The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration


The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Search Press Ltd
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Pages: 128 Illustrations and other contents: 256 Illustrations, color Language: English ISBN: 9781800920910 Categories: , ,

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.

‘This is botanical illustration at the highest level.’ – The Artist

Weight0.75 kg


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This is not the first book to have the imprimatur of Kew, but they have high standards, so it's not only worthwhile, but hard to achieve. This is botanical illustration at the highest level. Christabel King is not just the practitioner in the field but one of those selected to work at Kew itself. This is flower painting for the purpose of identification and the results will be used and trusted by botanists the world over. Such work is not for including advice on the use of a microscope, preserving specimens and observing spots and markings. The instruction as a result, is of the highest quality. The Artist Everything you need to know about being a botanical illustrator. A lovely book if you want to know what it's 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, there's 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 Curtis's 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. -- Jill Birks * Amazon Customer Review *

Author Biography

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 over 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, UK. About the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is a world-famous scientific organization and home to two elegant gardens in the south east of England - Kew Gardens in South West London and Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, which also houses Kew's Millennium Seed Bank. Kew Gardens is a recognized World Heritage Site, with stunning glasshouses and a rich history of royal heritage interwoven with the development of modern-day plant science and sustainable development.