News Stories in category: Painting workshops

Teaching Botanical Illustration at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens - Autumn

Story posted: 2. January 2018 by Lizzie Harper

In the autumn I was lucky enough to do two day’s teaching at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens teaching a botanical illustration course with a focus on drawing autumn fruits, berries, and leaves,  to a class of twelve adults who varied from quite experienced to complete beginners.  The first day we looked at leaves, and collected a wonderful assortment from the gardens.

Table of autumn leaves collected from the Botanic gardens

We looked at colour as well as shape, veins, margins, and how the light falls on the surfaces of the leaf blades.  The students did some…

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Flower Anatomy: Botanical Illustration workshop

Story posted: 1. September 2017 by Lizzie Harper

I recently taught a workshop at the wonderful Walled Garden in Treberfydd on flower anatomy.  I think it's vital for botanical illustrations to be well-informed, and to this end I think botanical illustrators need to learn some of the basics of how flowering plants are put together.  One of the best ways to do this is to learn through drawing, discovering and recording as you explore a specimen.

We began with a brief overview of flower anatomy, obviously this varies enormously from family to family but if you can recognize basic parts such as the stamen, pistil, sepal, anther…

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Teaching Botanical Illustration at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens - Spring

Story posted: 10. March 2017 by Lizzie Harper

This week I had the good fortune to be asked to teach a course of botanical illustration for beginners, at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens .

I was so impressed by the classroom preparation and friendly welcome from the staff – a spotless room, daylight lighting, neat desks with drawing boards and pots for water neatly laid out for the students, and a gorgeous view onto the lawns and borders and trees in the botanic garden.

The classroom at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens

Before the students arrived, Felicity (Head of Education at the Gardens and I…

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Botanical Illustration: Composite flowers workshop

Story posted: 7. October 2016 by Lizzie Harper

When you teach botanical and natural history illustration, you need to focus on anatomy and structure of plants and animals as well as on watercolour painting and drawing techniques.

I recently got to teach an experienced botanical illustration group based in Hereford, and they decided to learn about Composite flowers.

Some of the dahlias available to draw at the Composite flower painting session

Composite flowers (formerly Asteraceae) are very common, and amazing.  Each flower head is actually an assemblage of lots of tiny flowers; some have ray florets…

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Botanical Illustration Workshop: The Walled Garden in Treberfydd

Story posted: 31. May 2016 by Lizzie Harper

Every now and then I run botanical illustration workshops, teaching the accuracy, drawing, and observation skills required in natural history illustration.

Recently I led a one-day course at The Walled Garden in Treberfydd .  All the admin was done by the wonderful Alison (who also provided delicious cakes decorated with sweet cicely as the students arrived, and later plied us with elderflower cordials, wine, and a delicious lunch).

The shop and cafe area at The Walled Garden in Treberfydd

This allowed me to focus on the students, many of whom came from the same…

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Natural History Illustrator Out and About: Botanical Illustration Workshop painting autumn leaves

Story posted: 9. January 2015 by Lizzie Harper

I took a botany illustration class recently, and the group (Hereford Botanical Art Society) asked for some back-to-basics drawing tips, and chose fall leaves for their subject matter.  Having collected a wide variety for them to choose from, I set up the workshop .

Variety of autumn leaves; both flat and curled, and of 12 different species.

Drawing skills are vital, they lie at the root of all illustration; so I was keen to get the group to look and to draw what they see instead of what they assume to be there.  The excersizes I used are loosely based on Drawing on…

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Category: Painting workshops, Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 0    Viewed: 585

Natural History Illustrator Out and About: Visit to Hay Primary School May 9th 2014

Story posted: 9. May 2014 by Lizzie Harper

A couple of weeks ago, Hay primary school (our local school) had a “World at Work” week which encouraged school parents to come along and explain to the children what their jobs entailed.

I went along to talk about my career as a Scientific illustrator.

I began by explaining what I did, and why all sorts skills other than simply drawing were vital; numeracy (scaling drawings up and sorting out invoices), literacy (sending clear emails and contracts to clients), and not getting to knocked back when things don’t work out perfectly...

After showing my portfolio and…

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Botanical Illustration - Workshop with Llandrindod Art Group - October 11th 2013

Story posted: 11. October 2013 by Lizzie Harper

Scientific illustration, natural history illustration, botanical illustration; call it what you will, but it's a solitary job.  So when the opportunity to lead a workshop arises; I not only enjoy the teaching, but also the company of fellow artists.  Last week I was asked to lead a flower painting workshop by the Llandrindod Art Group, and was delighted when 11 brave souls turned up.

Flowers were procured from Layla at the Darling Buds of Hay ; and there was an abundance of colour and form on offer to draw despite it being so late in the year.  I also brought along my…

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