Wednesday 17 April 2013

A Book a Week - 1. 'Botany for Artists - Lizabeth Leech

I have some wonderful and varied books in my collections. Some I just "had to have" and glanced through, promising myself I would return to them and luxuriate at leisure in the information and wonderful paintings and photographs.
I am sure many of you will relate to this. So I have decided to take a book a week, read and enjoy it, and pass my information on to you. I certainly have books for everyone.
The first book in this series I would like to share is very scientifically botanical. But remember, in the many weeks to come, there will be a book to whet everyone's appetite.


by Lizabeth Leech


A member of the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society (HCPFS), Lizabeth Leech is also a botanist and a renowned botanical artist.
This user-friendly book has over 350 informative photographs, paintings and line drawings by both Lizabeth and members of the HCPFS and is an accessible introduction to the wonderful world of plants. It was written in response to students and artists' questions regarding botanical aspects of various subjects, in order to confidently produce a botanically accurate painting.
Malus domestica 'Discovery' apple - Beth Phillip
Chapter 5 - Fruits and Seeds
Flowers, fruits, seeds, roots, stems and carnivorous plants, as well as cacti and succulents, cone bearing trees, ferns, mosses, fungi and lichen are some of the chapters covered.
The book includes Helpsheets for most plant groups, helping the artist recognise and develop their observational skills. It is also a guide to plant identification and recognising their important and unique features by understanding their structure.
It is targeted to anyone interested in plants and flowers and those wishing to draw and paint them, by marrying technical accuracy with aesthetical representation.
The chapter of Topics of Interest incorporates the correct botanical Latin names, choosing a typical representative specimen, keeping the specimen in good condition, photographic information and much more.
This fascinating book would be a valuable tool in any botanical artist's collection. 

  • Published by Crowood Press, Marlborough, Wiltshire UK. The Australian distributors are Peribo Pty Ltd, Mt Kuring-gai, NSW.

As I look over shelf after shelf of books, I am quite excited about what I will choose for next week's review. It will have a botanical flavour, but will be very, very different and will appeal to a much larger audience. Have I whetted your appetite?


  1. Hi Leonie,

    It is great to read a good and practical review of a botanical art book. I am relatively new to botanical art and I am keenly interested in developing my skills in this area. This book appears to display a wide range of techniques for both novice and skilled artists alike. I have in the past been intimidated by botanical art literature – they appear either too sciency or too highbrow arty for my liking! Your review presents this book as an approachable and informative guide that is ‘user-friendly’. For someone without formal training in botanical art, the tips and Helpsheets sound great and I am looking forward to adding this book to my collection.

    Unfortunately I was unable to find this book on the Peribo website listed in your review. A Google search found it on Amazon, although I would prefer to buy it locally. If anyone can recommend where I can purchase this book within Australia, I would much appreciate it.

    Thanks again for the fabulous review, Leonie. I look forward to future book reviews.


  2. Did you ring Peribo and ask them if they had the book? They were the Australian distributors and may be able to guide you in the right direction.
    Are you interested in looking at the outline for my Botanical Art External Course which you can do at your own pace from home. Just email me and I will send you some information. This course is for the absolute beginner or the artist wanting to learn how to do botanical art. You will learn everything you need to know, step by step.

  3. I saw this book at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens bookshop 25/4/13.

    1. Many thanks for the information.

    2. Thanks for the advice on where to find the book. I will take a look in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens Bookshop and then follow up with Peribo if I have no success.

      Your Botanical art course sounds great. I will email you directly for some more information.

      Thanks again, Ivy