Illustrating London's oldest botanic garden

 
A close up from the map. The design features elements of the Garden which I sketched first on location and then worked into the finished art.

A close up from the map.

The design features elements of the Garden which I sketched first on location and then worked into the finished art.

Recently I was commissioned by the Chelsea Physic Garden to illustrate a pen and ink map featuring my sketches. I was thrilled to be asked as the Garden is somewhere I've enjoyed painting and sketching in the past. As someone who loves drawing interesting places in London, the Garden also has a lot of history.

The Pond Rockery at the Garden - one of the oldest in Europe.

The Pond Rockery at the Garden - one of the oldest in Europe.

Established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the Garden has long been about the growth and study of medicinal and useful plants. This is still very much apparent today - the volunteers give free tours explaining the many different types of plants on site and their uses.

Chelsea Physic Garden - Sloane statue. A picture I painted on location last year.  One of the volunteers at the Garden very kindly bought the original artwork after seeing me drawing by the Sloane statue. A print is available here.

Chelsea Physic Garden - Sloane statue.

A picture I painted on location last year.  One of the volunteers at the Garden very kindly bought the original artwork after seeing me drawing by the Sloane statue. A print is available here.

Sketchbook drawings I made on site. This was helpful in gathering reference material for the map, and gave me ideas as to what to include in the final artwork.

  Initial draft sketch in pencil.

 

Initial draft sketch in pencil.

A pencil rough based on sketches. The gardening gloves for the entrance/exit signs was an idea I included in the last stages before getting the OK for the final artwork.

The finished dip pen and ink drawing.

The finished dip pen and ink drawing.

The lettering was particularly fun to do, although I did end up doing a lot of spell checks with some of the longer names before inking... Looking at you 'Monocotyledon Order Beds'.

It was nice to see these available in the Garden shop recently - one of the uses of the map was for a set of high quality bone china mugs. Its really satisfying to see these are now hopefully going to be filled with tea and coffee! Two designs are available and both feature a section of the map and a motif on the inside - the wheelbarrow from my sketchbook ended up being one of the inside pictures.

Atlantic Islands Glasshouse.

Atlantic Islands Glasshouse.

A painting I did at the Garden's Xmas Fair recently. I decided to focus on one of their Foster & Pearson designed glasshouses which date back over 100 years.