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Wildflowers for Artists

Updated on November 18, 2014
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Katherine is well known worldwide for writing extensively about botanical art & illustration and botanical artists past and present

Drawing and painting wild fowers

Do you like to paint nature and wild flowers?

Or maybe you'd like to start portraying the flowers of the field and hedgerow?

Find out about how to paint wild flowers and books which represent how wild flowers have been portrayed in the past.

Image: Meadow Cranesbill - drawn in coloured pencils by the author

How to Paint Wild Flowers

How to Draw and Paint Wild Flowers

Besides basic instruction on how to paint plants, the book includes a section on plant habitats in different parts of the USA, New Zealand and Britain.

How to Draw and Paint Wild Flowers
How to Draw and Paint Wild Flowers

Hardcover: 128 pagesPublisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (November 1, 1993)

 

WILD FLOWERS IN THE UK & IRELAND

UK and IRISH ARTISTS - Paintings of Wild Flowers

The Concise British Flora in Colour
The Concise British Flora in Colour

Hardcover

Publisher: Ebury Press and Michael Joseph

(January 1, 1967)

 

The Concise British Flora in Colour - by the Reverend W. Keble Martin

RECOMMENDED - READ MY Book review: The Concise British Flora in Colour

For many middled aged/older botanical artists in the UK, 'The Concise British Flora' probably represents one of their first exposures to botanical illustration when it was published for the first time - and became a best seller!

It was published in May 1965 when the author was 88. The Reverend Keble Martin had spent some 60 years dedicated to meticulous fieldwork and completing over 1,400 paintings in colour and many black and white drawings before the book was finally published.

The book contains complete plates of composite illustrations of wildflower families which besides aiding identification are also very attractive. Good for identifying wild flowers which were common in 1965 but are now much more difficult to find.

I've got a 1965 copy but this link is to the 1967 version.

The Wild and Garden Plants of Ireland
The Wild and Garden Plants of Ireland

Hardcover: 280 pages

Publisher: Thames & Hudson (May 1, 2009)

 

The Wild and Garden Plants of Ireland

Wendy F Walsh who illustrated this book died recently. She was held in great regard by Irish Botanical Artists.

The book focuses on those plants that grow in Ireland - either in the wild or in Irish gardens.

100 of Wendy's excellent watercolour paintings are accompanied by accessible horticultural descriptions of botanist E. Charles Nelson. The books also describes the influences that have shaped the plants and flowers found in Ireland.

Guides to the Wild Flowers of the Uk

The Wild Flower Key: How to Identify Wild Plants, Trees and Shrubs in Britain and Ireland, Revised Edition
The Wild Flower Key: How to Identify Wild Plants, Trees and Shrubs in Britain and Ireland, Revised Edition

Paperback: 576 pages

Publisher: Warne; Revised edition edition

(30 Mar 2006)

 

The Wild Flower Key (Revised Edition) - How to identify wild plants, trees and shrubs in Britain and Ireland

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (for UK Wild Flowers)

  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars (63 customer reviews)UK
  • #6 in Nature Reference Books
  • UK - #8 in Botany & Plant Sciences Reference Books

If you're an artist wanting to identify plants in the field in the UK or Ireland this is the guide to buy.

I stood for a very long time in the bookshop at Kew Gardens reviewing all the books about wild flowers in the UK before finally deciding that this book was the most comprehensive and the easiest to use in terms of the visual information provided. It appears that most of the people who buy wild flower books agree with me.

This book is streets ahead of its competitors in terms of recommendations."still widely accepted as the best of its kind for its combination of meticulous illustrations and the use of keys to aid recognition"

  • a guide to over 1,600 wild plants found in Britain and Ireland
  • the ONLY guide which provides vegetative keys for plants not in flower
  • the ONLY guide which is more advanced than normal picture guides but not as big or as heavy as academic tomes
  • uses botanical illustrations rather than photographs which aids the identification of characteristics
  • suitable for amateur wild lovers, conservation volunteers, and professional ecologists alike

Wild Flowers in North America

AMERICAN ARTISTS - Paintings of Wild Flowers

With Paintbrush and Shovel: Preserving Virginia's Wildflowers, Watercolors by BessieNiemeyer Marshall
With Paintbrush and Shovel: Preserving Virginia's Wildflowers, Watercolors by BessieNiemeyer Marshall

Hardcover: 280 pages

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

(November 29, 2000)

 

With Paintbrush and Shovel - Preserving Virginia's Wildflowers, Watercolors by Bessie Niemeyer Marshall

Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

This book is the result of a little known WPA project in the 1930s involving women creating a wildflower sanctuary in Petersburg, Virginia.

222 of the 238 watercolours produced for this project appear in the book in colour.

Gail Niebrugge's Alaska Wildflowers

Gail Niebrugge's Alaska Wildflowers: An Artist's J
Gail Niebrugge's Alaska Wildflowers: An Artist's J

Hardcover: 64 pages

Publisher: Epicenter Press;

First edition (April 1, 2000)

 

Texas Wild Flowers

Texas Wild Flowers
Texas Wild Flowers

Hardcover: 248 pagesPublisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. (October 28, 2011)

 

Guides to the Wild Flowers of North America

The Flora of North America Project

This is a project designed to foster all manner of botanical resources to develop information about the plants of North America on a continental scale.

Discover Wild Flowers in North America

Introducing access to an interactive oneline database of wild flowers

Books used by the Botanists of the US Forest Service

The US Forest Services makes use of a number of books to identify the wild flowers and other plants found within its domain. It has created some very useful lists of the books they use within each geographical/botanical region and made a page for each of these on their website. Links to these pages - and booklists - can be found below

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers - E: Eastern Region - Revised Edition

There's one for every region of North AmericaAverage Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars (54 customer reviews)

Falcon Field Guides

An example of a Falcon Field Guide is given below - however they all follow the same format.

  • Analysis of the place in terms of habitat and climate
  • Description of the characteristics of the different types of natural vegetation found in the different sub-regions within the area covered by the book
  • Examples of annual and perennial plants and wild flowers
  • Descriptions of the how the typical plants typically function within the climate type - and hence which are the important botanical parts of each plant
  • Analysis of the wild flowers by flower colour - only useful during the flowering season!
  • Common names and scientific names and plant family identified for each wild flower
  • Recommendations for how to examine a plant - using a plant lens

The Guide avoids the use of technical terms (apart from latin names) and can be used by anyone who wants to identify wildflowers in the desert (or any other region of the USA)

Wild Flowers in Australia

AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS - Paintings of Wild Flowers

Georgiana Leake's Wildflower Album: Western Australia's First Botanical Artist
Georgiana Leake's Wildflower Album: Western Australia's First Botanical Artist

Paperback: 292 pages

Publisher: Forrest Text

(February 20, 2010)

 

Georgiana Leake's Wildflower Album: Western Australia's First Botanical Artist

The collection found its way back to the Royal Western Australian History Society in the 1930s as a gift from one of George Leake's descendants. This makes it the earliest collection of Western Australian botanical paintings made by a resident artist.This book tells the story of Georgiana's early life, her time in the Swan River and return to England. It also reproduces the entire collection of surviving illustrations, with notes on their provenance. It will be of value to botanists, art historians and all those interested in the early history of Western Australia.

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    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 2 years ago from London

      God bless country parsons! I used mine for ID until the Roger Phillips books came out.

    • makingamark profile image
      Author

      Katherine Tyrrell 2 years ago from London

      I wonder how many more of us have a copy?

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 2 years ago from London

      You are right: Keble Martin was the very first book of botanical illustrations that I owned. It was given to me as a birthday present in the early seventies and still sits on my bookshelf today.