If you love plants as much as I do and need just the right inspiration to start painting them, this is the book for you!
I must say that this is not a “beginner’s how to…” This is a source of inspiration, a guide on finding your own voice in botanical art, a new perspective on color mixing, a new way to see the natural beauty of plants with all their perfect imperfections. A book that was based on a sketchbook becomes a true insight into a mind of an artist, who is learning by observing nature and paying closest attention to what is there, but hard to see at first. We learn and improve with an artist, we read the remarks left by her instructor and figure out the new ways to show the natural beauty of plants.
“Botanical Sketchbook: A guide and inspiration for any botanical artist” by Mary Ann Scott
Mary Ann Scott is a self-driven artist learning from every opportunity she could find, from numerous botanical painting classes to continuous practice in her very own garden. As I mentioned before, This book is based upon her sketchbook that she practiced in while taking the Distance Learning Diploma course run by the Society of Botanical Artists. All of the teacher’s remarks are included in this book, helping you develop a critical approach to viewing someone’s work as well as shaping your own artistic vision. You will see how Mary Ann Scott learns from these remarks and every next chapter becomes a new learning curve for her and all of the readers.
Needless to say, the imagery in this book is outstanding. The vibrancy is true to life with high quality color illustrations. You will see all of the artist’s notes, color tests and remarks on what worked and what didn’t. She kept all of the color swatches with exact color names on the sides so you can easily see how that particular color mix was achieved.
This book covers all aspects of botanical drawing in the order one would approach the learning process. Starting from leaves, then moving on to flowers, fruits, individual studies and leading to more complex botanical illustrations.
I learned to see the details in a new way. Breaking down the structure in to its main components without forgetting to see it as a whole. I also learned to pick the focus points, the main features of a particular plant and how to emphasize that to create a more compelling composition because painting a variety of flowers in one illustration could easily create a chaos. But Mary Ann’s notes guide you through such decision making process creating a very inviting and intuitive natural learning environment. And if that wasn’t enough, in the end she gives all of her secrets away in a tree-page color mixing chart that shows all of the beautiful variety of colors that could be created from most popular paints you already have in your drawer.
“Botanical Sketchbook: A guide and inspiration for any botanical artist” by Mary Ann Scott.
I hope you find this review very useful and inspiring. I highly encourage giving this book a try if you are interested in stepping up your botanical painting game.
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