Thursday 30 May 2024

RHS Collage the Botanical World - craft book review

This week I've been having fun with a wonderful book that I've been sent to review - RHS Collage the Botanical World. This book is unique collection of over 1000 botanical themed images from the RHS archives. Printed single sided on thick, glossy pages, these elements are the perfect starting point for creative collaging. With gorgeous pictures covering all sorts of themes including flowers, fruits and vegetables, insects, gardening tools, leaves, mushrooms, greenhouses, there's plenty here to get the creative juices flowing.

RHS Collage the Botanical World craft book review

At the beginning of the book you can find plenty of useful tips and advice along with some colourful inspiration. For example, don't just cut out and assemble every image that takes your fancy, instead take some time to look at the different perspectives and lighting, and also think about limiting the colour palette so that the finished collage doesn't become overwhelming. 

Collage tips from botanical collage book

Although at first I hated the idea of cutting into the book, once I had braced myself to cut out my first image I couldn't stop! I snipped the pictures out roughly until I had a small pile, then I spent time with a smaller and sharper pair of scissors to cut them more neatly. Some of the images are very fiddly, so you need to decide whether to cut them down right to the edges or leave a small border. You also might need to use a scalpel for some of the interior areas.

RHS Botanical Collage book sample pages and illustrations

It's relaxing and meditative - both when you are flipping through the book to select your images and then while you concentrate on the cutting out, enjoying a close up look at the picture as you do so.

At the end of the book there's a great selection of different backgrounds that you can use for your collage. Some are vintage and muted, others are modern and vibrant. I was a little hesitant about where to start and I found it much easier to think about adding collage to an existing background rather than being faced with a blank page.

RHS Botanical Collage book background photographs

I can see myself using this collage collection in two ways. The first is to enhance my illustrated journal, and because I often write about what is happening in my garden I spotted plenty of images which would work perfectly. For example these plump tomatoes, pretty sunflowers and ripe apples. 

Illustrated journal with botanical collage images

Secondly is to use the images to make my own collages in my scrapbook, and this was something that I really enjoyed having a go at. I chose a background of some large rocks so that I could play around with the scale of my collage. I took inspiration from one of the example images at the beginning of the book that used mushrooms as a landscape feature, and cut them to look as though they were growing among the rocks. Then I added vegetable greenery at the bottom and images of a woman and a bird to balance it out! I had a lot of fun choosing my images and thinking about where to place them, and I'm definitely going to be making some more fun collages!

Collage page with botanical theme

If you fancy having a go at this yourself, you can click here to order a copy of the book!

1 comment:

  1. Ohh! The thought of cutting into a book isn't good but this sounds wonderful! The images are just beautiful. What a fantastic idea. x


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