This section is from the book "The Gardener V2", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
By F. "W. Burbridge. London, Windsor & Newton, 3S Rathbone Place.
Mr Burbridge is well known to the readers of most of the gardening periodicals of the day as a very accurate and scientific botanical draughtsman. Combined with a natural genius for drawing, he has a thorough practical knowledge of plants, and he has carefully and skilfully cultivated the art of plant-sketching on the most correct principles. It need therefore scarcely be said that he is well qualified to instruct in making scientific drawings of plants. He has also the gift of a clear and succinct way of conveying information with his pen, and the result of his present effort is, to our mind, a most useful and much-needed handbook on botanical drawing. The rules which he has laid down for guiding the student are most understandable, and they are, besides, illustrated with twenty engravings designed by himself. The work is very comprehensive, though comparatively brief. Its instructions embrace: materials for drawing; how to draw foliage, regular flowers, and irregular ones; fruits and seeds, as well as plants in their entirety. There are also instructions and illustrations of group-drawing for shading and colouring, picturesque sketches, concluding with numerous hints and suggestions.
It is a wonder that botanical drawing is not more frequently attempted and acquired by young gardeners and botanists than it really is. It is to be feared that the idea prevails that unless one is born a draughtsman it cannot be acquired. Doubtless, as in every other art or performance whatever, some have greater natural aptitude for drawing than others. Still it is a great mistake to suppose that a considerable degree of proficiency in correctly representing plants on paper is not within the reach of very many. It only requires to be begun in youth, and carefully and persever-ingly pursued. And once begun it is a most alluring occupation, and one which we would recommend to young gardeners as well worthy their attention. And we know of no better instructing companion in the way of a book on the subject than this of Mr Burbridge. It is so very cheap that it is within the reach of all; and we would strongly recommend it to the attention of our younger brethren, feeling sure that if they purchase it and be guided by it, with a little care and perseverance, they will astonish themselves by the representations of plants which they will be enabled to place on paper with their pencil.
We should much like to have quoted from the work to show how well it instructs, but as it is procurable for a mere trifle, we prefer referring all who are interested in the subject to the work itself, and if they follow its instructions we are certain they will benefit by it.