Online tutorials

Can’t get to a botanical art class?

Face to face teaching is the best, but to get you started here is a combination of  links to my YouTube videos and blog post descriptions.

Don’t forget to look at the other tuition pages to find out about classes and workshops that are of interest to you.

  • Camellia bud step-by-step – in coloured pencil

    The camellia bud in coloured pencil shows both the solidity of the tightly furled bud and the delicacy of the petals. At the same time the very shiny leaves create a lovely backdrop to the flower.

    There is no description of the process on the slideshow of stills taken during the painting process, but there is a list of the pencils that were used.

Link to the slideshow on Youtube: Camellia bud step-by-step

  • Two’s company, three’s a crowd – crabapples in coloured pencil

Two's company, three's a crowd - John Downey crabapples in watercolour.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd – John Downey crabapples in watercolour

The three Malus x sylvestris ‘John Downey’ crab apples project in coloured pencil is a video created from still pictures, taken at intervals whilst I was painting the apples. Their size is approximately 3.5 x 3 cm and they were done actual size. The video gives the impression that they might have been done enlarged, but this is not the case.

You will find a list of the pencils that I used in the drop-down box under the video.

Link to the video: Two’s company, three’s a crowd

  • Malus Gorgeous crab apple and Blossom in coloured pencil

Malus 'Gorgeous' Crab apple.
Malus ‘Gorgeous’ Crab apple.

Download the instructional booklet accompanying the series of 6 videos. It contains details of the pencils used for each of the videos in the series. In addition the booklet gives advice on how to set up your workplace; further equipment you will need and a little on my techniques.

There is a free link to the first video inside the booklet on page 12 ; How to paint the crab apples using colour pencil.

The remaining 5 videos in the series can bought via the PayPal button below the booklet.

Crabapples and blossom in colour pencil – Masterclass video set

A series of 6 videos with the first included free as a link in the booklet above, ‘ Introduction to Botanical Art’. Once I am told payment is made I will send links to the remaining videos.


  • How to paint pineapple segments in watercolour

Painting a single segment of a Pineapple in watercolour

Botanical art video on painting a pineapple segment.
Click here

Blog posts during the pineapple painting process.
Click here

Step by step painting a pineapple.
Click here.


  • How to paint three tomatoes in coloured pencil


A botanical art video showing the painting of the second tomato in a truss of three in coloured pencil. Click here:

There are five videos in this project from tracing the image to completion. The remaining videos are available as part of the Online botanical art course, coloured pencil sections. For more information about the course click on the link to the right page:

Link to Online botanical art course

  • How to trace an image to art paper

The importance of tracing an image to art paper without indenting the paper in the process; these links show and explain the process.

A tracing of a Gorse outline.
A tracing of a Gorse outline.

Video showing how to trace an image to art paper without indenting the art paper.
Click here

First blog describing the process and equipment used.
Click here

Second blog describing the process and equipment used.
Click here



  •  How to draw a Poppy seedcase in graphite

Poppy seedcase in graphite.

This video is part of the development of an online botanical art course that I am presently working on. In the graphite section of the course I have made a series of instructional short videos that will be available to my students who sign up for the course when it is complete. How to draw a Poppy seedcase in graphite follows on from having done my line drawing and a tonal value sketch. It starts with using the above technique to trace the image onto my art paper, through to the finished picture.

How to draw a Poppy seedcase in graphite:

  • How to draw a Himalayan Lily seedpod with pen & ink.


This too is a video that is the result of the work on the online botanical art course that I am writing. The third module is all about pen & ink where I will be showing different techniques in this medium practiced by botanical artists and botanical illustrators. I am grateful to several experienced artists and illustrators who have agreed to their artwork being used in this way.

The video is a quick demonstration of the technique that I use, but it is slowed down and broken up into manageable instructional bites for the benefit of those who sign up for the course; How to draw a Himalayan Lily seedpod with pen & ink

  • Stretching watercolour paper

Stretching paper

When working with a wet medium such as watercolour, it is necessary to stretch your paper before you start painting. That is unless the paper weight is very heavy such as 600gsm. In that case, if you are a botanical artist, the amount of water that you are likely to use can generally be accommodated by that weight of paper without wrinkling. This is why you would need to stretch a lighter weight – to prevent wrinkling and keep your paper as smooth as possible.

The following video shows how to stretch light weight paper up to about 300gsm, without having to soak it and lose all your paper sizing. The technique is quite quick and doesn’t require hours of drying: Stretching watercolour paper

  • How to paint Shallots in watercolour – part 1

How to paint Shallots in watercolour - pt 1

Painting the shallots is really a two-part series of videos.

The first part (available here) demonstrates the laying of initial washes on all three shallots to create both shape and form. The remainder of the video shows the development of the two shallots to the left, leaving the third one to complete in the second video. The second part is only available via the Online botanical art course for the moment.

This demonstration is mostly done in time lapse photography, with a period of real time about halfway through when a special technique is shown. The link: How to paint shallots in watercolour – part 1

A Pink Tulip in coloured pencil

Pink tulip CP flower fast

This is a very quickened up version of the video I have done for students on my Online Botanical art course. It is 7 hours work reduced to 2.5 minutes. To see some of the important details slowed down, do sign up for the course:

Pink Tulip in Coloured pencil – fast

Hepatica nobilis