Mission Statement

The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists is an open and diverse group of artists, collectors and admirers who share a love for the practice and perpetuation of botanical art and illustration with a fond focus on plants in the Rocky Mountain Region.
We encourage and participate in educational outreach, juried and non-juried exhibits, lectures, workshops and regular chapter meetings. The RMSBA is proud to be the very first chapter affiliation of the international organization, the American Society of Botanical Artists.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Using Models for Accurate Images

Sometimes, a specimen is so small, it's hard to know how to create form in a bold way that is really informative. The image below is a model carved by Frank Merrem. Easily available materials (ranging from paper clay to Sculpy to Styrofoam) can be employed to make a large, easy to see specimen, which may then be lit to effectively reveal form..

Here's the finished color sketch.
Watercolor image of fruiting body, Frank Merrem

Note the scale bar to the right, which tells you how truly tiny the specimen is. And yet, Frank developed an understanding of the 3-dimensionality of his subject using his model. Frank is an experienced photographer, and his understanding of gray scale informs the photo. Sometimes, a black and white rendering of a photo can be a powerful aide to understanding form also.

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