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Introduction to natural history illustration at Slapton Ley

Introduction to natural history illustration at Slapton Ley

About the Course

Natural History is fast becoming increasingly popular thanks to extensive media coverage. Blue Planet, Springwatch and many more such programmes have helped raise the profile of the natural world like never before. There is a growing desire to record the beauty of nature not only in photography, but in paint, and other media. Wildlife, birds, insects, sea life, fossils etc, make wonderful subject matter for the artist and the ways to illustrate them are endless.

The course aims to teach the rudimenteries of natural History Illustration, from sketching in situ, to exploring and experimenting with different ways to portray subject matter. This is mainly a studio based course and tuition will be group and one to one. Demonstrations and discussion will continue throughout the course and individual ideas will be encouraged and developed.

As we will be working in a marine environment, emphasis will be on beach subjects like shells, pebbles, seaweed, feathers, mermaids purse, empty shellfish parts, and any other found treasures of interest.

Course tutor: Rosie Martin
Rosie Martin holds an RHS Gold medal and has taught courses at the Eden Project Cornwall, Dartington Hall, Devon, and at venues in San Francisco, Canada and Switzerland. She is co-author/principal illustrator of four bestselling books on botanical and natural history illustration, she exhibits worldwide and is an experienced teacher in many art-based subjects.

Start and Finish Times
Resident participants are requested to arrive for registration between 1:00pm and 4:00pm on arrival day, after this time self-directed arrival information will be posted on the front door. There will be an introductory talk at 5:00pm. Supper is usually at 6:30pm. Non resident bookings should arrive just before 5.00pm. A non resident booking also includes dinner during your course as teaching does progress into the evening. Breakfast, for resident participants, will be from 8:00am. The course will end at 3.00pm. On the final day please vacate your room by 9:00am, storage is provided for your luggage.

What to Bring
Materials list:
Magnifying glass
Knife or scalpel,
Drawing board
White heavyweight cartridge paper sketchbook
Mixing plate and water jars if using paint
Blu tac
If you have already some beach find favourites at home and would like to use them too – please bring a selection with you.
Graphite pencils, watercolour paints and brushes, I will have watercolour paper and pens for pen and wash for sale at cost price. And only if you already have them – coloured pencils.
A smooth cartridge pad (to replace existing sketchbook blurb).
Also, a lunch box. This course is Studio based (so there is no need for easels, seats etc).

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


Field Studies Council, Slapton Ley Field Centre and Nettlecombe Court
Slapton Ley Field Centre
Sands Road
Slapton, Kingsbridge
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Suitable for

  • Public transport
  • Residential
  • UK Holiday
  • Wheelchair users

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5 days

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