The second piece I painted for the Society of Botanical Artists Diploma Portfolio was a mixed floral piece. At the time all the spring bulbs were emerging in my Mum’s garden, and so my choosing my subject was an easy … Continue reading
Assignment 10 of the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma was entitled ‘Working from Photographs’. We were supposed to take our own photographs, and create a design in the form of a greetings card or poster. I do incorporate … Continue reading
Assignment 9 of the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma was entitled ‘Working in the Field’. For this assignment we were asked to find a location we liked, any natural habitat, and study, record and illustrate the species that were present. … Continue reading
I recently completed 2 cherry blossom paintings, which I painted specifically for the Society of Floral Painters Oxmarket Exhibition. As much as I am enjoying my paintings for the SBA diploma, I really loved painting something completely different, for the … Continue reading
Assignment 4 was a fun assignment, the first opportunity to use a lot of colour after the first two graphite assignments and then all the greens in Assignment 3. Choosing which flowers to use was really tricky for me. I’m … Continue reading
I was really excited for Assignment 3, but for various reasons (including finishing my 4th year at University, moving house and county, and welcoming into the world 7 jackapoo puppies) I only had 2 weeks to paint, rather than 2 months. Those 2 weeks were manic, and unfortunately I couldn’t create exactly what I wanted. Here is a short photographic summary of assignment 3.
For this piece, I really struggled with the composition. A minimum of 8 leaves are required, and I wanted to avoid just plonking down (love that word) 8 leaves on a page. I wasn’t too happy with my final composition, but with time constraints it would do!
Neither of the above compositions are the final piece. It so happened that the Iris instantly found it’s place as the leaf to plan the composition around. I liked the ivy coming down from the corner as in the righthand photo. In the end I decided to keep each leaf as it grows, i.e. the Acer hanging down as it does from the tree, the ivy climbing across the page, and all the other leaves growing upwards from the ground.
I am told with compositions with multiple specimens such as this, it works best to keep the heavier components a the base of the painting. I kept this in mind, with the hellebore in the bottom right.
The Final Piece
This afternoon I went to the post office and dropped off my first assignment to be sent to Guy William Eves, a wonderful botanical artist and tutor on the SBA Diploma. It feels incredibly exciting (and intimidating!) knowing that he will be judging my work. He will also be marking Assignment 2.
In my previous posts I have described the outline drawing required for the first part of the assignment, and the stippled lily for the second part, so I will focus this post on the final part.
I chose to draw a hyacinth, and as I got into planning the composition I realised I wanted to include not just the stem and flower head but also the leaves, and also the bulb and the wonderful roots. Inevitably the piece got far too large and intricate for assignment 1… but I managed to get it finished.
I really liked the composition, and I did enjoy drawing the hyacinth, but I have to say I do find pencils much harder than watercolours (I am dying to reach for my paintbrushes). I struggle with keeping the paper crisp and clean despite all attempts to do so (my drawing board has tracing paper everywhere!)
So below are the final 3 drawings that I sent today, plus a tonal strip and a note to my tutor with a few points, particularly querying the size of my pieces.
And here they are all ready to be sent!
This was such an exciting day for me today. Although I’m feeling apprehensive now, I definitely know that I am going to be completely in my element during my year out from my studies. I can’t wait to see what I can come up with for the next assignments.
Now for a breather whist I wait for my feedback before Assignment 2. Perhaps I can start thinking about my subject choice…!
For the second part of my first assignment they ask us to use the stippling technique on a flower, stem and leaf. I’ve never stippled before, and after practicing with pencil and pen I decided that pen was much neater, much cleaner and gave a much better result!
For a new technique, I didn’t want to rush straight in to the final piece (something that I am very prone to doing!) I chose to draw a lily for the final stippled piece, so I practiced with a lily also.
Here is my first study, unfinished to show my progress: (apologies for the poor photographs)
I shall post the final stippled piece, along with my thoughts as to how it went and tips on stippling, in my next post!
I feel like I have a lot of news to share and catch up on. I’ve been accepted onto the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma: a big decision for me that has led me to take a year out of my medical studies. This started in January, lasts 27 months, and is considered a leading botanical illustration course, certainly within the UK.
I received my package with all of the information, some materials, and a name badge! A super exciting day.
Until June I am going to be balancing University with this Diploma. Assignment 1 started on January 1st 2014, and is due on the 28th February. There are 3 components: a simple line drawing (the kind that would be used prior to painting), a stippled drawing, and a full tonal pencil piece.
Here is Part 1 (this is on tracing paper, I am yet to transfer to watercolour paper):
I am really looking forward to using the blog to document my progress on this Diploma for the next 2 years or so!
I have begun a new project, 7 dried roses. I got given this bunch of lovely bright red roses from my boyfriend on returning from Africa (I had been there on a placement for 2 months). They have sat in their vase since August, drying out in the hope of creating an interesting subject!
After my practicing, practicing, practicing with the holly, I knew I wanted to do a full piece (with sufficient still practice of course, but not hours and hours!)
Below is my first attempt at the practice flower. In this case a study was essential, because I really had to look hard at the different colours and textures. The photograph of the rose above doesn’t do the dried petals any favours; the golden glow isn’t visible at all! Infact, when I look closely at the subject there is hardly any of that bright red at all – its amazing how different a photograph can appear!
Next job is to start thinking about a composition, including the other 6 stems!