Botany for the Artist
by Sarah Simblet
A few weeks ago I shared The Artist’s Sketchbook by Sarah Simblet, and now I want to share her tour de force on botanical art.
Personally, I love meticulous and detailed art, the more subtle nuance to zero in on and observe, the better!!! So when a friend introduced me to this book, I immediately asked to borrow her copy, and when I returned it to her, I bought my own.
I remember the first year I owned this book, it was always on my nightstand and I would often read through it during my morning cup of tea in bed… oh, those were the days when I could slowly wake up and contemplate art in a slow and relaxed manner. Now I have to schedule time to read, often when Naomi is in preschool, or in waiting rooms and such… I am forever toting an extra bag full of art books around for those stolen moments.
But never mind all that, this is a GREAT book, and now for the details that make it so wonderful!
Sarah Simblet provides good advice on how to work with plants. How to adapt to the shifting and growing of plants while you draw them. I found this advice helpful for my floral still-life paintings as well, because when working from life and not photographs, plants do not stay static but continue to chase the light and grow. She also has advice on how to cope with the little critters that sometimes come along for the ride into your studio. There is nothing more distracting than a bunch of ants skittering all over your subject and onto your working surface…
This book is also really helpful in teaching the more scientific aspects of botany. I admit, I skimmed these parts… the drawings on these pages are still wonderful.
Her is an example of one of the drawing lessons in the book.
The break down of parts, identifying the anatomy of each plant is so full of detail and so beautifully illustrated. Another aspect I love about this book is how beautifully each page is composed, the images and text are thoughtfully organized.
And here is a close up of one of her drawings, you can click on each image to enlarge it to study it more.
This book is very well organized and covers the gamut, I love how it breaks down the subject and also how each chapter has at least one lesson on how to draw such meticulous drawings.