Be a Botanist

Try Your Hand

When drawing a new species, remember to look for the angles and proportions. Each butterfly or lizard has its own shapes, proportions, coloring, and texture to explore as you draw. Shells, particularly, have a strong line or axis from tip to end that needs to be seen and drawn. The myriad of detail in nature is its strength and its wonder.

Being a botanist doesn't have to mean going back to college. You can learn a lot about plants simply by observing them, and, when it comes to drawing, observation time is time well spent.

1. Begin by examining the basic shapes that are familiar, including


> Disks. Spheres. Trumpets. Fluted shapes.

2. How do the pistils and stamen attach to the stem? (You may want to refer back to the drawing at the beginning of this chapter to see just what and where pistils and stamen are.)

3. Count the petals. Do they appear in pairs or groups? Are they symmetrical? How do the flowers fit on the stem?

4. Look at leaves on the stem. Are they alternately or oppositely arranged? Look at the stem connection.

5. Get botany or gardening books to read about detail and structure if they are new to you. Just flipping through the pages will begin to give you a better idea of what flowers are all about.

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