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Botanical Watercolor Illustrations

There is a resurgence in the appreciation of nature and along with that a renewed interest in classical Botanical Illustration. Early pharmacopoeia of many cultures included the depiction of plants to assist in the identification of a species, particularly for medicinal purposes. The earliest surviving illustrated botanical work is a copy of Dioscorides's De Materia Medica, and was made in the year 512 for Juliana Anicia, daughter of Roman Emperor Olybrius. Botanical illustration’s combination of science and art and the need for accuracy makes it one of the most specific of all the arts. Many of the artists were also scientists and adventurers who traveled the world in search of specimens. (See the link below)

Famous artists that also were Botanical Illustrators.

Beatrix Potter, Albrecht Durer ,John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redouté , Leonardo da Vinci

This link provides interesting details of the lives of some of the most well known Botanical Artists.


Flowers have been an inspiration to many artists throughout art history. In our recent classes we explored watercolors , studied the symmetry of flowers ,and compared the various shapes of flowers and leaves. In the first lesson we practiced with liquid watercolors, and the final pieces that were created this week were done in watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons . They are my favorite mediums to teach process to the younger ones. They are much easier to control , great fun to work with and the colors are really beautiful. Several in the class were excited about continuing this type of painting at home.