Natural History Painting
From the award-winning botanical painting authors, a book to record more than just the flora of the world, but also the fauna. Recording accurately but beautifully the animal wildlife that surrounds us is an age-old art. The authors, with the Eden Project, show us how to take up the subject and make the most of the revival of this art form.
Finding sources from which to draw is not as diffficult as it once was. We can visit zoos and wildlife parks, and museums have comprehensive collections of birds, animals, insects, crystals and fossils. All these sources allow us to take the time to capture the true essence of some of the most beautiful things on earth. From dinosaur skeletons, fossils and shells through feathers, birds, fish to beetles, butterflies and frogs. Learn how to paint the subtle scales on a fish, the iridescence of a feather or the lustre on a shell.
The authors take you through the full range of skills and techniques you need to undertake natural history drawing and painting. Key techniques are explained with step-by-step demonstrations. Stunning illustrations will inspire you and illuminate the techniques you are learning. A stunning book on an art form that is fast becoming the new botanical illustration. (Word count 20,000)
Many, many congratulations to the authors (and their editor) for not over-egging a successful formula and producing Yet More Flower Painting with the EP. And much, much respect to them for proving that they’re much more than (very good) flower painters.
In fact, the subject matter of their third book is a surprise on every page, partly because you just don’t see this sort of thing in painting books but also because they’ve managed to turn what are frequently unconsidered trifles into sublime little works of art. There are birds, fish, shells, pebbles, feathers, bark, beetles, rocks, crystals – the contents of a compendium of country walks, in fact and they all have the kind of beauty you’re often encouraged to look for but somehow all too often fail to see. I don’t care if you tell me you’d never want to paint these yourself, just buy the book and marvel at what Rosie and Meriel have found (and then tell me you won’t maybe just have a bit of a go, y’know, just because).
At a practical level, because that’s what’s being pitched here, this is a book about colours and textures and also about finding subjects in the unlikeliest of places. It’s about looking, seeing and interpreting and what you can do if you just keep your eyes and your mind open. It’s a revelation.
Reviewed by artbookreview.net , July 2009