A Handbook of Plant-form: For Students of Design, Art Schools, Teachers and Amateurs

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Written and richly illustrated by the Derby-born artist Ernest Ellis Clark (1869-1932), this guide was originally published in 1904 to demonstrate the decorative possibilities of certain plants, mainly English wild flowers, to art students sitting examinations in plant drawing and design. Clark emphasises the importance of retaining a certain amount of botanical accuracy and provides examples of the ornamental possibilities of selected plants in various stages of their development. The language employed in describing the plants is not rigorously scientific and may be understood by those with little familiarity with botanical terms (a brief glossary is also provided). By focusing primarily on accurate renderings of the plants, rather than decorative applications, Clark allows the student's originality to remain unaffected by his personal preferences, and in so doing he allows students to adapt his teachings to their particular tastes and styles.