Monday, July 28, 2008

DANIEL SMITH'S FREE Weekend Demo with Botanical Illustrator / Artist Linda Ann Vorobik

Last Saturday, for the FREE weekend demo at the Seattle DANIEL SMITH Store , Botanist and Artist Linda Ann Vorobik gave a talk and demonstration on Botanical Illustration. Linda, well known for her Botanical Illustrations in reference books such as The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of of California , gave a through (as through as a person can do in an hour!) introduction to basic Botanical Illustration.

Linda Ann Vorobik , who has an extensive education and professional expertise in Botany, has blended her scientific interests and background with the sensuality of art that appeals to her when she works on her artistic Botanical Illustrations...her "Plant Portraits". Linda had this to say about her work as an artist: "I'm a sensualist, to me art is about connecting with the medium, not sitting at a computer with a mouse".

Linda had a lot of materials and artwork that she invited everyone to look over before she began her demo. Linda reviewed with us the art supplies she uses for her botanical illustrations, several unusual items were magnifying glasses, and watchmaker's forceps...all the better to see and access the fine details of a flower or plant. Linda told the audience several times how important it is for accurate botanical illustration to "Measure, Measure, Draw". Of course unless you are doing scientifically accurate botanicla illustrations as Linda does, you don't necessarily need to "Measure, Measure, Draw" when doing your plant portraits.

Going through the steps Linda takes, she showed us how she works:
Step 1: Pencil sketch - sketch out your subject.
Step 2: Composition - make xerox copies of pencil sketch, cut and paste until you get the composition you want. Tape your drawing paper (Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board ) to your paper with the composed sketches.
Step 3: Pen & Ink - Lay your taped drawing paper over a light box and begin tracing out in ink, your composed sketches.
Step 4: Watercolor (if she is doing the illustration in color).

Linda showed us a couple of the techniques she uses for getting dimensionality in her pen and ink drawings; thin and thicker ink lines with different nibs (or pens) or pressure when tracing out the shapes, and leaving a "white gap" between lines to show that something (a background leaf) is behind another object (a foreground leaf). It was interesting to see how really effective that was when we got out of our seats and moved in for a closer look. Linda also brought her laptop with her to show us photos of how effective watercolor washes are for building up glowing, translucent color with a couple of onion studies.

This was just a very brief introduction to botanical illustration, Linda will be teaching a Botanical Illustration Workshop on Sunday, August 17th at the the Seattle DANIEL SMITH Store . If you are interested in Botanical Illustration, or in improving your skills for drawing or painting flowers and plants, then this is a good opportunity to get some hands on learning with an professionally experienced, and well known Botanical Illustrator. Thank you Linda!

Sunday August 17th

WATERCOLOR: Botanical illustration

with Linda Ann Vorobik

Linda Ann Vorobik will teach you the steps of botanical illustration from drawing plants to publishing in professional books and journals, with sample art and images illustrating these steps. Botanical illustration is defined and compared with plant portraiture. Using tools for pen and ink or watercolor you will learn how these medias apply to rendering beautiful botanical images. All skill levels are welcome: accomplished artists can learn added botany skills and skilled botanists will learn to draw.

$75 per day

11 AM to 4:00 PM

001 020 334


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