The Art of Botanical & Bird Illustration by Mindy Lighthipe is a wonderful starting place for a beginner artist looking to understand the mediums, approach and details of how to create botanical art. For me, I had a lot of the first half of the book in my head already but it was a great reminder of the age old principles I had been taught. The second half really hits it’s stride on the detailed botanical side of drawing. I am an impressionist by nature and the extraordinary amount of patience, set-up and attention to detail required to create these kinds of work has always put me off. I love admiring it though, it’s so intricate. The book illuminates on all the little things one wouldn’t think of which will make a huge impact on the final piece. Despite my impatience, I intend to give this a go as soon as my CRPS allows, the author has instilled in me a “can-do” attitude and broken the process down enough that it feels manageable. It’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.

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From the back cover:

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 and is loaded with exercises designed to help you learn to see shape, value, and form. By learning to understand plant life and anatomy, you can craft elegant flowers, leaves, trees, and much more in no time!

To bring it all together, The Art of Botanical & Bird Illustration includes step-by-step demonstrations to follow along with as you practice taking sketches and transforming them into fully rendered, colorful pieces of fine art.

With thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster for the advance copy.

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