I’m kicking off my Christmas Gift Guide early this year and, ideal for any art enthusiast or lover of botanicals, is this gorgeous immersive book by acclaimed artist Rachel Pedder-Smith (out on 14 October 2021, £16.99, Octopus Books). Part tutorial – it comprises art paper and guides on how to draw flora and fauna – and part illustrative, with some of Rachel’s original artworks, this is such a lovely yet practical tome.
The guided projects help you to create beautiful botanical paintings, with template outlines and art-quality watercolour paper. It is perfect for beginners in botanical art, with the ready-to-use outlines allowing you to focus on the painting and avoid the accuracy of composition drawings. Each outline includes a finished painting by artist Rachel Padder-Smith and a recommended colour palette, so all you have to worry about is enjoying the process!
Included are step-by-step tutorials on all the essential tips and techniques you need to know, from painting different parts of the flower to perfecting the fine veins on leaves, as well as advice on how to correctly capture light.
In the first half of the book are Rachel’s gorgeous illustrations, which also include fruit and vegetables, and are a totally inspiring way to elevate your own work. From glossy chillis to intricate star anise; delicate foxgloves to bold Virginia creeper – this is a modern take on the Victorian love of botanicals. Perfect for lovers of nature.