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beech twig
fraximus, ash, compound leaves,

Trees: Ash

Trees: Ash This is the third in my series on common trees, and this time it’s the Ash tree under the spotlight. The Ash Fraxinus excelsior is one of our commonest trees, and is steeped in folklore.  It’s easy to identify, and the timber is extraordinarily strong and versatile Identification: Tree shape Ash trees have […] Read more
Sycamore leaf

Trees: Sycamore

Trees: Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus is a maple, and is Europe’s largest maple species.  It’s easy to recognise, is common, and has some interesting folklore. Identification: Tree shape The tree grows to 35m and has a domed outline, with dense foliage.  Trees often have heavy lower branches.  It’s a deciduous species, and grows fast in a […] Read more

Trees: English Oak

I’ve been working on illustrations for “The Tree Forager” by Adele Nozedar, due to be published in August 2021.  It’s inspired me to have a look at a few of my favourite trees.  The English oak is the first in the series. The English oak Quercus robur truly is an iconic tree.  English Oak is […] Read more
Lupin

Garden Lupin Sketchbook study

The Garden Lupin, Lupinus polyphyllus, is one of the invasive plants I was recently asked to illustrate for FOR Sweden.  This blog talks you through the steps involved in creating a finished botanical illustration of this flower.  There seems to be an enormous amount of confusion over the English name of this plant: Blue bonnet […] Read more

Sketchbook illustrations of Invasive Plants

I’ve recently completed work on a series of sketchbook illustrations of invasive plants.  The client is FOR Sweden, and the botanical illustrations will be used on a big poster at a horticulture conference. Project overview There are eleven plants in total, and each species needed certain aspects illustrating.  In all cases I need to supply […] Read more

Natural history illustration of Gull anatomy

Sometimes commissions for natural history illustration or botanical illustration can be really straight-forward and simple.  I recently had a job for Bloomsbury Publishing which fell into this category. Bloomsbury needed a few simple illustrations for their upcoming publication, “Gulls of the World” by Klaus Olsen. These were to be pen and ink line drawings for anatomical reference.  […] Read more
insect showing spiricles

Natural History Illustration: Insect anatomy

Insects are my favourite creatures.  I love illustrating them in my natural science commissions.  Here’s a brief overview of the parts of  any insect which should help anyone doing entomological illustration. Insect overview Insects are invertebrates; they sport an external skeleton rather than internal bones.  Their limbs are jointed, they’re cold-blooded, have six legs and […] Read more

Lizzie Harper