Karen Hooper explores composition concepts with Schöner aus Herrnhut

December 2021

Schöner aus Herrnhut recently helped Karen Hooper explore composition in botanical art. Schöner aus Herrnhut is a German heirloom apple dating back to 1880. Apparently, someone found a single seedling in the Saxony town of Herrnhut. So explains former ER doctor and now heirloom apple expert, David Maxwell. Schöner aus Herrnhutin lives in his orchard overlooking the LaHave river in Middle LaHave, Nova Scotia.

Karen Hooper selected Schöner aus Herrnhut to be her subject for our November Composition Concepts workshop in Mahone Bay. Impressively, Karen, who started doing botanical art a little over a year ago, produced a superb coloured pencil piece. How? Innate talent and following the time-honoured classic live-specimen botanical painting process.

Schöner aus Herrnhut’s history inspired Karen before she became further inspired when handling and examining the apple closely from all angles. Next, she took her time setting up the apple in a suitable pose with appropriate lighting to achieve the desired composition—the all-important composition in botanical art.

Once that was accomplished, Karen commenced with subject sketches followed by construction of a final composition. As you can see, the result speaks well of the process that began with an actual specimen (rather than a digital image).

This sequence of images tells the story . . .

Examining the specimen for composition.
Examining the specimen
The specimen set up for the desired composition
Posed for drawing
Sketching the composition.
Drawing
The final stages demonstrating composition in botanical art
In the final stages

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