Botanical Illustrations > Scientific Botanical Poster Illustrations (Digital)

Plant Project: Illustrating New Environments & Scientific Botanical Illustrations

The goal of the project is to create two botanical-based illustrations: first an illustration of a bouquet of flowers in a glass jar that focuses on reflection, transparency, and light; second a scientific botanical illustration based on the flowers within the bouquet that focuses on text, visual mapping, and research.

Using Adobe Illustrator, students will use following tools and techniques for both parts: shape manipulation, line thickness variation, create and use art and scatter brushes, manipulate gradients, utilize transparent layering techniques, use the clip mask tool, create color guides & swatches, and add textures.

Research Exercise
Research and collect reference image material. Include the following elements:

-- Collect the following images: Bouquets of flowers in glass vases, Science diagrams of flowers (these include labels), Vintage botanical illustrations
-- In your sketchbook, create 3 compositions for both parts of this project. Consider the following: What are you focusing on? What is your vision?
-- Consider the mood and aesthetic feel that you are aiming to achieve. What type of color palette are you leaning towards using? Why?

Part 1: Illustrating New Environments / A Creative Bouquet of Flowers
Create a full page creative illustration depicting 1 of the following options:

Option 1: Illustration of flowers in a clear vase of water
-- Minimum of 3 different species of plants within the vase.
-- Include at least 1 bug or animal within the bouquet.

Option 2: Illustration depicting an environment
-- Use inspiration from the following historical illustrators: Maria Sibylla Merian, William Bartram, Mark Catesby, and John James Audubon.
-- For example, Merian did not simply depict specimens in isolation, but gave a more comprehensive, contextualized picture of the living creatures by depicting them in different life stages and situated on their presumed food-plants.
-- Include at least 1 insect or animal within the illustration.

Part 2: Scientific Botanical Illustration
Create a scientific botanical illustration using the plants/flowers depicted in part 1. Include the following:
-- Details of plant structure and life cycle (roots, fruit, flowers)
-- Taxonomy / binomial nomenclature
-- Optional: microscopic depiction of parts of the plant
-- Illustrators to review: Ernst Haeckel, Albrecht Meyer, Georg Dionysius Ehret

-- Adobe Illustrator, portrait or landscape tabloid size, 11x17".
-- Your illustration should have a creative non-white background