This really rather attractive book is pitched somewhere between the basic guides to flower painting and the more technical botanical illustration works. Anna Mason’s technique involves a six-stage process that starts with the highlights, which are normally in the centre of the flower, and works outwards, adding details, tints and contrasts so that shapes and depth are built up progressively while preserving the main form. There is also plenty of information on painting methods and the use of colour, but these assume a reasonable amount of basic knowledge, so that you don’t spend half the book wading through stuff you should know already.
The overall approach is busy and varied and the concentration is on the painting rather than the flowers – that’s to say, it’s about creating a work of art rather than recording a specific species. There is, however, plenty of variety (more than varieties) and examples of different flower types, shapes and colours. If you’re looking for a book that takes you on from the basics but isn’t obsessed with botanical details, this would be perfect. The demonstrations, while working within the aforementioned six-stage process, have a reasonable number of steps so that while you’re not shown every brushstroke, neither are you pitched from one completed section to another and wondering how you got there.
My only reservation is that the reproduction appears a little coarse and sometimes seems to obscure detail.
Click the picture to view on Amazon