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Symbiartic


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Why Isn’t More Botanical Art Like This?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Botanical art has some conventions that have helped the practice remain accurate and disciplined: portions of the plants painted in isolation on white backgrounds; often 1:1 in size with the real plant; typically in watercolour for the range of colours (Opera Pink, anyone?) and known factors in preservation.

After seeing these works-in-progress by Mieke Roth, I find myself wondering why more of it doesn’t look like this:

Ceropegia sandersonii, work-in-progress © Mieke Roth

You can also view this one on SketchFab, in Roth’s 3D portfolio.

Sneeuwklokje, (wip) © Mieke Roth

Tarwe (wip) © Mieke Roth

About the works, Mieke told me

There is only one thing, but that is me being a perfectionist: the illustration (Ceropegia sandersonii) as is isn’t correct yet. I did a lot of work on the flower itself and that one I made sure to be correct, and on the materials and such, but the twig and stem it is on are not entirely correct. Those I did more on how I wanted it to “feel”. And regarding the black background: I actually find it very effective with botanical renders. And the funny thing is that most of the time I do prefer white backgrounds!

I feel quiet, sacred wonder seeing these organic  forms floating and illuminated in blackness. Like stained glass in a darkened cathedral. I love it. As soon as I saw these in her Twitter feed, I knew I had to share them here on Symbiartic.

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Glendon Mellow About the Author: Glendon Mellow is a fine artist, illustrator and tattoo designer working in oil and digital media based in Toronto, Canada. He tweets @FlyingTrilobite. You can see Glendon's work-in-progress at The Flying Trilobite blog and portfolio at www.glendonmellow.com. Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. AnitaC 12:37 pm 07/29/2014

    Thanks for highlighting Mieke Roth’s work – it is exceptional, with phenomenal attention to detail. All the more interesting because she regularly shares her working progress in Google ScienceArt circle.

    Link to this

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