Friday, 14 January 2011

Botanical Illustration of Vitis vinifera which I hung today

Painting from Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators ©

So the work goes on with getting those grapes completed before the 26th... another day of painting as I am taking Sunday off to spend sometime with my boyfriend, who I am sure is feeling a little neglected since these grapes came on the scene. Slept well, so I have re-gained my concentration skills which is always a bonus, as I was feeling extremely tired last week and it's a nightmare painting when one feels like that because you know you are going to drop your brush or something - which I did do twice, but managed to catch it or knock it off so it fell away from the page - phew!

I can't remember who painted the grapes above, but they have just been hung in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art as part of our new exhibition - our first selling exhibition which opens of the 5th February. I will have a look at work on Monday and update the name. The picture is small and slightly out of focus in order to not impinge on the copyright, as all these pictures are still in copyright and I don't want to get into trouble!

Here are some other ways of painting grapes which I have found on Google and have been looking at really closely, but not all are in watercolour and I am beginning to wonder if they are a lot easier to paint in oils:

I really like this one (above)

I like the transparency of this one (above)


  1. hi jessica,
    just wanted to leave you a note saying how much i love your work! so much so that you are one of the artists i am studying in my AS sketchbook. i was just wondering if you could tell me what you do your work on, e.g. canvas, watercolour paper, etc. and what kind of paints and inks you use. thankyou :)
    Bryony Richards

  2. Awww thanks Bryony! I am very honoured to be studied for your AS sketchbook, how marvellous!

    My watercolour work is on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper. Hot pressed means it hasn't got that bumpy texture that most watercolour papers have, which leads to a smooth finish. All botanical illustration is traditionally painted on hot pressed paper. I sometimes stretch it, although I use such a dry brush that sometimes it is not required. My watercolours are a half pan Daler Rowney aquafine set, and I use a tiny brush, see:

    My pen and ink work is on Bristol Board - again: traditional. The board is nice and smooth and really good for my rapidograph rotring pens (0.13 and 0.25 nib sizes and rotring permanent ink).

    I also do more impressionistic and loose work on canvases in acyrilic:

    Although I haven't done any for a while, as I am rather enjoying the serious nature of the watercolour work at the moment. I want to work big, but alas everything is done in my bedroom and I haven't the space yet. I will have a studio by the end of the year though - I am adament!

    Hope this helps,