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BOTANICAL ARTIST

Education And Training

Botanical artists need training in art as well as a knowledge of plant structure. Take art, drafting, biology, and botany courses in high school. If your city has a specialized high school for visual artists, plan to attend.

To gain hands-on experience, draw and paint pictures of flowers and plants on your own. There are many books that teach basic techniques in various media, including pencil, pen and ink, watercolors, and acrylic and oil paints. Spend time in home gardens, botanical gardens, nature preserves, and other areas where you can sketch flowers and plants, or collect specimens to study and work from when you get home.

After high school, sign up for art classes or attend a two-year art school that offers a program in botanical illustration. During this time, you can develop a portfolio of your work to show prospective clients or employers. Because of the level of detail required in their works, botanical artists generally do not use computer drawing software, but they sometimes use the Photoshop or Painter programs, along with scanners, to reproduce their work. You also should know how to use computer e-mail and word processing to communicate with clients.

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