How to Make a Plant ID Card

This year I decided to make a plant ID card instead of a Mother's Day card. This is a project that we did in The Watercolor Garden for our April LIVE member's only workshop on Zoom.

You can create something like this even if you are not that confident with painting or drawing. The layout and the elements of the drawing are more important that how "good" the actual drawing and painting are. I have used Red Dead Nettle, or Lamium purpureum for the example in this post.

To create your own plant ID card:

  • Find something out in nature or your backyard to paint.
  • It is best to have the actual plant in front of you for this project.
  • Examine the plant and take some pictures, if you have the plant with the roots that is even better.
  • Next make a simple stick drawing that shows the growth and position of the plant with simple lines. Try to show some of the leaves or flowers at different angles. If you want more info on stick drawings watch this video.
  • Choose a few parts of the plant to do close ups on or feature.
  •  Look up the plant you choose online or in a plant ID book and label some of the parts of it with waterproof ink, or note what type of leaf shape and leaf margin it has.
  • I always label first in pencil and then go over in pen when I know I am happy with it. 
  • Then add a little watercolor, you can just use simple washes and leave the detail showing through in pencil.
  • I used pencil to add most of the roots in on this example as they were so fine it would be hard to paint.
  • Then turn over your little card and write some more about the plant, how it grows, where it grows and what it can be used for on the back of the card.
  • You can give it away as a card with a little greeting below the plant info or keep it for yourself and make a a collection of a bunch of plant ID cards
  • You could make a collection of ID cards for plants that grow in your backyard, a green space near you or even plants you are growing in your vegetable garden. 



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published