This course is for those who have some previous experience in using watercolours but may be new to botanical illustration. This mixed ability course will focus on accurate drawing, colour mixing and composition. We will also look at more advanced techniques, depending on where you are in your botanical journey. Beginners, intermediate and advanced learners are all welcome on this botanical illustration course. During the course we will cover each stage of the process. The stages will include basic use of equipment and making the finishing touches to give you the confidence to paint to an even higher standard. Please note: Good eyesight is essential for this course as the work is detailed and precise. Course tutor: Lesley Smith Lesley Smith has been teaching botanical illustration and watercolour painting in adult education for over 30 years. She runs several very popular courses throughout the year at Flatford Mill and has been teaching for over 20 years at the Redbridge institute of adult education in east London, which has recently gained an Outstanding from OFSTED. Lesley started painting in an adult education class as a complete beginner and was asked to take the class over when the tutor Freda Titford retired. Freda had been taught by Mary Grierson at Flatford Mill and Mary attended classes with John Nash the founder of the course which was then run by Jenny Jowett SBA who sadly passed away in March 2019. Lesley attended Jenny’s course for over 30 years and learnt a great deal from Jenny and her fellow attendees, giving her a wealth of techniques and knowledge to pass on to students to improve and enhance their botanical painting. About Flatford Mill We have four buildings that are used for visitor accommodation. Whilst most rooms are either en-suite or have a dedicated bathroom, there are some rooms in The Mill that share showers and toilets at the end of the hall. If this is un-suitable for you please make the office staff aware upon booking or as soon as possible. Please be aware that you are visiting a Field Centre that caters in the main for school parties; the accommodation is basic and dormitory style, but warm and comfortable. 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, Light red, Indian Yellow, Winsor Blue Red, Shade Quinacridone magenta, Cobalt blue, Ultramarine Hansa yellow medium, Lemon yellow, Burnt sienna, Burnt umber, Raw sienna, Aureolin yellow (essential for mixing good greens) Please note that the centre shop does not stock art materials

What's included in the price?

Free Wi-Fi Full Board Accommodation Hot and Cold Drinks Picnic Lunch Full board accommodation and picnic lunch is available for resident bookings only. Refreshments are included for all, but non-resident bookings are advised to bring lunch with you.


4 days

Cancellation policy

Easy - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts


Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Limited mobility
  • Residential
  • Suitable for beginners
  • UK Holiday
  • Intermediate level
  • Accommodation offered
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Public transport
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for all abilities
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
gold badge
What does this mean?
Message the tutor


Flatford Mill Field Centre, East Bergholt, , Suffolk, CO7 6UL

Booking options

Resident (Sole Occupancy)
19:00 - 16:00
£427.00 See dates
Resident (Shared Room)
19:00 - 16:00
£352.00 See dates
19:00 - 16:00
£299.00 See dates