Botanical illustration: developing your skills at Flatford Mill



This unique and historic course is for those with some previous experience in botanical illustration. During this week you will learn more advanced techniques as demonstrated by Lesley on a group and individual basis. This course is suitable for intermediate and advanced learners. However, as most of the tuition is on a one to one basis, beginners are welcome to attend as long as they have a basic knowledge of watercolour painting. All learners attending will benefit from the opportunity to share ideas and gain inspiration from more experienced artists and to practice and refine new skills.

Course tutor: Lesley Smith
Lesley Smith has been teaching in adult education for over 25 years, and is a qualified Pergamano tutor. She runs several very popular courses throughout the year at Flatford and elsewhere.

What to Bring
Watercolour paints:
Please avoid Daler Rowney Aquafine paints as they are hard to work with.

The following are essential colours for flower and plant illustration (artist quality is preferred):

Permanent rose ,Windsor violet

Scarlet Lake, Indigo, Light red

Quinacridone magenta, Cobalt blue, Ultramarine

Cadmium yellow, Lemon yellow, Yellow ochre

Burnt sienna, Burnt umber, Cadmium red,

Raw sienna, Aureolin yellow (essential for mixing good greens)

Cobalt violet, Raw umber

Brushes: You will need to bring one good paint brush size 4 and one small brush size 1 or 2 (sable if possible) If you cannot afford sable then buy a brush that points well and has as much sable content as possible. I use a size 4 Da Vinci brush series 10 (or 11) available from Jacksons catalogues or Art Van Go in Stevenage, both have websites you can buy from. I am also using Billy Showells (size 2 brush) and an eradicator, both available from her website.
Paper: Good paper makes a good painting, you can buy large sheets of good quality watercolour paper from most art shops, one sheet can be cut into 4, or bring any paper you are happy working on if you have painted before. I use Saunders Waterford 140lb Not surface paper. Some students prefer hot press paper. Bring whatever you are most happy painting on. However Bockingford is not suitable for this course as it is extremely hard to work on. I will bring some sheets of paper for sale if you are unsure.
White palettes
Water jars as the ones at the Centre are sometimes quite well used
Cotton rag or kitchen roll
A putty rubber
An H, HB or an F pencil and a sharpener
Tall, sturdy containers for holding flowers while you paint, ie for lilies, gladioli etc; some oasis wrapped in cling film is useful for hanging plants
You may also require a magnifying glass as it is essential that you have good eyesight for this course.
Some flowers will be provided but if you have any flowers in your garden that you would like to paint or you think someone else would like to paint then please bring them along.
Most of the above items can be purchased online from Ken Bromley, or Jacksons.

Please note that the Centre shop does not stock art materials.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

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


Mary- HQ at Field Studies Council, Flatford Mill

Message the tutor More from this maker All reviews


Flatford Mill Field Centre
East Bergholt

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users


5 days (6:01pm to 4:01pm)

Gold Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Browse similar courses, kits, live classes and online workshops in:

Leave a review

Will be published next to your review
Will not be published

Contact information will not be shared or used for marketing unless you opt to receive our monthly newsletter about UK creative courses. You will be notified by email within two weeks if the course provider responds to your review.

Have you done this course?