The art of science and the science of art.

Why Isn’t More Botanical Art Like This?


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

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