When Elise and I sat down to discuss the options for the illustrations for our upcoming book Perfume From Your Garden, color photos were considered, but the ability to get similar lighting and composition for them ruled them out.  Maybe in the future, but our timeline for a publication date of late Fall (Nov 8 is target date) means we can’t get them together by then.  I told Elise of some drawings that I had traced out of an herb book in 1983 or so. The doctor’s wife loved the illustrations in the book, and asked I used them for this drawing, as it was going to be hung on the wall in the office. So, I used them for a private, not-for-publication illustration for a doctor’s office.  At the time I was in grad school for landscape architecture, but had a landscape and interiorscape business on the side (a catering business, too!).

Well, trying to find the drawing, below, was a week of frustrating and increasingly sad time spent on the task, because not only couldn’t I find the drawing, I couldn’t find the original book.  I believe the book was on herbs of the south.  I had been collecting and studying herb books since the early 70s, and I remembered that it may have been in with some books that mildewed and was trashed.

Finally, going through the folders of hundreds of drawing I did as part of my grad degree and later career as a landscape architect and urban designer, I found this one drawing sandwiched in between all the off-topic drawings. Talk about happy!

Elise likes it too, and it closely matched the drawing I had sketched out for her quickly when I first mentioned the aesthetic.  I remembered the oval as having two lines, and being longer than wide, a bit more portrait style.

What do you think of this aesthetic? I’d love your opinion.  Elise is going to start work on these for all the plants in our book, from frangipani to rose to lemongrass and about fifty other scented beauties.  Let me know and let us know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

PS: don’t forget to stop by http://perfumefromyourgarden.com and sign up for our newsletter.  There will be giveaways of the book for randomly-selected subscribers.

oval herb drawing