Treat yourself. Go ahead. You know you want to. I got the digital version and I'm working my way through it. I don't know Wendy and have never taken any instruction from her but I've been following her on Instagram (just because her work brings me joy) and when this book was announced I decided to pre-order one.
I am impressed with how incredibly accessible, systematic, encouraging and inspiring it is. I have many years experience playing with watercolor and ink. Playing. For the joy of it. But I think this would be wonderful for a total beginner as well because Wendy is so welcoming, encouraging and inspiring.
The book is gorgeous, just like her finished works. It's a joy just to look through it. It's broken down into sections that simplify the entire process, guiding you to develop patience and skill and an eye for detail. There is nothing hurried or stressful about it. It's a meditation and an easy one to slip into. And what better subject than nature!?
She offers a list of her recommended materials. I already had such a hodgepodge of colored pencils, watercolor pencils, and an assortment of papers that I went over her list matching what I had as closely as I could. Then I went to her website and finished off my kit with the colors I couldn't match, dura-lar film for a mixing palet (cool stuff), erasers, a brush and a few other odds and ends. She also offers the whole kit (in two sizes) which is reasonably priced for what you get and has basically what you'll need to get started. Nothing like starting out with good quality pencils and paper. The book starts out introducing you to your supplies so you can get to know them and gain confidence right away.
You begin playing with your new supplies by learning the basics of tone. How cool is that? Tone is something I struggled with for years and finally, a couple years ago, decided to study. Without it your pictures all look flat and, well, sort of boring. Like something is missing. But she won't waste your time. She jumps right to it. And it's not at all difficult. You just have to follow her very simple, straight-forward, well-illustrated instruction.
I love that she keeps pointing out it's not about the finished product but the quality of time you spend doing it. So if you find yourself longing to be the artist who created that stunning painting on your dining room wall, or in the gallery and imagining how wonderful that will feel, trust her when she says that is secondary to the joy you'll get sitting down with your pencils and paper and stepping into a more authentic experience of seeing.
Turn off the news. Go ahead. The world will continue to turn without you stressing about every detail. Step off the conveyor belt of constant distractions and diversions and deep-dive into present moment awareness where you'll enjoy the sheer JOY of Botanical Drawing. It's good medicine!
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The Joy of Botanical Drawing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing and Painting Flowers, Leaves, Fruit, and More Paperback – Illustrated, 7 June 2020
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"One of the best colored pencil drawing books of all time."--BookAuthority
About the Author
Wendy Hollender is a botanical artist, illustrator, instructor, and author. She is a leading expert in using colored pencils and watercolor pencils to create detailed botanical drawings and paintings. Her illustrations have been published in the New York Times, O- The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, and Sunset magazine. Her work has been exhibited by the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Smithsonian National Museum for Natural History. She is currently an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and leads workshops at her farm in Accord, New York. She is the author of Botanical Drawing in Color and the illustrator of Foraging and Feasting- A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 33 reviews
Accessible and systematic instruction28 April 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
74 people found this helpful
Go ahead. Get this book.12 May 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
I decided that during the stay at home order that I would learn to draw. I'm loving this book. The illustrations are lush and the step by step instructions are clear. Best of all, I'm drawing! When I don't have a flower, there are lessons for fruits and vegetables. The hours pass, and I am grateful.
29 people found this helpful
Marsha Truman Cooper
a treat for eyes and hands13 July 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
My eyes loved looking through this book from the moment Amazon delivered it. I sat down and devoured its stunning pictures. Right away, I "tried" p. 31, a simple tone bar exercise. I'm a publishing writer, untrained in this art, with lead-based (artist quality, by coincidence) colored pencils made around 1986 by Berol. Using Recollections white card-stock (not recommended, definitely fugitive), I followed Wendy's instructions. Period. They worked! She can train your eyes and hands. Breaking the "hard" stuff into easy, clear little actions, anybody can learn the skills she so gorgeously possesses. You can. Surrender your doubt, pay attention, surrender to the path that leads... joy in every step... to this loveliness. You really can do this with her... feasting your eyes all the while.
21 people found this helpful
Lots of info packed into this book8 April 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
I learned a lot from this book, most importantly how to mix water color with colored pencil and using water color pencils for a wash. The section on color theory was also enlightening. However, that being said, it could use some editing. There are a number of mistakes throughout the book.
22 people found this helpful
Excellent step-by-step instructions6 June 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
While I was working on my botany degrees, I sketched a multitude of flowering specimen. Those were some of the most enjoyable times of my life. Now as a senior citizen this book reminded me how glorious botanical drawing is. I've already framed a couple of my new ones. My plan is to complete several more for framing.
13 people found this helpful