The Botanical Illustration is a real step up in the intensity in the Society of Botanical Artists DLDC. The artwork should reflect an accurate representation of the subject - size, shape, form, botanical structures, plant anatomy - and yet still be aesthetically pleasing in the form of a finished piece.
|Testing greens ... a tricky leaf|
After transferring the final composition onto watercolour paper, I did quite a few washes and colour testing to get the colour as true as possible. I used Quinacridone Coral and Permanent Rose on the upper bracts, bringing in a little Transparent Yellow in the warmer tones and Neutral Tint in the shadows. The leaves were a combination of Cadmium Lemon, Cerulean, French Ultramarine and Neutral Tint.
|First washes going on|
A new way of working this time was to bring in the first washes on the leaves well before the flower was completed ... it helped to give a better overall perspective of what was needed. As I built the layers of colour I also brought in the stem and started to refine the detail ...
|Starting graphite dissection illustration|
|Longitudinal flower head dissection|
Working very carefully after ensuring measurements are accurate and finer detail are included. I really enjoyed this part of the artwork, it was a nice relief to have more control over the pencil work rather than the watercolour washes and detail. I probably started the graphite work too early as I still had to work over the top of it to complete the painting.
|The graphite illustrations|
|Botanical illustration - watercolour and graphite|
Very happy to finish this one ... this is so much more than just a painting to me ... and I look forward to completing more botanical illustrations in the future ...
Protea neriifolia x P. susannae 'Pink Ice'
All images © Vicki Lee Johnston
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