Despite all the sweet and well-meaning comments I received after my last tattoo post, I’m still planning on moving forward with my own this summer. I’m looking to get a very precise botanical illustration with clean lines and a specific flower that pertains to my home state, so I’ve been hunting through vintage and antique botanical books to find a good image. I don’t want to pull an exact image to replicate (but rather something to use as a jumping-off point), but after going through books this weekend, I was tempted to rip out some of these pages and run to the nearest artist.
While shopping at Eden on Friday, I picked up a copy of an oldie-but-goodie book from Chronicle called Plants and Their Application to Ornament by Eugene Grasset. The cover alone was so close to what I was looking for that I immediately added it to my bag of goodies and brought it home. After seeing me flip through this book, my summer roomie, Lisa, dragged out a few choice books: Garden of Eden and Insects of Surinam. The former was my favorite, and it’s got about 15 of my D*S business cards stuck in pages marking them for potential tattoo usage.
Those books inspired me to further dive into the world of scientific plant and insect illustration, so I hope you’ll join me after the jump for a few more of my favorites. xo, grace
Amazing Rare Things is a gorgeous collection of various flora, fauna, gem and insect illustrations that are beyond inspirational. Some of them are so bright, colorful and unexpected that it’s hard to believe they occur naturally in the wild. If you’re looking for something unique and special to inspire you, this one is a must.
Last but not least, The Roses is an incredibly lush book full of illustrations that are enough to inspire you to plant a rose garden even in the smallest of spaces. Each page is more rich and full of color than the next — and if you were ever thinking about getting some permanent ink in the shape of a rose, this would be a great place to start for inspiration. If body art isn’t your thing, this also offers great inspiration for a centerpiece or home floral arrangement.
I’m still rummaging around Powells’ used-book section for more botanical illustration books, but if you have a favorite, I’d love to hear some of yours in the comment section below.
More images from Garden of Eden:
More images from Plants and Their Application to Ornament:
More images from Insects of Surinam: