Online Botanical art course


Rubus fruticosus (Blackberry), in watercolour on vellum.

This is the Link to the slideshow of the development of the Blackberry branch.  It is from photographs taken whilst painting.   

learning about botanical art, through drawing and painting in the comfort of your own home and garden

In recent times, if one wanted to learn about botanical art safely, get practice and useful feedback about progress, this was best done through online tuition. From 2013, even before the pandemic, I provided online tuition to people unable to get to a botanical art teacher or who preferred to work from their own homes.

Are you interested in botanical art and would you like to learn and have individual help at each stage of your journey? With my online course you can:

  • Learn to paint botanically
  • Grow and improve your botanical art skills
  • Learn to work independently
  • Maintain the discipline of regular painting.
  • Get encouragement to develop your own style of painting

Check out the testimonials link  to read what people have to say who are already doing or have completed the course.

You can subscribe to the course NOW!

I limit the number of new students at any one time. This makes sure you will get the independent support and constructive feedback that you need to develop your botanical art abilities to the full. I sign up new students on a first come, first served basis.

Using a sketchbook to prepare is an important part of botanical art and I talk about this in the first module.  The videos in modules 2-5 (there are 21 in all) are detailed and have additional written material to guide you through the different techniques.

Common Bearberry sketchbook page

Although I created the course as an answer to an artist who felt they wanted to learn more, it is equally suitable if you are just starting out in botanical art. The course is not step-by-step tuition as it helps you to research your choice of plant and draw or paint what you can see in front of you. You will need to work independently but I am available for email support throughout the course.

I will help you:

Daffodils in graphite
  1. Learn more about the fascinating plants around you and actually ‘see’ them rather than simply look.
  2. Find out what to look for and observe when studying a plant.
  3. Learn to put down on paper what you have seen.
  4. Compose and draw plants in an attractive and informative way.
  5. Understand about the impact of tonal value and form in a painting
  6. Gain more understanding of your chosen media – watercolour or coloured pencil, but also graphite, pen and ink.
  7. Build up a botanical art picture and by the end of the course, complete at least:
    • One botanical picture in graphite.
    • A pen and ink drawing in your personal and chosen style.
    • A botanical study incorporating graphite and colour.
    • One fruit and vegetable study in colour.
    • Two full compositions of a flowering plant and a fruit and/ or vegetable arrangement.

What is in the course?

There are six modules with an assignment at the end of each:

  1. Introduction to botanical art leading to a line drawing.
  2. Graphite and the importance of tonal value drawings.
  3. Introduction to pen & ink and experimenting with different techniques.
  4. Introduction to colour; the project for this module will be a flowering plant. You choose initially if you want to use watercolour or coloured pencil as your main medium.
  5. Focus on fruit, vegetables and solid subjects, using your main medium.
  6. Bringing it all together.

The modules that introduce a new medium include a section on materials and how to use them. For example, the second module is about tonal values, so there is a section on graphite pencils guiding you in what to look for when choosing a make of pencil.

The use of your chosen colour medium comes into the course in modules four through six. From there you will complete the course using this medium.

If you wish, there is the opportunity to extend the course with the addition of the final three modules using the other colour medium. For instance, if you chose to work in watercolour at first, you may repeat the three final modules, but in coloured pencil. Several students have chosen to do this, after, like me, discovering a love for both watercolour and colour pencil.

Each module includes written tuition, broken down into manageable bites. Most have links to short videos showing techniques and there are also links to other websites that I recommend.

 Fremontodendron californium,                (Flannel plant) in colour pencil.

I have also included work by other artists and links to their websites to show something of the range of techniques and styles in botanical art.

How is the course managed?

Once you have started paying for the course, I will send you a ‘Dropbox link’ to give you access to all the tutorials and the assignment for the first module. You don’t have to have a Dropbox account to access the tutorials.

At the end of each module and when you have completed your assignment, you either scan or photograph what you have done and then send me high resolution images electronically. For each assignment I will write a very detailed and constructive feedback, including a digital editing of your images to give you some idea of how I believe your artwork might be improved. I will send the feedback back to you with the link to the next course module.

The aim is to finish the six modules within 18 months, giving you time to complete the course and keep on top of your family and work commitments. The last module is likely to take the most time.

When you’ve completed six modules with your chosen medium, you can opt to pay an extra fee and extend the course to repeat the final three modules in the other medium.

The bottom line!

How much does this online course cost?

As I now live in Norway, the cost in local currency, Norwegian kroner (or NOK) is NOK 6000. If you don’t want to start the course immediately, or there is only room on a waiting list, a 50% deposit will secure your place. But you will need to pay the whole amount before I send you the link to the first module.

If, when you complete the six-module course you decide to continue without a break, you can add on the last three modules in the ‘other’ medium for NOK 2740.

Refunds: 30% of the course is non-refundable, but if you change your mind within 10 days of receiving the emailed link to the first module, I will refund the 70% minus any costs.

Sign up for the course now, via the website contact form.

Should you need more details, again, get in touch via the contact form. I take bookings on a first come, first served basis.

Because I need to limit the number of students I have at any one time, I send a personal invoice for payment normally via PayPal. But if you prefer, there is an opportunity to pay by bank transfer to a Norwegian or UK bank.

Moluccella. Pen & ink drawing in stages.