't right for her in my room.
 Phil (left) and Cindy's (right) flower buds

*In the winter I do work mainly from photographs and herbarium material. In the summer I work more from real life and use photographs towards the end of the piece to check my shadows. If I worked full time as an illustrator I'd definitely paint directly from the subject a lot more, but with a full time job I find I have to squeeze in bits of painting here and there and the process is more drawn out, by which time a lot of subject material would have gone 'over'.  This is one of the reasons why I at first tended to depict leaves and seeds more than flowers and fruit, but since completing the SBA course I have started exploring new subject matter. It's also why I used to work predominately in ink more than paint, again - something else which has changed since I completed my SBA course.


4 comments:

  1. Jess - that tulip flower is extraordinary. Seriously good. It is so vibrant and real - luminous.
    Wonderful to take a painting holiday ... I would love to work in the glasshouses at Kew - I saw a documentary on them recently.
    Hope you are well and happy Jess xxx

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    1. Thanks Vicki. Yes the idea just hit me while I was writing the blog post that I could do that for a holiday. I was thinking how I could go somewhere with a tropical climate on the cheap and realised that Kew has it's very own under glass! I am ok - baring up.

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  2. Hi Jess, I'm loving the tulip and congratulations on your inclusion in the Linnean society (and getting the orchids to reflower!).
    I'm hoping to visit Kew next year(haven't been since I was very young)but I'll have to fit it in around the job. A painting hol in Kew sounds so great, you must do it! xxx

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    1. Thanks Claire for all my congrats! Yes chuffed to bits about the Linnean Society - hopefully my official signing thing will happen on the 3rd. If you do come to Kew next year do drop me a line, it'll be fab to see you.

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