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Product Description

A thorough immersion into the world of scientifically accurate, three-dimensional, and artistically rendered natural botanical illustration.

The step-by-step instructions in this invaluable guide, written by one of the nation’s leading experts in the field, Wendy Hollender, will grow your artistic ability, whether you’re just broaching this unique skill or are already an expert. Each lesson in the book increases in complexity to build your skill set in a clear, concise, and accessible way. With a focus on the natural world through the botanical life-cycle, each project is not only a technical study, but a beautiful piece of artwork in and of itself.
 
In this book, you will learn:

   • Single light source toning technique
   • Principles of perspective for drawing flowers
   • The fundamentals of plant anatomy
   • Colored pencil techniques and color theory of the natural world

About the Author

WENDY HOLLENDER is the coordinator of botanical art and illustration at the Westchester Arts Workshop and the New York Botanical Garden. Her work has been featured in the prestigious Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation’s 13th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the founder of WH Art & Design and a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium, and the New York Botanical Garden Board of Advisors. 

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
345 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Charles K. Smith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love this book
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2017
Love this book! I am a beginner and have no experiences of sketching or drawing. This book gave detailed technique of drawing. I highly recommend it.
86 people found this helpful
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R
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
yes!
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2019
Wendy Hollender does beautiful work, and she is also a wonderful teacher. I love how she really starts with the basics, and gives great advice to beginners. This book really makes botanical illustration accessible, and does a great job of explaining her process.... See more
Wendy Hollender does beautiful work, and she is also a wonderful teacher. I love how she really starts with the basics, and gives great advice to beginners. This book really makes botanical illustration accessible, and does a great job of explaining her process. Sometimes books by experts can seem preachy. She manages to write about her process and technique without coming off that way. I have learned so much by reading this work and working through some of the exercises. I have departed from her techniques somewhat, but still find this book extremely useful. I''m sure I will refer to it over and over.
12 people found this helpful
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Nancy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book was so easy to understand and well organized
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2017
This book was so easy to understand and well organized. It is also beautiful. It really got me started on botanical illustration. I so very much appreciate the author sharing all her tips with us.
19 people found this helpful
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Ginny Mapes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Botanical Drawing in Color
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2011
As an artist, I always encourage my students to look at the real object, if possible-- be it a flower, leaf, plant, bird, or animal. I do want them to use their "artistic eye" and really study what they are seeing. This gives them a scientifically accurate frame of... See more
As an artist, I always encourage my students to look at the real object, if possible-- be it a flower, leaf, plant, bird, or animal. I do want them to use their "artistic eye" and really study what they are seeing. This gives them a scientifically accurate frame of reference on which to base their drawings. Author, illustrator Wendy Hollender does the same thing in her book, Botanical Drawing in Color: A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color. She is the coordinator of botanical art and illustration at the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the National Tropical Botanical Garden. In her book, she gives readers step-by-step instructions. Each lesson increases in complexity to build your skills. She describes form first, color second. She wants the reader to feel comfortable with the use of color before she introduces color theory. She wants the reader to feel comfortable with the process of drawing before she introduces perspective. She has many lessons marked with a green art nouveau style leaf. The lesson will require you to do something other than just reading the text. Each lesson is like an exercise to warm the reader/artist up. She starts out with the very basic--how to sharpen your pencil! She shows examples of historic botanical prints as well as the modern Vera textile designs. She suggests, "Do not strive to copy my illustrations, but rather learn my techniques and use them to create a realistic version of the plant...in your own style."

She encourages her students to slow down, observe closely, learn step-by-step. A very well-written and beautifully illustrated book. A must for every artist.
128 people found this helpful
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Bina E.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wendy''s work is stunning!
Reviewed in the United States on March 24, 2019
A really beautiful book, amazing how wonderful the detail is with colored pencils, my favorite medium. I''m excited to try some of the projects. It looks like her book gives good detailed information. She also has a YouTube channel and this book can be used in conjunction... See more
A really beautiful book, amazing how wonderful the detail is with colored pencils, my favorite medium. I''m excited to try some of the projects. It looks like her book gives good detailed information. She also has a YouTube channel and this book can be used in conjunction with her online courses.
6 people found this helpful
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John Morgan
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Toning yes, projects not so muchpqo
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2013
Wendy Hollender has a unique and somewhat old-fashioned approach to colored pencil. Unlike most authors, she does not favor using a zillion colors or equally many layers. This is a good thing. The emphasis on so many layers/colors is both off-putting and not terribly... See more
Wendy Hollender has a unique and somewhat old-fashioned approach to colored pencil. Unlike most authors, she does not favor using a zillion colors or equally many layers. This is a good thing. The emphasis on so many layers/colors is both off-putting and not terribly helpful. Most readers of colored pencil books do not have the weeks or months of time that some artists take to complete a piece. There are other books that stress that 95% of all effects can be achieved in 3 layers or fewer, and I believe it. Perhaps the best advice on the books is her 20 pencil palette. All of the images in the book can be produced with only 20 polychromos pencils. I believe this is the only colored pencil book on the market that makes use of only 20 pencils. For a semi-beginner like myself, restricting attention to 20 pencils is the best advice I got. Instead of pursuing just the right color, I learned how to blend and layer my limited palette in myriad creative ways. Moreover, as a commenter notes below, her advice is a bit ahead of the game. While Prismacolor pencils have long dominated the market, offering rich, creamy feel at lower price, their decision to outsource production to Mexico has resulted in significant degradation of quality. Prismas break easily, are hard to sharpen, and lack consistency in the quality if their color, feel, and production.

This is all good for Polychromos lovers, but there are key limitations to the book. Being oil based, Polychromos pencils lay down differently from most other pencils, which are waxed based. This limits some of the advice given in the book. (For the record, I abandoned Polychromos owing to expense, switching to Derwent stuff, which is high quality, waxed based like Prisma, but much more reasonably priced than Polychromos.)

A more important limitation concerns the content of the book. About 75% of the book contains lead-in, toning, perspective, composition, etc. While this is all important, it can be found elsewhere and little of it had to do specially with colored pencil technique, the main reason for buying the book. Indeed, the bulk of the exercises are to be executed in graphite rather than colored pencil. A long section is devoted to developing a botanical notebook concerning the reproduction and other phases of the plant. This is nice, but quite useless if you cannot render the plant semi-accurately owing to lack of instruction and practice.

It''s a mice enough book, but far from perfect owing to both the quirks of the author , which are readily forgiven, and the choice of material, which is more problematic. If she revises the book, I hope she gives more time to the process of drawing using her "big 20" collection of pencils, and less time to the philosophy of keeping plant journals and the like. The readers of the book want to learn how to paint with colored pencils effectively--especially using her techniques.
77 people found this helpful
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Lynne Pedersen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Learned So Much!!!
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2019
At first glance the book looked way over my head. It wasn''t at all. Of all the books on colored pencil I have recently purchased this one helped the most. It went into way more detail and the author answered questions I had on shading and tips on drawing leaves, roots,... See more
At first glance the book looked way over my head. It wasn''t at all. Of all the books on colored pencil I have recently purchased this one helped the most. It went into way more detail and the author answered questions I had on shading and tips on drawing leaves, roots, stems in the greatest detail. I am a beginner learning only from books and she helped fill in the blank on subject matter other authors left out. I highly recommend this book.
3 people found this helpful
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elizabeth f adolph
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ms Hollender is a great teacher, leading me through basic steps of sketching
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2018
I bought the book to unleash my creativity in preparation for a painting trip to Italy. Ms Hollender is a great teacher, leading me through basic steps of sketching, employing shadow and color. Her instructions are clear and she moves gradually through... See more
I bought the book to unleash my creativity in preparation for a painting trip to Italy. Ms
Hollender is a great teacher, leading me through
basic steps of sketching, employing shadow and
color. Her instructions are clear and she moves
gradually through the lessons.
10 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Lucky L
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect for Beginners in Coloured Pencil.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2017
I am learning so much from this book. It''s not arranged in the order I would arrange it, and it doesn''t cover everything I want to learn (there are some big gaps and not as much actual flower painting as I would like), but the information which is there is extremely useful....See more
I am learning so much from this book. It''s not arranged in the order I would arrange it, and it doesn''t cover everything I want to learn (there are some big gaps and not as much actual flower painting as I would like), but the information which is there is extremely useful. The exercises are realistic to follow along with (even for a beginner like me) and importantly, she uses a limited number of pencils (Faber Castell Polychromos for the basic palette), which is ideal for beginners to get to grips with. Some coloured pencil artists use a zillion different colours and I can never understand how they choose the combinations, or why they lay them in that order (because they never really explain) but Wendy uses a select number of pencils, and she explains how to choose which ones you need. It actually makes sense to me now. Her artwork isn''t quite as amazing as that of Ann Swan, but it''s the tuition in this book which makes it such a winner. (I also have Ann Swan''s book and it''s beautiful and instructive, but she uses dozens of pencils from different brands in each exercise and it''s definitely more advanced - less suitable for beginners.) So if you''re a beginner, you have Faber Castell Polychromos pencils and want to learn how to use them, and you''re only going to buy one book, I''d recommend this.
10 people found this helpful
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J & P Hancock
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2018
Very good book, I am enjoying working from the examples. Wendy Hollander is a very good teacher and provides very clear explanations for her lessons. Some of her videos can be found on YouTube. I can recommended this book if drawing in coloured pencils is your choice of...See more
Very good book, I am enjoying working from the examples. Wendy Hollander is a very good teacher and provides very clear explanations for her lessons. Some of her videos can be found on YouTube. I can recommended this book if drawing in coloured pencils is your choice of medium.
Report
rtsuvpder
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2011
Have just started taking an interest in botanical drawing, especially for coloured pencil. This book is an excellent way to learn the instructions are clear, the author explains why and what the various exercises are for, the drawings are clear and concise. My understanding...See more
Have just started taking an interest in botanical drawing, especially for coloured pencil. This book is an excellent way to learn the instructions are clear, the author explains why and what the various exercises are for, the drawings are clear and concise. My understanding of plants has improved. Would fully recommend this book to anyone who has an interest and is already using coloured pencils.
11 people found this helpful
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Mr.R.P.Tuckey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Terrific teaching
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2021
The instruction is very good, she seemed to know exactly what I would find hard and offer the right help.
One person found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fab
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2018
Lovely reference book
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