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How I create my Botanical Art
Once I have decided on the plant that I would like to paint I start by working on measured drawings.  These are line drawings that are completed by measuring the different parts of the plant to create accurate life size drawings to work with.

Once I am happy with the drawings and the details I trace the drawings onto tracing paper.  This allows me to create my composition and then draw it onto hot pressed watercolour paper using a lightbox.

I colour match all the different parts of the plant and create a colour chart where I note the paint mix I have used or the blend of colour pencils I have used.  I work either in watercolour paint or colour pencil for my botanical illustration.
When I start working on the final piece on hot pressed watercolour paper, I gently rub out the line drawing, which is in pencil, with a putty rubber so that there is just a ghost of the image remaining on the paper.
When I am working in watercolour I begin by using light washes of paint to build up the colour before working on the tones and details using a dry brush technique.  This allows me to create the colour and details of the plant.  
When working in colour pencil I work from dark to light tones and build up the colours and details using the colour chart that I created.

I work with the live plant for as long as I can for reference, so that I am sure that the details are as accurate as possible.
While working on the measured drawings I take as many photos as I can so that I can refer to them if needed.

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Viola Composition 1

Original Watercolour Painting

Image size 14 x 21.5

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Hellebore 'Harvington White speckled

Original Watercolour painting
Image size  23 x 18.5cm

An example of the colour matching, colour studies and drawings that I work on in preparation for my botanical illustrations.
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