Botanical Illustration

I would absolutely love, love, love to be able to paint my fruit and vegetables like this. This is a painting by Susan Hillier, a very successful botanical illustrator who has worked for British Rail and holds exhibitions of her work regularly.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be that good but I’d like to have a go at just recording some of the produce that I grow, if nothing else. It looks like fun!

I remember when I did Art A Level at college and while everyone else was doing abstract paintings in a Georges Braque style I was hunched quietly in a corner doing a watercolour of a beefsteak Tomato. Ha ha! I was a strange child.

Anyway, the nerd in me wants out. Enthusiasm I have. But I’m currently looking into doing a course to get me pointed in the right direction regarding skills. Anyone have any experience of botanical illustration? Tips, links?

5 Comments on “Botanical Illustration

  1. Have a look at what Whitehall Garden Centre has on offer/is planning. They often have botanical illustration day courses and they’re very popular.

  2. Gorgeous picture!

    I know the English Gardening School ran a botanical illustration course – presume they still do. I would think they also do some shorter ones.

  3. I go to botanical illustration classes. It is primarily watercolour. True botanical illustration is very scientific, lots of measuring etc. I have tried that and it is very nerdy. The class I go to is more relaxed, our tutor says we should be able to tell by eye if something is right and he illustrates books so he should know what he is talking about. Then there is floral art which is much looser and doesnt necessarily have to be very representative. I would try a day class to start with to see if it is for you – I went to one and some people didnt come back after lunch!!!

  4. I am going to give this a go. – Beautiful subject too. I might try cauliflour though instead.
    Did you have a chance to have a go yourself? Make sure you post your efforts!

  5. Wow. That painting is amazing. I actually thought ut was a photo!! Good luck with your new project.