I think you could say that, with this really rather surprising addition, this imaginative series has come of age. Botanical illustration isn’t normally regarded as something for the beginner, and yet these books, with their pre-printed tracings, are surely firmly in that camp. Aren’t they? And yet this works, completely. The answer, I think is that there’s a degree of flexibility in the format and here it bridges the gap between the beginner and the intermediate painter and makes accessible something that can be tricky to get started with.
Once again, by freeing you from the problem of getting the draughtsmanship right in the first place, Michael Lakin is able to concentrate on demonstrating the use of brushwork, colour and shading for producing detailed flower portraits. There’s still a lot to learn, of course, and six demonstrations, detailed as they are, won’t teach you everything you need to know, but by the end you’ll be able to decide whether it’s worth progressing and buying one of the many larger books on the subject.