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A book review: The art of Botanical & Bird Illustration+

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NAME OF BOOK: The art of Botanical & Bird Illustration AUTHOR: Mindy Ligthipe ISBN: 9781633223783 Oh Mindy! You talented woman you! This book, is my go to and I went from sloppy artist to ‘on point’ with my art. You know, in the past when I was just starting out I would always be disappointed with the final product. People would humour me and say ‘well it’s your interpretation of the subject. Golly! That would always get me so frustrated. I was not creating what was in my head. But this book is just phenomenal, it will take you out of your art rut.

She slowly takes you through all the basics including technique, shading, perception. Then she takes you through form. Which I loved. It’s not enough just to draw a few feathers here and there. Of slap down some haphazard flower petals. But to be able to understand the actual make up of, say, the birds wings and the plumage? Perfect. She shows you how to observe the little creatures and sketch quickly to capture the nature of the birds. Then she has sections in the book towards the end where she has created an illustration. She shows you the photo she used as inspiration, the takes you literally, step by step until completion. I actually adapted her style of teaching to teach my own students. She is amazing. Also, she teaches you about colour and tells you which colours to use or how to create the colours. I created a few pictures from her book and they always turn out. Her main medium is watercolour, which I am not by any means, proficient at. But with her guidance, I feel like I can develop those skills with ease and clarity. I also easily adapt her techniques to my chosen medium, which is pencils. Mindy Lightipe, I thoroughly enjoyed your book and it will remain a staple in my ‘go to’ range of instructional books sitting on my book case. 😊

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