Untitled [Botanical Drawing]

Untitled [Botanical Drawing], James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper, 1920. UC/MBL/2133

James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper, 1920. UC/MBL/2133.

Produced in 1920, when James Johnstone was completing his post-graduate diploma in design at the Edinburgh College of Art, this botanical drawing is one of a series of five in the Macmillan Brown collection. It depicts the stem of a plant in flower, with details of flower buds to the right, and to the left, a single flower that has been delicately filled with light pink watercolour. The drawing has been rendered in fine pencil, with precise lines that vary in weight. They are most heavy when describing the outlines of the stem, leaves and petals, and lightest when used to imply areas of shade. In places, the flower buds have been slightly stylised and are reminiscent of Arts and Crafts drawing. It is as though Johnstone has decided to depict the plant as unspoiled and perfect; the essence of its desirability.

James Johnstone : A selection of artworks


Click on the thumbnails to discover more about this striking selection of artworks by James Johnstone. Images selected and written about by Alice Tappenden.

Allandale Springtime, James Johnstone, c. 1953. Oil on Canvas. UC/MBL/2330
Untitled [Botanical Drawing], James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper, 1920. UC/MBL/2133
Untitled [Design for Chalice], James Johnstone, Pencil and ink drawing on paper, Date unknown. UC/MBL/2061
Untitled [Sheet of sketches for decimal currency], James Johnstone, Graphite, pen and ink on paper, c. 1966. UC/MBL/2138
Diploma of the Edinburgh College of Art, presented to James Alexander Johnstone, 1920. UC/MBL/2151
Floral Design, James Johnstone, Graphite and watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2109
Untitled [Head Study], James Johnstone, Charcoal on paper, 1913. UC/MBL/2154
On the Solway, James Johnstone, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2236
Untitled [Design for Centennial Stamp, ChristChurch Cathedral], James Johnstone, c. 1949, Watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2103
Untitled [The Camp, Woodend], James Johnstone, 1945, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2212
Untitled [Woodend Beach], James Johnstone, 1945, Oil on canvas. UC/MBL/2217
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    Lydia Baxendell
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