Natural Botanics

Isabella Buratto

Isabella Buratto

The project ‘Natural Botanics’, captures the serenity and essence of the environment from Isabella’s local neighbourhood. ‘Natural Botanics’ draw inspiration from Australian Botanicals such as banksia, gum leaves and blossoms to form a group of organic and free flowing pieces. This collection demonstrates her progressive illustrative style, using pencils and dyes to reflect her inspiration and her location.

Models from nature and history are important to Isabella’s work, with her colour and motif selection being influenced by the florals she sees in her local area. Isabella values the importance of working sustainably and making ethical choices, and aims to minimise waste in her common work practices. Making dyes from plant materials was one of her approaches to make natural colours using waste from plant based foods in her household. 

From the beginning, Isabella looked to challenge herself and try different techniques that she doesn’t commonly use. This included creating an illustrative drawing style and making her own dyes. Initially, learning how to crosshatch and create shading was a tedious task, however after more practice, Isabella became more confident and started to use coloured pencils to make her designs more vibrant and engaging. 

Thorough research had to be conducted on natural dyeing, as there were many steps and considerations for different colours. The process became easier and simpler to follow as experience with the dyes grew. Painting with these dyes resulted in a lovely, soft watercolour effect producing light and natural colours. Isabella used these colours as a base for her designs and to create a composite overlay aesthetic. Throughout the project her colour palette transformed from muted and tonal, to playful and vibrant which ultimately heightened the audience’s engagement.

This project was an exploration with new materials and techniques to Isabella, which she believes will assist her in her development as an emerging designer. Isabella looks forward to ensuring her work processes are sustainable and ethically sound, minimising waste as much as possible. Isabella looks to pair these approaches with the exploration of new techniques throughout her tenure as a designer.