8/2/2013 | Education, Fan Art

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Lizzie Harper: Botanical Illustration Step By Step – Painting A Sweet Pea

Original post was written by Lizzie Harper of Natural History Illustration.

“I’m currently working on a series of sketchbook style illustrations of common cultivated garden plants; there’s a possibility these will illustrate a book on foraging in the garden in the next year or so.

One of the plants needing illustrating was the sweet pea. While visiting a friend, I espied her sweet peas, and immediately begged some of the dark purple and bright red-pink ones from her. I ended up with an enormous bunch of flowers as well (thanks to Layla who runs The Majestic Bus, a wonderful converted bus where you can stay, in the gorgeous hills near us in Hay); but the sweet peas went straight into the fridge to stay fresh until I could draw them the next day.

If you put cut plants into a closed plastic bag in the fridge, with a paper towel wet with water, it really extends their lives and keeps them fresh for illustrating. Plants, paper and pencil ready, and most important of all, the cup of tea. Good to go.

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The first step is to draw the plant in pencil (I use pentel P205 mechanical pencils). Keeping the line crisp and simple helps avoid mess when you work into the illustration with watercolour.”

To read the full tutorial click here!

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