Botanical Drawing Is an

A flower offers a removed beauty, more abstract than it can be in the human being, even more exquisite.

—Maria Oakey Dewing, "Flowers Painters," Art & Progress 6, No.8 (June 1915).

The first step in drawing anything in nature is learning to see it and draw its parts, such as the separate parts of flowers, with the same attention you've learned to give to all details. From petals and stamens to leaves and stems, every part of a flower has a wealth of detail, there for the seeing.

The parts of a flower. You don't need to know their names, but you do need to examine them in separate detail in order to render them on the page.

When you first start out drawing specimens from nature, it's best to work at a scale that's 75 percent to 100 percent of the original, so you can see and draw the detail.

Artist's Sketchbook

Al fresco, Italian for "in the fresh air," is the term for doing things outside—including draw ing, of course.

Playing with scale comes with practice, and once you're comfortable with working close to reality, for fun you can try 200 percent or 400 percent—and really see the detail.

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