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A-Z of Botanical Flowers [Hardcover]

Michael Lakin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

11 Sep 2012
In this book he illustrates what materials to use, and how to paint twenty six botanically accurate flowers. Sketching is an important part of the process and artists are shown how to develop accomplished pictures from initial beginnings and observations right through to the drawing and final painting stages. A whole alphabet of flowers is accompanied by sketches, small studies, handy tips and details, with clear descriptions of the colours and techniques used. Beginners will find this book suitable for their skill levels, and those artists with more experience will find much to inspire them.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press Ltd (11 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844485625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844485628
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 22.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

When one of the introductory sections suggests the use of a microscope, you know you're looking at a serious work! This new book is an interesting addition to the wealth of literature on flower painting in general and the more technical art of botanical illustration in particular. There are a few introductory notes on basic techniques, particularly the use orf shapes and colours, most of the book is devoted to a series of short lessons describing and illustrating how to paint 26 different species. Concise in its approach and stripped of anything other than what is absolutely necessary, this is an excellent guide for the more experienced artist who wants to take the subject seriously.-The Artist This is a beautiful book and, if the single-stem, detailed way with flower painting is what you want, this is an excellent way into it, being much simpler than other books, which tend to go into a lot more detail and maybe overwhelm. The approach that Michael Lakin adopts is to complete each demonstration in two spreads. This is a concise way of doing it, and also gives you a consistent set of demonstrations, meaning that, once you have the hang of the layout, it will hold for everything else. It does, though, mean that you will have to fill in quite a lot of the gaps for yourself. The first two pages will show you the main details of the flower in question together with the drawings and the colour palette. Turn the page and you get a set of instructions for the painting, and an illustration of the finished result. There are no step-by-steps and whether you think the book is for you will very much depend on whether you think this is a good or a bad thing. There is a lot of information in the introductory sections and it should be said that these avoid repetition of the basic stuff later on, though, even if they are general rather than subject-specific. Botanical illustration is a complex and highly technical subject for which it is difficult to write an introduction, so much having to be learnt all at once. Michael, however, makes a good stab at keeping things as simple as possible.-Artbookreview.net A fantastic book. Michael Lakin is both a keen gardener and a skilled botanical artist. In this book he shares some of the secrets which have made his work much sought after. He shows how to paint twenty six botanically accurate flowers including Aquilegia, Rudbeckia, Pelargonium and Orchid. What makes this book so special is that it includes many unusual flowers not often covered by books showing how to paint flowers such as the Uvularia, Yucca and Echinacea. Although the use of Latin names can be a bit off putting for many artists, the drawings and instruction is so superb that you can quickly recognize the plants. None of the plants are so rare that you are unlikely to find them in a garden. Well thought out and illustrated, it offers training in a style that many artists are keen to try.-Monstersandcritics.com Michael Lakin shows how to produce flower paintings using the traditional style and methods of the great botanical artists of the past. Success depends on a close study of your subject and a methodical approach to its painting. The book opens with an introduction to materials and basic equipment, before moving on to advice on choosing your subject, composition, drawing techniques and how to transfer your image to your chosen watercolour paper. Colour is particularly important to the botanical artist, and there is a concise, but clear section on using colour and, in particular, mixing greens. Michael then introduces his six stages of painting, from the first wash, through tonal washes, crossovers, harmonisation, adding fine details and, finally, applying discretionary washes to blend tones without destroying the detail. The main body of the book is devoted to the detailed exploration of 26 flowers - one for each letter of the alphabet, from the aquilegia to the zantedeschia (calla lily).-Leisure Painter After a brief introductory section discussing materials, equipment, technique, and the basic parts of a flower, art instructor Lakin (Botanical Flowers in Watercolour) shares with readers his exacting six-stage watercolor process. Twenty-six flowers are then presented in alphabetical order by their Latin names, similarly to recipes in a cookbook. The author provides an overview of the flower with diagrams of its shape and notes on its colors, and then outlines the six-stage process readers can follow to produce a competent watercolor rendition, including details such as which type of brush to use. VERDICT Watercolor hobbyists and garden enthusiasts alike may enjoy this book.-Library Journal USA

About the Author

Michael Lakin was born and bred in South Derbyshire. His early learning was basic but he always excelled in art. After leaving school he moved into engineering, becoming a manager, before he left to start his own business. Michael kept up art as a hobby and began to teach classes in Botanical Art to adults at Derby WEA. Since then he has exhibited in London and other parts of the UK. He has a purpose-built studio next to his rural home, where he teaches and gives demonstrations throughout the year.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a simple yet effective approach 2 Oct 2012
By K. Platt TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
What a superb book. Well produced and illustrated. Michael Lakin's choice of subject is delightful and he executes the illustrations with finesse. Easy to follow instructions should help improve your own attempts at botanical illustration. A simple approach that is especially useful for beginners and will build confidence. If you've tried other botanical illustration books and still failed miserably, I'd give this one a go. Great for a Xmas resent, but any budding artist and lover of plants would be happy with this any time of year. Very enjoyable. This review first appeared on yarnsandfabrics
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Botanical art 11 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautiful illustrations excellent instructions very useful book. There are several A to Z of flowers but that dies not detract from this one. Michael Lakin's enthusiasm is infectious.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellent 1 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover
I could not praise this book highly enough. Beautifully illustrated and full of helpful advice and detailed instruction. And a lot of advice re colours to use. All in all an invaluable guide.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for begineers 11 Mar 2013
By shopper
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Package well and delivered on time, good value for the money, this book by Michael Lakin goes into great detail when first starting to paint flowers, he gives excellent adivse on how to get that detail needed, and good advise on how not to get cauliflowers when painting in watercolour. Best book out i would recommend this one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Floral art in watercolour 17 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If I could give this book a 100 * rating I would.
It gives the finished product of the artwork and also all stages between from drawing to colour options and beyond.
You feel an though you are actually there with the artist and the results were very good.Recommend this book to any would be first time water colourist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Flower Painting 12 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a student of botanical illustration, I found this book useful as it has basic lessons on painting realistic flowers. This is more of a flower painter's guide as the paintings do not have the very fine detail typical of botanical illustrations.
The lessons were good, but I felt it would have been helpful to have had some of the stages pictured, for at least some of the projects.
Generally a good book but perhaps not for complete beginners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A-Z of Botanical Flowers 4 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book and really useful. Very good demos and lots of tips.
I have enjoyed reading it and have lent it to a couple of friends who also enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Botanical flowers 15 Feb 2013
By S J A
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very comprehensive book showing all aspects of flowers in the flowers and showing a very good amount of detail.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. A great one for the collection.
Superb - a great book for intermediate and advanced artists, and for beginners it shows what you can do if you persevere. Lovely illustrations to marvel over.
Published 1 month ago by swotty
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
All that I needed
Published 1 month ago by Clive01
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book,a must for painting flowers
brilliant book,a must for painting flowers,very clear explanations about shading,wat colours to use,how to go about life like painting flowers
Published 4 months ago by andre van de sande
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous flowers
Bought this as a gift, the pictures are beautiful and great for my artistic recipient to study the detail of drawings
Published 6 months ago by Carla
5.0 out of 5 stars Botanical Flowers
I have only flicked through this book so far, but find it very interesting, well laid out and I am looking forward to reading it and following the instructions for painting the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joan Delamore
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This book is brilliant! Everything is carefully explained from the drawing to the mixing paints to how to apply them. Definatley a must.
Published 13 months ago by E A Hilliard
4.0 out of 5 stars A-Z of Botanical Flowers
Very good and likeable drawings/paintings.and useful, relatively easy instructions for copying the master. It is a useful guide to plant and flower painting.
Published 14 months ago by Christine Mary Ironside
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Really informative, useful book for the beginner botanical artist as well as being attractive and well presented. Lovely illustrations of some common and more unusual plants.
Published 15 months ago by Adele Hull
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely portraits of flowers.
This is a brilliant book, lots of help with planning, how to get started, great on explaining and plenty of tips to help, just love.
Published 16 months ago by fran
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Book
My Dad was over the moon with it. Top marks will be ordering lots more in the future.
Just what he wanted
Published 16 months ago by Kay E Jones
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