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Beautiful botanical illustration at Margam Discovery Centre

Beautiful botanical illustration at Margam Discovery Centre

About the Course

Botanical Illustration really began with Monks who needed to show to others accurate portraits of plants used in healing potions and medical preparations. These pictures had to be true representations so that nobody got poisoned! Here is your opportunity to do the same. This course will enable you to examine and draw the incredible detail nature has provided us with.

We will be looking at colourful early Summer flowers, bulbs and blossom as the garden awakes from its Winter slumbers.

You will begin by sketching the overall shape of your specimen and then gradually refine it before moving on to discover tonal variations in your subject, thus making it look three dimensional on the page.

After this, you will be shown the careful watercolour techniques needed for a finished Botanical painting.

Even if you have never painted botanically before, or are unused to watercolour, you will be amazed at what you will achieve in a weekend. This course is suitable for total beginners as well as more able painters who wish to enhance their watercolour skills, methods of observation and depiction of intricate details. You will also learn how to colour mix your paints to find the exact shades needed. A selection of specimens to paint will be provided or you might like to bring something along yourself.

By the end of the course participants will have:
An ability to examine the details of a plant and how to portray them in pencil, ink and watercolour.
Improved skills in watercolour techniques such as washes and dry brush work.
A knowledge of tonal studies, how to depict areas of light and shade.
An understanding of setting out a composition to create a pleasing image whilst also showing relevant botanical details.

Course tutor: Debbie Devauden
Debbie Devauden is a prize winning artist and has been painting flower pictures since childhood. She gained a Diploma in Botanical Illustration in 2003 and has a Certificate in Adult Education. She now teaches relaxed and friendly classes to all abilities, using a mixture of practical demonstrations and individual help and advice. She has exhibited at many venues and her work has found its way as far away as America, Japan and New Zealand.

Start and finish times
This course officially starts at 6.00pm on the Friday with dinner and registration. Please aim to arrive between 4:00-5:00, there will be coffee and cake available from 4pm onwards. Breakfast will be at 8am; Lunch will be a packed lunch. The course will end on Sunday at 4:00pm.

What to bring
Smooth sketching paper (cartridge paper is ideal)
HB pencil and sharpener or disposable propelling pencils and an eraser (not putty rubber)
Watercolour paints and a white china plate or palette for paint mixing
Finely pointed, round sable brushes, sizes 8, 6 and 3. If you don’t already have these, they will be available to purchase for £17 for all three.
2 jam jars, one for your specimen, and one for water.
Kitchen roll
Hot pressed (smooth) watercolour paper
Any specimens you might like to paint
Reading glasses if needed!!
The tutor has a supply of suitable paper and drawing pens for use over the weekend.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Expert tuition
Free Wi-Fi
Full board accommodation
Hot and cold drinks
In course transport
Personal and travel insurance


Lizzie Buckwell at Field Studies Council, Margam
Margam Discovery Centre
Margam Park
Port Talbot
SA13 2UA
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Suitable for

  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users

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3 days

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