Camellia by Masumi Yamanaka for the RHS
To lean to draw a flower, it is best to place a blossoming plant in a deep hollow in the ground and to look upon it. The all its qualities may be grasped. To learn to draw a bamboo, take a branch and cast its shadow upon a white wall on a moonlight night; then its true outline can be obtained. To learn to paint a landscape too, the method is the same. An artist should identify himself with the landscape and watch it until its significance is revealed to him.
Kuo Hsi, a painter of the Sung Period (AD1000)
This reminds me: 'What is a lovely phrase? One that has mopped up as much truth as it can hold.'