In recent times, I’ve seen huge rise in the trend of botanical illustration logos.Needless to say, I’m in love with them.Although they look complicated, I’m going to break it down for you in simple steps so that you can make the same for your brand or blog.Learn how to make a botanical illustration logo using watercolor.
The internet describes botanical illustration as “the art of depicting the form,color and details of plant species,frequently in watercolor paintings”. So, the the one thing you need to focus is on the details.The veins of the leaves, the color variations etc that generally gets overlooked must be taken care of.For an expert, this botanical illustration logo tutorial may have a lot of flaws but as the popular saying goes;”practice makes perfect”.
For this illustration, you will need:-
1. Watercolor paints 2.Watercolor paper(hot or cold pressed) with 300 gsm or more paper thickness. 3.Detail paintbrush 4.Palette 5.Pencils 6.Eraser 7.Water 8.Small T-square(optional) or regular scale
Step 1: First,prep your workspace with the materials required. I recently got hold a postcard sized watercolor paper by Winsor & Newton from my local art store. They are good for making smaller paintings.You can also buy them online.
Since this is a logo, we need to make space for the name of the brand to be written or typed.By using a T-square, draw a straight line right across the centre of the paper.After that,space out 2 cm on each side of the centre line. Then draw two more straight lines up and below the centre line.Repeat the same aligning the paper horizontally towards you following the same steps as above until you get a square.You can use a regular scale for this purpose.If you prefer using a circle shape for the logo, all you will need is the centre point of the paper and using 2cm as radius, draw a circle using a compass.
Step 2:The key to a good botanical illustration logo is moderation. You can’t crowd it with innumerable number of leaves and flowers.It takes focus away from the name of your brand. I know that some people love seeing layers upon layers of leaves and flowers but I believe in “less is more”.Now,getting back to the illustration…
Use a regular pencil to outline the shapes of the elements in the botanical illustration logo. I started from the bottom-left corner with a single big leafand smaller cluster of leaves.Keep changing the direction and alignment of the leaves to give it a natural look. You don’t need to follow the exact steps I’m doing here. You can follow your instinct and proceed.I made some of the leaves go over inside the boxed area.This is to break the monotony of the rigidness the square has. I also stuck to few flowers to break the monotony of color and shape.
Step 3:Now comes the interesting bit. Use a detail brush to fill in the color for the leaves and flowers of the botanical illustration logo. Down below, you will see that I started with a bigger leaf by giving it a bit of gradation.
Then add the details of the leaf.I drew the main veins and then the smaller veins which emerge from the main veins.Then I filled in the color for the cluster of leaves. I used another shade of green for this along with yellow.Keep filling in the leaves with different shades of green.
After completing the leaves, I painted the flowers. To add depth to the leaves and flowers, you can use a colored pencil over the painted area. After observing the illustration, I felt it needed a few more leaves and a flower. So, I added that to the top right corner.
Step 4: After completing the painting, you need to scan it at a resolution of 400 dpi or higher. Don’t forget to erase the pen lines and guidelines before scanning. Next you’ll need to type in the name of your brand. For illustration purposes, I’ve used my brand name for this botanical illustration logo.
1.Scan image.Open it in Adobe photoshop and adjust the brightness and contrast. Scanned images usually look washed out. A little bit of tweaking will make it look better.We’ll name this layer “illustration”.
2.Draw a box with the “marquee tool” in the centre of the image.Make a new layer and name it “box”.Fill it in with the color of your choice. After this reduce the opacity of the box so that you can the leaves underneath it. Select the “erase tool”.Erase the areas where you need the leaves to show(Having a Wacom tablet will make this step easier).Increase the opacity of the “box” layer to 100%.
3.Make a new layer. Name it “border”.Select the “shape tool”and draw a square slightly offsetting it inside from the “box” layer. Right-click the shape and select “stroke”from the drop-down options. Select pencil.The foreground color of your choice will stroke the square shape.Erase the areas which overlap the “illustration” layer.
4.Type in the name of your brand or blog using the “type tool”. Centre it inside the box. And there you have it. Your beautiful new botanical illustration logo.
What do you think?
I hope this tutorial was easy to understand. How do you like this current trend with botanical illustration logos? Is it to too over the top for you or do you think it looks really pretty. If you want to get a logo done for your brand and you don’t want to spend hours working on it, I would love to help. Be sure to check my services tab for more information.