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Look inside The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration (paperback edition)
VIDEO: Flipthrough - The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback
  • Publication: 15 July 2022
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781800920910
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x292 mm
  • Illustrations: 256
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £14.99
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The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration (paperback edition)


by Christabel King (Author)

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Book Description

 '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.

Table of 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

About the Author

About Christabel King

Kew's chief botanical artist, and one of Kew's elite band of practitioners, Christabel King has been working as an illustrator at Kew for 40 years. In 1975 she began painting for their prestigious Curtis's Botanical Magazine (the longest-running botanical magazine - first edition 1787), after achieving a degree in botany and scientific illustration. She runs successful workshops and courses at Kew and is highly skilled and acclaimed for her work. Christabel lives in Twickenham, Middlesex.



Crafts Beautiful

If, like us, your first port of call for crafty inspiration is nature, you might want to listen up! Who better to take horticultural art tips from the person behind some of Kew Garden's most iconic botanical illustrations? Christabel King's The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration is a comprehensive guide on all things plants. Learn everything from drawing techniques to pressing and preserving your own treasured blooms. Whether you're a budding artist looking for inspiration or a plant lover who just wants to admire great art, this brilliant book is a must-read.

Leisure Painter

Originally published in hardback in 2015, Christabel King's popular book, The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration, is now available in paperback. Christabel is the foremost botanical artist at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, and her beautifully illustrated book shares her working methods, producing both scientifically accurate representations of flowers as well as flowers in a looser botanical style. There's plenty of practical advice here, such as how to use how to preserve your specimens, and suitable subjects for beginners.

Amazon Customer Review

While the book contains some background information relating to botanical illustration and art its main purpose is to provide excellent, no nonsense information in relation to materials, process and techniques. The explanation of these is clear and supported by drawings. There are numerous beautiful illustrations of a huge variety of plants clearly showing the skill and expertise of the author. I found this book to be very readable and inspirational and it will provide useful information for many years to come.

Amazon Customer Review

Everything you need to know about being a botanical illustrator.

A lovely book if you want to know what its like to be a botanical illustrator, and learn some of their techniques. The colour chart gives information on why Christabel King uses the colours she does, theres information on equipment used, including proportional dividers which I brought for myself after reading this book, they are very useful if you want to resize a drawing.

The drawing illustrations in this book are beautiful and well done. The book tells of the history of Curtiss Botanical magazine with some beautiful illustrations from the magazines. It also includes what you need to know about collecting and preserving plant specimens. I would recommend this book if you are interested in how botanical artists work at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

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