Representing leaves accurately is one of the many challenges faced by botanical illustrators. Illustrators need to capture the gesture, movement, texture, color, and veining patterns of leaves. Exhaustive leaf studies are not always possible because leaves wilt. Quickly. Some very quickly.
A new book, Extraordinary Leaves by Stephen Green-Armytage and Dennis Schrader, is the perfect reference book for botanical illustrators. The photographs by Stephen Green-Armytage are breathtaking. They contain exactly the type of information illustrators will find invaluable. Many hours can be spent studying color, texture, leaf margins, and veining patterns from the images in this book. Accompanying the sharp detailed photographs is text written by Dennis Schrader, a professional horticulturist, garden designer, and regular on Martha Stewart Living. Schrader shares interesting information about about each chapter topic, insectivorous plants, skeletonized leaves, and twenty-nine of the plants featured in this book.
Extraordinary Leaves is comprised of 13 chapters, each dedicated to either a physical feature of leaves (e.g., color, pattern, edges, texture, shape, size, and climbing patterns) or dedicated to a specific plant group (e.g., caladium, kale, ferns, coleus, vines, autumn plants).
The publisher has sample pages of this book on its website. However, these images do not do this book justice. The selected images do not give any indication of what the book truly contains. There is nothing that lets the reader know what there is to learn about the structure of the midrib and secondary veins of Giant Elephant Ear (Alocasia calodora ‘Persian Palm’), the color in Coleus leaves, or the undulating pattern observed in fronds of the Lasagna Fern (Asplenium nidus ‘Plicatum’).
This book is more than exciting. It is spectacular!
Now available at ArtPlantae Books
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