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Botanical Drawing in Color: A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color Paperback – July 20, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Botanical Drawing in Color: A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color
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  • Botanical Portraits with Colored Pencils
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

WENDY HOLLENDER is the coordinator of botanical art and illustration at the Westchester Arts Workshop and the New York Botanical Garden. Her work has been featured in the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation’s 13th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the founder of WH Art & Design and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium, and the New York Botanical Garden Board of Advisors. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823007065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823007066
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ginny Mapes VINE VOICE on November 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an artist, I always encourage my students to look at the real object, if possible-- be it a flower, leaf, plant, bird, or animal. I do want them to use their "artistic eye" and really study what they are seeing. This gives them a scientifically accurate frame of reference on which to base their drawings. Author, illustrator Wendy Hollender does the same thing in her book, Botanical Drawing in Color: A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color. She is the coordinator of botanical art and illustration at the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the National Tropical Botanical Garden. In her book, she gives readers step-by-step instructions. Each lesson increases in complexity to build your skills. She describes form first, color second. She wants the reader to feel comfortable with the use of color before she introduces color theory. She wants the reader to feel comfortable with the process of drawing before she introduces perspective. She has many lessons marked with a green art nouveau style leaf. The lesson will require you to do something other than just reading the text. Each lesson is like an exercise to warm the reader/artist up. She starts out with the very basic--how to sharpen your pencil! She shows examples of historic botanical prints as well as the modern Vera textile designs. She suggests, "Do not strive to copy my illustrations, but rather learn my techniques and use them to create a realistic version of the plant...in your own style."

She encourages her students to slow down, observe closely, learn step-by-step. A very well-written and beautifully illustrated book. A must for every artist.
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This is a book that many of us who do Botanical Illustration in colored pencil have been waiting for- a real workbook for the pencil artist. Wendy is an experienced teacher and provides simple, clear lessons not only on colored pencil techniques but on basic nature drawing and creating form. There is also a good section on color theory. The book is packed with delicious colored illustrations of a variety of plants and fruits some wonderfully exotic. I was inspired by her section on dissections and creating compositions showing the reproductive parts of plants. The book is a great teaching tool with lots of step by step exercises. It is definitely very inspiring for the beginning artist and the experienced painter.
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This is a review I wrote for an upstate paper:
Surrounded by nature, as we in the Hudson Valley are so lucky to be, it's easy to swept away by the beauty. We pick flowers, grow vegetables and hunt mushrooms to sustain both body and soul. All so ephemeral! We've all wished that we could save particularly beautiful specimens forever. Now, there's a new how-to book that can show you how to do just that, by learning the art of botanical drawing.
Before you say "drawing is best left to the professionals" consider the following:
Drawing is a skill anyone can learn. In this digital, keyboard-driven world, drawing has fallen into a group of skills that is used less and less. Most of us were never even given good drawing lessons as children. So it might be surprising to hear that drawing actually takes no more eye-hand coordination than handwriting. After a few hours of instruction and practice almost anyone can make a very good representation of a natural object. The keys are observation, practice, and a good teacher.
Drawing helps you understand your subject. Drawing requires you to closely examine the structure and every detail of an object, leading to many new insights.
Drawing helps you remember your subject. Slowing down, looking, and then drawing, imprints all elements more durably in the mind's eye than mere observation alone.
Drawing creates a beautiful and accurate record of what you've seen. That's why the best mycology books include drawing as the primary or secondary type of illustration. With drawing you can capture details and structure that no camera can.
Drawing is a way of slowing down and appreciating nature.
Read more ›
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I fell in love with botanical drawing in colored pencil when I discovered Wendy Hollender's article "City in Bloom" in the September 2009 issue of The Artist's magazine. Then I simply had to have her earlier book "Botanical Drawing." I am a volunteer at The NY Botanical Gardens, and an art student with a thirst for "how to" instruction on the transformation of living botanicals into works of art. In this regard Ms. Hollender's "Botanical Drawing in Color" is a must have! The drawing illustrations and techniques she shares with the readers make the reproduction of the botanicals seem possible even for students new to botanical art. Each of the book's pictured botanicals appears to have a personality of its own. The artist talented enough to capture this personality on paper ultimately produces colorful botanical portraits. The myriad drawing techniques sprinkled throughout this book unfold for the readers like a child's pop-up book...splashed with vibrant color and realism. It is a delightful book that will appeal to artists of all levels, or simply the reader with a deep love and passion for nature.
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