Monday, 20 July 2015

Botany Studies

Hi, all.

Following my decision to focus on botanical illustration, I decided to relearn some of what I knew about plant structures and also learn a lot more about their inner workings. As I actually would like to train to become a plant ecologist/botanist it's not really enough to just what I see: I actually want to know how they work. It's quite a great pairing this, the fusion of botanical/ecological study with art practice. Of course, I'm not really going to be drawing or painting the internal structures of plants to the degree that I've featured here, but from a scientific point of view it's much needed knowledge. I find drawing things and turning them into diagrams really helps in remembering how things work. You can see I attempted to shade the flower on top left, but I decided to just jot things down thereafter. The goal of this first page was just to familiarise myself with basic/intermediary botany instead of showing any real artistic skill.

So now that I've drawn some plant parts (mostly reproductive - I've missed out bark characteristics, leaf shapes, and fruit types here - there's so much to cover) I'll think I'll go ahead and start on a few case studies and actually get to drawing and colouring some plants as accurately as possible.


Friday, 17 July 2015

Botanical Drawing

I have tried plenty of hobbies over the years, but I find that only one or two really stick. I've always drawn and there are times I become focused on drawing, but mostly I just draw when I feel like it. Nowadays I draw mostly landscapes and work on cartography. I've always liked the idea of botanical drawing and have tried to come up with my own fantastatical creations. After some thinking, I've decided to refocus on drawing, specifically of the botanical variety. It goes hand in hand with my ecological studies as well as just being good practice.

My goal is to have a good catalogue of drawings of many of Britain's plant species, but also world wide too. I might try my hand at water colour in the near future, which is something I've never really attempted, but I know it's the preferred medium. In fact the last time I used paint was in school, 6 years and a half years ago. So yes, I'm definitely interested in using traditional methods.

Will probably update this blog with a new drawing at least once every few days, seeing as right now I have a lot of free time.

Edit: I'm also editing and rearranging my Youtube channel as I will be uploading a vlog on my progress in botanical/landscape art, as well as continuing with cartography.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Creag Meagaidh NNR

Hello all. I've been on work placement for 3 weeks in Scotland at Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve. Instead of uploading every single photo again for my blog, I thought I should just link to my thread on BCUK which covers everything already.

At the Summit of Creag Meagaidh

Thanks for looking.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sarithus' Cartography

Seeing as this is a blog about all things nature or landscape related, I thought I'd give a shout-out to my brother's excellently produced fantasy maps at Sarithus Maps: Artistic Cartography ( Not that he needs the attention from this tiny blog; he's practically famous for his 'Clichea' map.

He also does inexpensive commissions.


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Plants and Their History

Old photo of a majestic Oak in Stansted Forest, Hampshire

Hello, all.

Decided a few days ago that I want to focus on botany as my main interest. Woodland ecology has always been my favourite area of study and indeed whenever I go to a natural history museum I seem to just be drawn to exhibits on the Carboniferous and so forth! I want to try and focus more on tree and wild flower ecology/biology and learn as much as I can on the subject. I'm not so interested in artificial horticultural varieties, more so the ecology and history of vascular plants. At the high end of spectrum I'd say I'm most interested in dabbling in either palaeobotany or archaeobotany. There's also ethnobotany though this has less of a historic spin. I'm undecided which one I'm most intrigued by as they are all interesting but very different in that one focuses on very early climatic climax vegetation and the other two deal in plagioclimax vegetation and its utilitarian use in different timescales. I just know I want to study and focus on plants and their history in some way, but I'm only at the superficial entry level at the moment.

So yes, I've been focusing on plants a lot more (and am currently reading the in-depth Trees: their natural history by Peter Thomas.). I've been toying with the idea of making a separate blog and documenting trees or flowers of some historic, ecological or purely aesthetic significance. In other words, I quite like the idea of going round taking photos of plants. We'll see where it goes. 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Ecology and Conservation Vlog 2

Hello, all. Back at college after 3 weeks away, enjoying the sunshine. In this short video I discuss woodland plant I.D and upcoming assignments this spring. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Langley Wood NNR

Hello all. Had a great couple of hours out in the New Forest. Chose Langley Wood NNR in the north and it was a great choice. Large semi-natural ancient woodland, littered with AWIs of course, and all round beautiful prime Oak woodland. You don't get much better than that. Very interesting few hours... Maybe fifteen minutes in I saw what I'd never seen before, a whole stampede of what looked like Fallow deer. I'm not exaggerating when I say there were at least 30-40 of them on the move through the woods at once. Sadly I never got a photo. Great moment though. There was a hide in an open area of the wood where we found a dead fox. Not entirely sure why it was placed there. The woodland itself was just spectacular, rivaling many of the woods I've seen before. Bluebells, Primrose, Dog's Mercury, Ground Ivy, Wood Sorrel, Common Dog Violet (may have been Early Dog Violet, though I'm not sure), Wood Spurge, Wood Anemone and much more were out. Went to Fritham and had a quick drink at the Royal Oak before going home.

Here are a few of the best photos.