Michael Lakin was born and bred in South Derbyshire, UK. His early learning was basic but he always excelled in art. After leaving school he moved into engineering, becoming a manager, before he left to start his own business. Michael kept up art as a hobby and began to teach classes in Botanical Art to adults at Derby WAEA. Since then he has exhibited in London and other parts of the UK. He has a purpose-built studio next to his rural home, where he teaches and gives demonstrations throughout the year.
He is a full member of the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) and a member of the Society of Floral Painters (SFP). He was awarded the Highly Commended Joyce Cummings Award for the portrait of Red Onions and he received a silver medal at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) London (April 2014) for paintings of the Lifecycle of the Newton Wonder Apple.
If you are fascinated by the art of botanical illustration, but struggling to find a way into its highly-detailed technique, this excellent guide will come to your rescue. Assembled from two of Michael's earlier books, but completely re-edited, the result is an impressively structured course. This begins with the preparation of your specimen and moves via uses of colour (including how to create form) to a series of detailed step-by-step exercises that teach practice and flower types by example paintings. The last third of the book is taken up with ten demonstrations for which pre-printed tracings are available. This approach is based on Michael's six-stage method, which simplifies the way of working. It may seem excessively elementary, but does ensure that the basic outline is right from the start. Michael achieves impressive, professional looking results that the amateur should be able to replicate without too much effort. It is a valuable introduction.* The Artist *
This is another of Search Press's mashups, combining material from 2010's Ready to Paint Botanical Flowers in Watercolour and 2012's A-Z of Botanical Flowers in Watercolour, bringing together the best from both.
If it's possible to teach beginners something that takes a lifetime to master, this comes at least somewhere near to achieving its aim. There are 13 pre-printed tracings (familiar from the Ready to Paint series) with their detailed demonstrations. Alongside and really rather well integrated with this elementary process is the more detailed information from the larger book. This includes an explanation of Michael's six-stage process for flower painting that does a lot to remove the confusing mystique that surrounds the subject. There are also exercises for further development once you've mastered the basics.
As an introduction to realistic flower painting, this is really rather good.* Artbookreview.net *
Michael Lakin's Beginner's Guide to Botanical Flower Painting turns the exquisite art of botanical painting into an achievable reality using his six-stage process. There are sections on colour, drawing, tone, composition and dissection, intersoersed with many tips along the way, plus 12 step-by-step projects with full-size tracings included.* The Leisure Painter *
Michael presents a 6-stage process to painting any flower you like in detail. It's a mix of traditional techniques and contemporary style to produce detailed flower portraits. There are sections on colour (including greens), drawing (simplifying the process into shapes), tone, composition and dissection. 12 excellent step-by-step projects are included with full-size tracings provided. Find out how to select, prepare and draw flowers and how to mix colours. Michael has chosen to depict favourite flowers with wide appeal - rose, calla lily, iris, magnolia and pansy amongst others. Throughout you will find Michael's inspirational flower paintings. This book is based on two previously published books.* www.yarnsandfabrics.co.uk *