Botanical Illustration 5 day workshop

Nectarines 1298

Workshop outline.

The workshop provides an opportunity for students to continue to practice their skills in Botanical Illustration in the company of other like-minded artists. Watching other student’s styles and the different range of botanical subjects examined can be very stimulating and informative. The workshop is usually limited to 12 students.

The following aspects of Botanical Illustration will be considered:-

•Tonal values

•The geometry of plants - how to draw them accurately

•Sketchbook work - the value of working sketches

•Colour mixing and paint quality

•Watercolour techniques such as wet in wet, dry, flat and graded washes

•Lighting conventions


•Dissection and Microscope observation - enlargement with a camera.

Attention is given to the practicalities of Botanical Illustration. For example, how to keep specimens, how to handle flowers that don’t last more than an hour and combining different parts of the life cycle of a plant.  

In regards to painting itself

•how to remove marks from the paper

•how to cover up some mistakes

•how not to make some mistakes

•working on coloured paper and backgrounds

•painting presentation, framing and mounting for exhibition.  

Beginners and more experienced artists are catered for in the small workshop format and everyone works at their own pace.

Daily program. 

Day 1:

•Drawing & 3D illustration

•Use of tonal values

•Geometry of plants

•The value of field sketchbooks

Day 2:

•Colour discussion

•Colour mixing and the theory of colour

•Paint quality

Day 3:

•Watercolour technique

•Flat and graded washes

Day 4:


Day 5:

•Completion of small paintings by each student

Classes start at 9.30 am sharp and finish around 4.30 pm.

Tea, Coffee and biscuits are provided during the workshop.

Lunch (usually 12:30 to 1:30 pm) may be purchased at the nearby shops  or brought to class by students.

Please note:

•That certain aspects of the planned program may be modified to suite the workshop.

•The course fee is for tuition only and doesn't include materials, transport  or accommodation (if required).

Materials list.

•2 Imperial size sheets of Arches 300 gsm hot pressed watercolour paper.

•Windsor and Newton artist quality watercolour paints 5 ml tubes

•Cadmium Yellow

•Cadmium Lemon

•Cadmium Red or Scarlet Lake

•Permanent Rose

•French Ultramarine Blue

•Cerulean Blue

•Optional, Burnt Umber.

•Brushes - Sable is always the best but it is expensive, try a Roymac brand Kolinsky sable size 2 or 3, make sure it has a good point, plus a Sablinsky or synthetic brush (round) size 8

•Also needed are a rag, water container, small spray if possible, HB and 2B pencils.

•Kneadable rubber (Faber Castell is a good brand) and a palette.

•A palette could be a plain white china plate, I use one all the time, or you might prefer to buy a folding palette which is easier to transport, or there is one on the market by Michael Wilcox, which helps with colour mixing by showing you where to put every colour, the choice is yours.

•A plain white card folder, A4 or foolscap size is useful to put behind specimens.

•A sketchbook

 Copyright © Helen Fitzgerald 2020