Through Laura’s Lens: Drawing the Plant Kingdom


The Flower Show is (sadly) now over, but the memory of “Hawaii: Islands of Aloha” lives on. One way to keep the momentum going is to take up a new horticultural hobby. If you’ve had bad luck with plants in the past, here’s an alternative that might speak to you: botanical illustration!

Perhaps you saw examples of the art form at the Flower Show, where the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Botanical Illustrators had an exhibit titled The Flora of Hawaii: Indigenous, Endemic, Invasive.

If you missed it, here’s what you should know. Botanical illustrators work in watercolor to depict the structure, growth habit, and, in some cases, the life cycle of a plant—all with scientific accuracy. As a rule, these masterpieces are on white backgrounds and lack any “props”—so no vases, no garden scenes, no floral bouquets in crystal bowls.

These beautiful, original watercolors at the Flower Show depicted the colorful and varied plants and flowers found on the islands of Hawaii. The photo below most emphatically does not do them justice.

If you’d like to give botanical illustration a try, sign up for a beginners’ class. Some actually take place at PHS. And who knows, someday your work of art may go on display at the Flower Show!

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One Response to “Through Laura’s Lens: Drawing the Plant Kingdom”

  1. M Favre Says:

    Thank you for helping us get the word out! The show was well received and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in The Flower Show.
    -Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators.

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