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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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Sabtu, 11 Ogos 2018

World of Arts: Best Artist, James Gurney

James Gurney at his studio - Photo by:

We have learned from few wonderful watercolour artists in the previous article. Here, in order to gain more knowledge, let see another wonderful painter that work on various media include watercolour. Instead of focusing on how he is doing his watercolour technique, there’re few more important things we can learn from him – the creation of the scene.

Even though more popular with his creation of dinosaur scenes, James Gurney actually can create almost any scenes through his wonderful techniques. He will do some research about the scenes he is going to create – the objects, the lights, shadows, and the atmospheres through different approaches. From that he is able to produce a realistic picture (for any scene he wants).

With Jack Horner at the Museum of the Rockies. Photo by Tobey Sanford.

Researching at the Grand Canyon. Photo by: Tobey Sanford.

His drawings allow us to see sceneries of the lost world such as dinosaur’s land and ancient civilization; with the information provided by other researchers of palaeontologists and archaeologies. His work can be seen mostly through Scientific American and National Geographic Magazine. He also produced Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time, which was published in 1992; showing more illustration of dinosaurs that living among human.

The best thing is; he is sharing his knowledge through many platforms; that is also become our great opportunity to learn many things from this wonderful artist. For fast learning of his ideas on how he built the sceneries for his paintings, you can follow his YouTube channel here. There are also a few books by him containing important information on how to produce realistic drawing. These include, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist, Andrews McMeel, 2009 and Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter, Andrews McMeel, 2010.

Study of reflection. Photo by:

Book; Color and Light by James Gurney.

Learn behind the scenes process on how he produced his illustrations from several sketches, built the maquettes, create the composition and finalize the drawings. That’s totally different from what we thought, that the painting process just a process of sketch and paint.

If you want to learn more about his techniques, there are also video guides available you can buy in the form of DVD and digital download. From these videos you can learn step by steps to do the drawings. He always shares many other knowledge during the painting process that make the videos more entertaining.

Image from Dinotopia, Desert Crossing. Photo by: James Gurney

Image from Dinotopia, Market Square. Photo by: James Gurney

To learn more about this wonderful painter, you can visit his website that will lead you many other resources produces by him. He also writes his daily blog that sharing more wonderful things about drawing and painting.

After going through many videos of drawings and paintings, I think James Gurney is one of the best painters that we need to learn from. His techniques will allow us to create our own technique base on the sceneries we want to create – that’s why I come out with this article first. There are many other good videos that we can learn out there that I will share in the next articles.

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