periwinkle species

Here are the blogs I’ve written over the years.  Subjects range from step by step painting tutorials, to botanical anatomy, to current projects.

They appear in the order they’ve been written.  However, if you scroll down the page you’ll find they have also been organised into categories to make browsing a little more focused.

There are even some guest blogs in amongst.  I hope you enjoy them, and do please feel free to leave a comment.

Lizzie teaching achild at Hay festival

Foraging with Kids at Hay Festival

Foraging with Kids Workshop at Hay Festival: Setting up   Back in May, Adele Nozedar and I ran a workshop at Hay Festival.  We aimed the workshop at children and their parents, and included foraging and drawing activities.  We were also there to promote out book, Foraging with kids, and had a lovely banner that […] Read more
Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus and meadow brown aniola jurtina butterfly natural history illustration by Lizzie Harper

Save our Butterflies: Gardening for butterflies (2 of 2)

This is a Guest blog by DIY Garden.  Illustrations by Lizzie Harper. How Butterflies help in the Garden Butterflies and moths are not only beautiful garden viditors, they are vital pollinators. Whereas bees get covered in pollen, butterflies take a smaller amount on their slender legs.  They travel greater distances than bees, flitting around like nomads instead of […] Read more

Invasive & Japanese Knotweeds: Telling species apart

Invasive and Japanese knotweeds are incredibly successful plants.  Originally from Japan, China and Taiwan, they escaped from ornamental gardens, and have become established across the UK.  They’re especially common in urban and brown-field habitats, and love railway embankments and the damp soils of water ways.  One of the most difficult aspects of controlling them is […] Read more

What’s the difference between Virginia creeper and False Virginia creeper?

Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia and False Virginia creeper Parthenocissus inserta are common and decorative.  They are favourites with gardeners, who train them to grow up walls of houses and pubs where they give cover and autumn colour.  They’re vigorous climbers, deciduous, perennial, and develop woody stems. They are also classed as an invasive plant species […] Read more

How Art And Drawing Can Combat Stress

This week’s blog looks at some of the health benefits and reduction of stress levels to be gained from drawing and painting.  Many thanks to Hassan Khan for this guest blog. Long tailed tits painting in progress Stress Going through a lot of stress? Feeling as if your adrenaline levels are soaring? Your pulse is […] Read more

Telling Cotoneasters apart

My recent botanical illustration work for a Field Studies Chart (as yet unpublished) on Invasive species included 5 species of Cotoneaster. Telling these plants apart can be a real headache, but I’m going to give it a go, and share my thoughts.  I’m more than happy to be corrected in the comments section below! Cotoneasters are really […] Read more
flower shapes

Flower Shapes: Terminology

There are a whole load of different botanical terms used to describe flower shapes.  In this blog, I’ll go through a few, explaining what the term means.  Ill try to find one of my botanical illustrations to demonstrate each shape.  Could be a challenge! This chart of flowers of walks and the wayside shows a […] Read more
barn swallow

Step by Step Barn Swallow

Illustrating birds is always wonderful.  When it’s for a friend, is a bird you love, and when you have specimens to work from, it’s even better. Pencil roughs As always, the first step in a natural history illustration is to source your reference material and draw up a pencil sketch.  I do this directly onto […] Read more

Japanese Knotweed: Botanical illustrations and diagrams

My botanical illustrations and diagrams have recently been published in a book all about Japanese knotweed.  It’s called “Japanese Knotweed: Unearthing the Truth” by Nicolas Seal , and is rather a fascinating tome.  It was a fun job to work on, with a wide range of illustrations needing completing. The author saw a sketchbook study I’d done of […] Read more
learning difficulties

Art and children with learning difficulties

This Guest blog is by Lillian Brooks.  Get in touch with her on lillian@learningdisabilities.info According to psychologist Dr Gail Saltz, learning difficulties are better thought of as brain differences — minds that process information in a different way. While often thought of as detrimental, there might be benefits, too.  The same differences that make standard classroom learning more […] Read more