Memaparkan catatan dengan label botanical. Papar semua catatan
Memaparkan catatan dengan label botanical. Papar semua catatan

Ahad, 16 September 2018

World of Arts: Botanical Arts

Botanical paintings helps to recognize species of plant. Photo by: Işık Güner 

Perhaps one of the most popular form of arts. Not as popular as portrait paintings, but plays important roles in human advancement in scientific studies and medicine. Same at any other form of arts, botanical paintings evolved from thousand years ago. Anyway, they play different roles with the advancement of technologies. Today, we have better ways to record botanical specimen, and at the same time the botanical arts helps to deliver what the modern technology cannot do.

Botanical arts or paintings were used in order to recognize types of plants that can be used for medical purposes, or plants with commercial values such as herbs and spices. When the botanical knowledge getting larger, the botanical paintings/illustration helps to segregate plants into their family and species that also helped human to develop new crops that produce more yields or immune to some diseases.

Botanical paintings make plants, recording into work of arts. Photo by: Julia Trickey

Anna Mason one of the best botanical painters. Photo by: Anna Mason

Today, botanical artist can choose to fulfil all of these purposes. They have a broad range of purposes in delivering their arts. They can do botanical illustrator with high accuracy details, in order to help botanist to recognize plant species for recording purposes. They also can do botanical art to show their subject’s aesthetic value. This type of art is the best to medium as an introduction to those who never get exposed to botanical illustration or botanical art before. The last approach that artist can do is through flower painting, without accuracy. This creative approach just as any other painting by representing plants just by artist creativity and imagination.

No matter which types of approaches that you are working on, botanical art is one of the best ways to preserve the plant specimen. Today, botanical artists can produce higher accuracy illustration and arts with the use of higher quality materials. The artist’s hard work, then share for many other viewers, through publication and exhibition. This beautiful result not only works educational medium, but also as piece of art at the same time.

Botanical paintings sometimes included insects and other animals. Photo by: Angela Leck
Another wonderful botanical painter, Heidi Willis. Photo by: Heidi Willis

There are many botanical artists out there that sharing their knowledge through free and paid courses. You don’t have to be as good as the professional botanical artist to help recording the backyard’s specimens - just follow few important keys to make sure you are doing it right.

We will see some of the botanical artists that we can learn from their YouTube channel. Other than that, we also can learn from books or DVD’s we can buy through online. Visit the exhibition is another good practice to learn from other artist works. We will improve faster when learning from those who already mastered the fields.

Hopefully botanical arts will grows among all of us in order to collect botanical data from all over the world. Because plants change so fast (produce new species), without proper record, we might lose many important plants that important to our survival. Enjoy the nature, embrace their beauty.

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Isnin, 9 Julai 2018

World of Arts: Watercolour Painting

Great Exhibition - watercolour painting by LOUIS HAGHE (1806-85), by the time photography is still under development. - Photo by: 

It’s taking a while for me to work on my London visit’s articles and delay many other posts (for V&A and British Museum). Anyway, before I post the next article about Victoria & Albert Museum, I would like to come out with this article first - the watercolour paintings.

Many thoughts that watercolour painting not as good or as pricey as many other paintings especially oils or acrylic paintings. Not to mention about the watercolour techniques that highlighted, mostly showing that watercolour paintings unable to produce photo realistic effect (instead just an illusion of the subjects). In fact, watercolour paintings has been used to record many discoveries/events since long time ago, and I think it’s time again to bring back the watercolour painting to its glory.

Watercolour whether on its own, or use together with other media can really come out with better results. In some cases mixed media were chosen for a few reasons; to speed up the process, to bring out certain effect that cannot be achieved by using only watercolours. There’s no wrong in using the mixed media as long as it’s not ruining the result – or the painting still can last longer for future storage.

Great Exhibition – watercolour and gouache over pencil on paper, John Absolon (1815-95). – Photo by:

Botanical painting helps the identification of plant species, and also beautiful. Painted by Julia Trickey - Photo by:

By using the right watercolour techniques, it’s still possible to show every detail in watercolour painting, especially on how important it is in recording information. Here we will see some samples of watercolour paintings that used to record botanical species of plants and also a painting to record an important event.

Types of watercolour paintings.

Watercolour has various techniques that allow it to produce different results. However, before we get more details on the watercolour techniques, we also need to know there are many types of watercolours. There are few types of watercolour itself (from student grades to artist grades). Other than that, beginner also might get confuse watercolour with gouache and also poster colour. One thing to remember is that watercolour has transparent quality that make it different from any other colouring media.

The good quality watercolour has better transparency and the same time have brighter colour from the colour pigments. Some artist grade watercolour can be very costly - so take your time to practice to make sure before investing on higher price watercolour.

These are some popular watercolour techniques to learn;

  • The wash
  • Wet on wet
  • Wet on dry
  • Dry brush
  • Glazing
  • Lifting off
  • Pigment saturation, pigment desaturation
  • Gloss
  • Mixed media

* Check this link for more watercolour techniques.

You will keep listening these techniques being mentioned when you learn the watercolour techniques through video tutorials. It’s easy to understand, but you need to try it by yourself to master the techniques. Usually one or few of the techniques used together to produce on paintings. We will see that in the next section.

Learn to use watercolour.

As many people think that watercolour is one of the hardest media to use for paintings, so we need to have proper training in mastering the watercolour techniques. Luckily, with the availability of YouTube, many watercolour artists share their techniques through video tutorials that make it easier for us to learn. So here, I will share few watercolour artists that I found through YouTube where we can learn so many things from them.

Before we go any further, all we need to remember is, there’s no limitation on the techniques that we should use with watercolour. So we need to explore as much as we can to know which one is suitable with our drawing styles.

Anna Mason

Anna Mason’s painting of apple blossom. Photo by: Anna Mason

Anna Mason from AnnaMasonArt is one of the best examples of watercolour painter. She wonderfully transforms watercolour painting back to how it was used to be. Anna, successfully producing photorealistic paintings with watercolour. Even though mostly focusing on nature, her paintings are so beautiful and lively – make her customers very proud to have her paintings (prints and the originals).

The best thing about Anna is, she also provided free video tutorials through her website;, and it’s available to everyone. With Anna’s techniques, it is suitable if you like to paint the nature subjects. This is very important for natural and history paintings.

Mateusz Urbanowicz

Anime style watercolour painting by Mateusz Urbanowicz. - Photo by: Mateusz Urbanowicz

Mateusz is a comic painter located in Japan. He uses lots of watercolours in his paintings. Influenced by Studio Ghibli’s styles of paintings, Mateusz also paints backgrounds for animations, books and magazines. With his styles, we learn different techniques that using watercolours, mixed with black ink pen. You can watch most of his videos from his channel MateuszUrbanowicz on YouTube.

This type of paintings suitable if you want to produce comic style paintings, but it’s still nice for landscape and informational brochures. Mateusz also produced a book that illustrated of storefronts in Tokyo with his techniques – that’s I find amazing.


Digital anime styles using watercolour by Laovaan. - Photo by: Laovaan

Laovaan is a stylist watercolour painter. He uses mixed media with contemporary subjects. You will see his painting with bright colours because he used ink watercolours mixed, and sometimes also colour pencils and marker pens. He is popular with his digital style watercolour paintings with manga character styles – this is so popular with manga lovers. You can follow his videos through YouTube channel; Laovaan. He also has his own patreon channel if you want to follow his styles seriously.

Stan Miller

Landscape by Stan Miller using egg tempera technique. – Photo by: Stan Miller

Stan Miller is one of the popular painters in watercolour and egg tempera medium. Instead of just doing a painting he also conducted classes throughout US and sometimes overseas. His art not focusing on to be photo-realistic, but truly amazing to watch. To know more about his techniques you can visit his YouTube channel; Stan Miller, visit his website; or search his name on the YouTube – because there are videos about his work on different channels too.

There are many other amazing watercolour painters out there where we can learn. Learning from different painters will allow us to explore as many possibilities as we can, to come out with styles that suits us. Even though we want to create the best art with our works, don’t forget the most important elements doing it - enjoy it! Sharing your works and your thoughts on the comment section below or send it to my email using the contact form (available on web version view).

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Ahad, 11 Disember 2016

Terrarium Suitable For Ornamental And Education

Terrarium best as decoration and good as educational material.
Terrarium usually made from small container (clear/glass materials) that will allow light get through it. The container can be open or closed and small opening to allow care for the plants grows inside it. Even though terrarium is very beautiful as ornamental it is also very important for education to understand more about plants growing process and behavior.

Construction of the first terrarium is produced inadvertently by botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward in 1842. He made observations of insects and the insects left the flask unattended. As a result, spores contained in the flask grow and produce terrarium. This later became a favorite at the time (Victorian Era) among the British people. But at first it was not known as terrarium but as 'Wardian Case'.

This finding was used by Ward to send the plants from England to Australia by building a bigger 'Wardian Case'. Even after traveling for months at sea, the plants were found to be in good conditions. The same method was also used to bring plants from Australia (Sydney) to England (London). This method proves that plants can be stored in a sealed container without ventilation and are capable of living.

Terrarium more popular for decoration.
Closed terrarium provides moist environment for the plants in it.
Among the plants that are suitable for terrarium.

Even so, before you build your terrarium, there are few things that you need to pay attention. This because you need to think about a few important factors to allow the plant stored in your terrarium can produce enough cycle for itself to continue its life. In fact, several other factors should also be considered before producing the terrarium; container size, container type, species of plants, location of the terrarium, the amount of moisture, the plant material (soil, sand, stone, fiber, etc.) and the budget of the terrarium - if you planning is right, your terrarium may endure for a very long time.

Closed Terrarium

Closed terrarium suitable for indoor tropical plants like orchids, mosses, ferns and ‘air plants’ that need high moisture as in tropical forests. However for its care, it may have to be opened once a week to reduce excess moisture in the walls of the container, this also able to prevent the formation of fungus that can affect plants inside your terrarium.

Terrarium should be watered when the soil moisture is decreasing (without the formation of water vapor on terrarium’s wall). The use of plant materials (medium) also carefully sorted to reduce infections in plants. Appropriate plant material used is 'peat moss', 'vermiculite' and also 'perlite'. These materials should also be in "sterile" for killing micro-organisms that can cause infection.

Terrarium provides a very good environment for these tropical plants.

Terrarium for tropical and aquatic plants.
Open Terrarium

Open terrarium is more suitable for water-storage plants (succulents) that are not suitable for damp and closed conditions like cacti and other dried plants. Open terrarium allows excess water vapor to be removed from the terrarium. Another thing open terrarium also ideal for plants that require a lot of sunlight, where it avoids excessive heat from sunlight trapped in the container.

Open terrarium easily maintained but at risk of infection.
Terrarium with various sizes of plants in it.

Terrarium not only beautiful as a decoration/ornament, but it also allows the growth of plants to be observed more closely. Cyclical process of moisture, air and water vapor in a closed terrarium indirectly describes the process air cycle in the earth's atmosphere and the importance of plants in that process. So if you are unable to make your own terrarium, maybe you can just buy it to get all of its benefits.

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Sabtu, 26 November 2016

Unique Group of Plants; Cactus

Cactus has important functions and is a unique plant.
For those of us who live in the tropics cactus may seem unusual because it grows in dry areas. Although some can be grown here, but the cacti are group of plants that so large just as other plants group.

Cactus plants are collection of plants in the family Cactaceae, the group consists of 127 genera and consists of approximately 1,750 species identified. It has varieties in sizes and shapes with a relatively wide distribution, but usually in a dry lying area (with low rainfall levels). However, some families of cactus is very unique and a plant that supplies tasty fruit to be eaten.

Stunning cactus image.
Beautiful flower from Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus.

Cactus is an important source of food in the desert.
Just like any other plants cactus conducting photosynthesis to produce its own food. The different is most cacti equipped with spikes coming out of the trunk through the points known as "areola". The thorns on cactus also vary according to the type (and it is one of the important features to recognize a species of cactus).

Although cacti spines provide protection to the cactus it also has many other purposes. One is to reduce the sunlight directly hit on the stem. Spines also offer little protection from the hot sun. Even for species of cactus "cholla", spines help to spread the seeds that will be attached to the animal and will fall in a new place that might be appropriate for it to grow on more fertile land.

However cacti are also an important plant to animals and humans. For examples animals such as desert tortoises, cactus is a source of food that can provide energy and water, while other animals are also made of cacti as place to build nest and home. At the same time, human take benefit of cacti as a source of water when necessary. While some species of cacti produce edible fruit. Among the most famous cactus fruit is "dragon fruit". Even for "dragon fruit", the entire part of the plant can be used to provide food source for humans.

Cholla cactus has spines that easily attaches.
Flowers from saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)
Among cacti used as decoration.

Few other species of cacti used as decoration.
Among the interesting things about the cactus is; the largest cactus is from the species of Pachycereus pringlei, ever recorded reached a height of 19.2 m (63 ft), while the smallest species are   Blossfeldia liliputiana, with the diameter size of only 1 cm (0.4 in) when mature. While such a large species of cactus "saguaro" (Carnegiea gigantea) is said to be able to absorb water up to 200 US gallons (760 liters) during the rainy season.

Recognizing the uniqueness of these cacti, many cactus centers been opened to get people attention and educate the important of cacti. It also featured as an ornamental plant, many more potential cacti raised here. Naturally cactus is a plant that is still less explored for its further potentials. Then recognizing these unique plants and learning more about it are very important.

Dragon fruit farm in Vietnam.
Dragon fruit look delicious.
Cactus fruit, known as "Indian Fig" sale at the market.

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