How to draw and paint a flower: the art of botanical illustration
Learn to draw and paint flowers, leaves and vegetables on this ‘botany boot camp’ course
With Cherry Denman
Cherry says: “botanical illustration is really 85% technique. So, on this course, with three and a half days in the studio, we are going to treat it like a Botany Boot Camp, and I am confident that you will have totally cracked it by the final day.”
On the first morning we will do an equipment check, and general introduction.
Then wake up your fingers with sketching and drawing exercises, so think of it as scales and arpeggios for you and your pencils.
You will be formally introduced to Walter Hood Fitch and his sneaky ways of botanical illustration. Walter (1817 – 1892) was a botanical illustrator, born in Glasgow, Scotland, who executed some 10,000 drawings for various publications. He was the sole botanical illustrator at Kew Gardens under the direction of W.J Hooker.
Walter may have been a frock-coated Victorian bore, but he is the undisputed master of the curled leaf.
After lunch we will have a quick walk to snuffle like truffle- pigs in the hedgerows, gathering subject matter like hips and haws and conkers, although flower specimens from the château garden will also be on hand.
Then follows an afternoon of solid drawing, namely ‘conquering your pencil’.
On the second day, you will get to grips with colour. When to use colour. When not to use colour
How to use it, and how to cheat!
We will talk about water colours and coloured pencils. Practising with paint. Sketching leaves, petals, and stems.
The Big Finale: taking all your new-found knowledge of all things Walter, but adding your own styles, you will spend all day completing a painting.
Create your own composition using flowers, bark, leaves and vegetables…. Whatever moves your artistic soul, with your choice of subject matter and in your own style.
Meet your instructor
Cherry Denman studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford and later at the Royal College of Art in London under Quentin Blake.
She has worked for Vogue, The Sunday Times, The Plantsman, Mail on Sunday and has made many contributions to the QI television series.
She taught Botanical Illustration for years at the City and Guilds Art school in London and Dorset Art School Technical Drawing Department.
Cherry has published over twenty five books all over the world, one of which won the Children’s Book of the Year Award in China.
Group size 4-7 people
Includes five nights full board, all materials and tuition in the fully equipped atelier, a half day guided excursion around the local market and brocante, one meal in a local restaurant, beverages and local wines, group pickup and drop off from Agen train station