When the sun finally comes out in the Pacific Northwest we all find reasons to be outside as much as possible. I just cataloged Michael Lakin’s gorgeous new book, A-Z of Botanical Flowers in Watercolour, that will have you heading for the wild in search of flowers to paint. Not only is this a beautiful book to look at, but it is a great tutorial for learning the art of botanical illustration using watercolor. Michael Lakin covers everything: choosing the right plant specimen, composition, color-mixing, and his six stages of painting with detailed photographs and very clear instructions. So whether you’re headed to the Gorge for a hike, or just to your nearest garden store – grab your paints and have a go.