Fritillaria meleagris, SBA Diploma Portfolio

Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris)

There is something rather flamboyant about Fritillaria, perhaps it is that the leaves can be alternate, opposite or whorled or sometimes all of the above, like they can’t be constrained by the ordinary rules. Or perhaps it is the outlandish spots on some of them, particularly the F. meleagris. Don’t they know that plants should not have such a geometric checkerboard design? Well apparently Fritillaria don’t care about our expectations, and that is okay by me!

This is a botanical illustration, the first of three paintings I submitted for my diploma portfolio for the SBA course I am taking.

I painted Fritillaria affinis, which is native to the Pacific Northwest where I live, earlier in the course. I hope to paint another native, Fritillaria pudica as well, and of course who could resist the preposterously exotic Fritillaria imperialis?

Addendum: Tutor’s Comments & My Reflections:

My tutor liked this painting, particularly the botanical accuracy and technique. Her only suggestion for improvement would be to place the right hand graphite sections lower so the bottom right quadrant wouldn’t be so crowded.  She thought the color matching and the markings on the tepals were very well done.

The botanist who evaluated it said it was “a fastidiously observed and delicately reproduced drawing with lovely clear dissections”.

I do love botanical illustration and graphite drawing so this was the most enjoyable one to do of my three portfolio assignments.



  1. Love this illustration Janene – it’s so beautifully done. Congratulations!

  2. Janene, this is so perfect and precise and delicately painted (right down to the checkers) that I wonder if you paint with a very steady hand and a one bristle brush:) You manage to make it look so natural, as if it is being moved by a breeze. Lovely!

  3. This is super Janene. It’s well balanced and flows around the page. Lovely balance of paint and graphite too, and fabulous intricate detail. You captured the essence of the fritillary marvellously.

  4. A fascinating plant subject and one where you have done justice to its special qualities. Super!

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