Lines and Colors art blog

Denise Ramsay, watercolor botanical art
Denise Ramsay is a botanical artist originally from New Zealand, who now divides her time between Hong Kong and a cottage in the southwest region of France.

Ramsay paints keenly observed and intricately realized watercolors of flowers and other plants, sometimes at a fairly large scale, in watercolor.

Her paintings are bold and dynamic, apparently without compromising botanical accuracy. In one of her projects, she painted a poppy from bud (images above, third down) to full flower (top, with detail) to eventual faded bloom. There is an article on Bored Panda that follows the sequence.

In addition to the gallery of images on her website, you can find a selection of limited edition Giclee prints.

There is a video on YouTube of Ramsay being interviewed by Katherine Tyrrell.


5 responses to “Denise Ramsay”

  1. Sherrill Avatar

    Great attention to detail! Love the vibrant colors and having the white background so you can just focus on the shapes, negative spaces and the way it was rendered.

    1. Thanks, Sherrill. Yes, there is a nicely contemplative aspect to the isolation of plants in botanical art, a singularity of focus.

  2. Illustration #7 = Pak choi, or bok choy, also called pe-tsai, petsay, Chinese white cabbage, and white celery mustard

    As someone truthfully put forward, “Beautiful People these Botanical Artists”.

    Thanks to you, Charley!


    The earliest portrayals of plants and trees were found in Mesopotamia and Egypt about four thousand years ago, where highly developed agricultural civilizations included images of plants and other
    motifs on the walls of their temples and tombs.

    Later, in Cretan, Greek and Roman art, figures of plants and trees were often used to decorate ceramics or coins with various degrees of realism. Aristotle (384-322 BC) and his pupil Theophrastus (c.370-285 BC) were the first to study the medicinal properties of plants systematically. Although no manuscripts of classical times have survived, we know that they existed because Pliny the Elder (c. 23-79AD), himself an important recorder of botanic material, mentions colored illustrations in herbals. Pliny refers to Krateuas in particular, a Greek physician of the first century BC, who is widely considered to be the father of botanical illustration.

    1. Thanks for the background info, Ælle. Yes, that’s a noticeable difference from the prehistoric cave paintings that focused on animal images.