15 July 2022


BC Paperback

216x292 mm



128 pages

Search Press

The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration (paperback edition)

by Christabel King

 'This is botanical illustration at the highest level.'  The Artist

Christabel King is the foremost botanical artist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, world leaders in the study and preservation of plant species.

Here she shares her passion for depicting plants, both in scientific illustrations and in looser botanical art.

This inspiring guide covers everything you need to know: choose a subject and create a vibrant composition; accurately sketch, shade and colour leaves, flowers, cacti and more; finally, press and preserve your own treasured specimens. A chapter on travel drawing gives a flavour of the author's worldwide experience, and there are many of her beautiful plates from the prestigious Curtis's Botanical Magazine. There is a helpful section on suitable subjects for beginners and a glossary of terms, to get you started in the beautiful art of botanical illustration.

Book Contents

Introduction 6
Botanical illustration 8
Materials 10
Choosing the subject 14
Choosing the technique 16
Your work space 18
Drawing from life 20
Composition 22
Light and shade 24
Sketching and drawing 26
Magnification 30
Transferring the drawing 34
Using a shading guide 36
Watercolour 38
Gouache 42
Pen and ink 46
Correcting mistakes 48
Leaves 50
Flowers 60
Using a microscope 78
Preserving specimens 80
Working from pressed specimens 82
Cacti and succulents 84
Wild flowers 92
Travel drawings 98
Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 104
Trees 120
Advice for beginners 123
Botanical glossary 124
Artistic glossary 125
Index 126
Bibliography 128

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