A 100 botanical illustrations in a 100 days

One week in to The 100 Day Project and I'm on schedule. Rather surprisingly since I moved house from London to Antwerp this week, and just started working on a commission for a large art piece for The Detox Kitchen's new deli in Fitzroy Place. Must have something to do with a willingness to abandon unpacked boxes for undrawn illustrations.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Prickly-Pear

Day 01

Opuntia ficus or Prickly Pear

Study from an original illustration and multiple photos

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I experimented with diluting my ink and layering the tones over each other. Resulting in a less expressive line, but more expressive colour work. This illustration is a study of an original illustration by Georg Dionysius Ehret made in 1761. I changed the shape and placement of the fruit in its stages of development, so it wouldn't be a straight up copy. On top of the ink and watercolour, I digitally layered the illustration with textures and colours.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Dragon-Fruit

Day 02

Hylocereus undatus or Dragon Fruit, also known as Pitaya

Drawn from life

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Since the flesh of Hylocereus undatus is white, you can see some of the more deeply embedded black seeds half and half shining through. I recreated this effect by diluting my ink and layering darker tones over each other. I added extra texture to the white flesh of the fruit, as well as the rind to amp up the pink parts.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Cashew

Day 03

Anacardium occidentale or Cashew

Drawn from multiple photos

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One of the things I was asked to illustrate for my commionisoned work for The Detox Kitchen were cashews. Since, they're rather little, I thought I'd try my hand at the full thing, cashew apple and nut. Not sure if I'll end up using the whole cashew in my illustration, but it was a nice study, one I'll probably continue in another illustration further down the line.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Lemon

Day 04

Citrus x lemon or Lemon

Drawn from a photo

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On day four, packing and getting ready to move back from London to Antwerp threw me off a bit . After all there's only so much drawing you can do when half your stuff still needs to be packed up in bags and boxes.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Mulberry-Black

Day 05

Morus nigra or Black Mulberry

Drawn from multiple photos

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Day five was put together on day seven, when I was fed up of unpacking and needed a full on illustration session. Painted with concoctions of red onion skins, soaked black mulberries, hibiscus, and a little green pastel for the stalk. 

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Mulberry-Leaves

Day 06

Morus alba or White Mulberry

Drawn from a photo

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Since, I started illustrating food, apart from a few spinach leaves, I haven't actually drawn a lot of leaves. Hence, some quality time was spent staring at photos of mulberry leaves. The illustration is a mix between green pastels and digital layering of textures and colour.

TheHungryChild-Illustration-Avocado

Day 07

Persea americana or Avocado

Drawn from life

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I cheat a little when it comes to avocados. You see, each one is a slightly different shape or roundness, and to fully encapsulate that, I trace them. You start by washing out your avocados, turn them round bit up, and follow along with a pencil. I adjust the shape a little by squeezing and pushing, here and there. After I've lightly traced the avocado in pencil, I bring out my ink and switch between thick and thin ink lines to preserve the gnarly skin. Finished with pastels and tiny bit of digitally added colour.

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All of my illustrations are a mix between watercolour, pastel, ink, and digital collage + editing. My originals are drawn on Hahnemühle, which is a mix between 90% bamboo fiber and 10% rag, and weighs 265g/m2. I set up all of my illustrations with a beige craft-paper like background in Photoshop. For this project I've been changing the opacity of the background to better suit each single illustration, instead of the project as a whole.

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So, now that I'm back on track, it's time to illustrate my little heart out. Because, I'm only seven days in, I have a commission to dig myself in to, a box of kitchen stuff to sort out, as well as stray books that haven't found a surface to call home, yet.

 

With hunger and love,

Julie

 

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