|Title: Botanical Sketchbook|
|Synopsis: This book will provide inspiration to all those who aspire to become botanical artists. It is a record of one woman's development into a successful botanical artist. As part of the Distance Learning Diploma Course run by the Society of Botanical Artists, students are required to keep a sketchbook. The one kept by Mary Ann Scott was exceptional and prompted the idea for this book. Her book covers the exercises, colour charts and basic preparatory work for each assignment, plus the three works for her final portfolio.|
|Summary review: This book provides a masterclass for all aspiring botanical artists and is highly recommended. It will become an essential buy for all students of the Society of Botanical Artist's Diploma in Botanical illustration. It's also a recommended buy for all other aspiring botanical art students and artists and many of their tutors. It provides an excellent benchmark for the standard of botanical illustration and painting which can be achieved by an exceptional student. It also tells the story of how such excellence can be developed - through much practice and intelligent use of the botanical sketchbook.|
Read an interview with the author of Botanical Sketchbook - A Making A Mark Interview with Mary Ann Scott
|Who should buy this?:|
|Who should not buy this?|
|Author / (Publisher) Mary Ann Scott with Margaret Stevens (in association woith the Society of Botanical Artists) / Batsford - Anova Books|
Technical data: Publication Date: April 2010
Hardcover (with dust jacket) - 128 pages;
I was told the story of how this book came about by Margaret Stevens, the President of the Society of Botanical Artists last year at the Annual Exhibition when we were talking about the work of the artists studying for the the Distance Learning Diploma Course in Botanical Illustration (see A Making A Mark Interview with Margaret Stevens). I've been really keen to see it ever since.
In brief, the assignments and sketchbook of one student from the January 2006 intake impressed a lot of the tutors and it was felt that this could work well as a book and a learning tool for all students of botanical illustration.
Tomorrow I'm going to be including an interview with Mary Ann Scott, the student and now author of this book, as a post on Making A Mark - so will focus in this post on the book itself rather than how it came about. Mary Ann received a Diploma with Distinction on the Distance Learning Course run by the Society of Botanical Artists and became a full member in 2009.
The book is a form of journal of the efforts of one Student completing assignments for the Society of Botanical Artists' Diploma in Botanical Illustration. In my view this book is very definitely a "MUST BUY" for every Diploma student AND every individual contemplating doing the Diploma. This is because it contains:
- a record of every single assignment
- Mary Ann Scott's account of how she tackled each assignment - including all her sketchbook preparation in terms of studies and working drawings plus the final work submitted for the assignment
- comments from Margaret Stevens - introducing the nature and purpose of each assignment and commenting on the feedback Mary Ann received for each assignment
- The Art of Botanical Painting (highly recommended Read my detailed review - Book Review: The Art of Botanical Painting) which is the main textbook used for the Diploma Course and
- The Botanical Palette: Colour for the Botanical Painter - see my review in The Botanical Palette: Colour for the Botanical Painter
Most botanical art students will be familiar with the notions that to achieve an excellent standard in botanical art, it's essential to acquire knowledge (about botany and how to draw and paint) and develop various competences in the skills required.
What might be less apparent to some are the qualities of character which are also critical and thse are also highlighted in this book. Qualities of patience, discipline and application to practising and a willngness to explore and experiement are vitally important. An acceptance that not everything turns out right first time and the fortitude to be be willing to pick yourself up and try again are also very helpful.
I particularly loved all the experiements with colour in the margins of the sketchbook and all the careful annotations as to which colours have been used.
What's hugely valuable is the analysis of all the ways in which a student can get lost in and distracted by a plant while attempting to draw its structure - and the need to develop strategies to deal with this
I also found Margaret's comments to be very helpful. The emphasis on the importance of using a sketchbook and the need to get a good grounding in the basics before proceeding to what I always think of as 'the flowery bit' is invaluable to all those looking for quick results.
I also enjoyed seeing how Mary Ann approached the task of composing her work on the page for the assignments where skills in composition all counted for marks awarded.
I think all watercolour artists will enjoy Mary Ann's constant attention to how to get the colour right and her colour mixes which are found throughout the book - annotated with her code for the product names (which can be found in the appendix) along with notes of her favourite colours.
This book is a perfect complement for the two books previously produced in association with the Society of Botanical artists and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me.
Links: Amazon - Botanical Sketchbook by Mary Ann Scott
Note: This book was sent to me to review by the author/publisher
Learn about the best botanical art and botanical illustration books. Includes reviews of
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