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Orchids by F.W.T Burbridge (Botanical Illustrations)

Exploring the works of various Botanical Artists for the upcoming Botanical Drawing Workshop has been too wonderful not to share. When I stumbled across these orchid illustration by Frederick William Thomas Burbidge, a British explorer and botanist. The illustrations are from the volume Jennings, S., Orchids and how to grow them in India and other tropical climates, (1875) [F.W.T. Burbridge]. Looking at these beautifully colored images, one can almost smell the orchids. I wish I could find out more information about the circumstances under which they were painted, the exact medium used, and whether they were made on an expedition or in a conservatory. 

An incredible resource is the website, and archive of Botanical Illustrations with many high res scans. Check it out and see what you discover!

Botanical Drawing and Watercolor Supply List

Here is the supply list for the upcoming Botanical Drawing Workshop.

For a guide on where to buy art supplies in Berlin, go HERE.

- Paper: Hot Press Watercolor Paper (also called smooth, Glatt, Glad) 
300 gA4.
- Botanical Illustrators have traditionally used Hot Press Watercolor Paper for their work because its smooth surface is conducive to fine detail. 
- Watercolor paper can be purchased as a block (edges glued together so paper doesn't buckle) or as individual sheets. If you choose to work on loose sheets, you will need a board to tape your paper to.
Hot Press "Glad/glatt" Watercolor Block, 300g
purchased at Boesner - cost 7 Euro
- Brushes: 
These are the minimum required brushes. Look for the brushes marked for watercolor with the short handle. The larger brush must be real or synthetic sable - this is the fibre that the brush is made from and can be referred to as Sable, Kolinsky-Sable, Rotmarderhaar (de). Real Sable brushes are made from animal hairs are are superior to synthetic brushes.  

  •  #1-2 round brush - for fine detail
  •  #6-8 round brush - Sable, Kolinsky-Sable, Rotmarderhaar (de), or synthetic sable
- Watercolors: I recommend buying dry cakes of watercolors in a box (Aquarell Malkasten).
The fewest colors you can get by with would be these 6 colors below, the three primaries in warm and cool versions. If you have a watercolor set, bring that along and we can see if some colors can be substituted. Different brands also have different names for the same colors sometimes. 
BLUECerulean Blue (or Pthalo Blue)French Ultramarine Blue
REDAlizarin CrimsonCadmium Red
YELLOWLemon Yellow (Cadmium Yellow Pale)Cadmium Yellow

Additional Optional Colors:

Payne's Grey, Burnt Sienna, Violet, Greenish Yellow (Green Gold), Sap Green, Viridian Green, Yellow Ochre, Neutral Tint, your choice!
- White Gouache (opaque watercolor) 

- Other: 

  • Pencils: HB, 2B and white eraser
  • Notebook for taking notes
  • Water cup 
- Optional:

  • masking fluid
  • masking tape  
  • additional palette for mixing colors  
  • pigment Liner 0.1 (artist archival ink pen)

If you have any questions, let me know!