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beech twig

Trees: Elder

Trees: Elder is another blog inspired by my illustrations for “The Tree Forager” by Adele Nozedar, published by Watkins.  The book has inspired me to think about some of my favourite trees.  The Elder Sambucus nigra is the sixth in this series, along side the Sycamore, Ash, Hawthorn, Rowan and the Oak. The Elder Sambucus nigra […] Read more
edible foraging

Trees: Hawthorn

Trees: Hawthorn is another blog inspired by my illustrations for “The Tree Forager” by Adele Nozedar, recently published by Watkins.  It’s inspired me to have a look at a few of my favourite trees.  The Hawthorn is another in this series, along side the Sycamore and the Oak. Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna is one of the commonest […] 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
exploding cucumber

Botanical illustration: The Exploding Cucumber

As a freelance natural history illustrator, I love the random nature of my commissions, and a recent request for some botanical sketchbook-style illustrations of the exploding cucumber Cyclanthera explodens was no exception. The request comes from a client working in the world of botanical cocktail research, so I was intrigued before I’d lifted a pencil. The exploding cucumber: An extraordinary […] Read more
drawing at the botanic gardens

Illustrating at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

My botanical illustrations have just appeared in The Garden Forager by Adele Nozedar, so we were honoured to be invited to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales to celebrate its launch.  We also took part in a foraging weekend. Setting up in the Botanic Garden’s Glasshouse The event was based in the glorious glasshouse, and I have rarely been prouder […] Read more

Illustrating Invasive Plant Species

Natural history illustrators have to do natural science and botanical illustrations of both beneficial and of problematic invasive species. Many times, the reason a plant or animal is causing problems within an ecosystem is because it doesn’t belong in that system.   It hasn’t evolved in equilibrium with the other species there, and thus out-competes them.  […] Read more
Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica, invasives, step by step

Japanese knotweed sketchbook study

Japanese Knotweed job   I’ve been working on a series of three scientific illustrations of invasive plants this week, for Summersault Communications.  This blog is about doing a Japanese knotweed sketchbook study. The article accompanying my illustrations will explain how to identify the plants and why they pose a threat.  I am fortunate in that the […] Read more

Lizzie Harper