Saturday 8 September 2012


Am about to head off to the station to teach a full day workshop on Leaves.

John Ruskin (1819-1900), an art critic, theorist and botanical artist, said "If you can paint a leaf you can paint the world." How true this is.

Everything you need to know about watercolour painting is experienced in painting a leaf. There is:
  • Colour matching
  • Brush and paint control
  • Correct amount of water to paint
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Tone
I have 20 students booked into this workshop, with a waiting list. Rather daunting as my usual class sizes for my regular botanical art course is 16.

Workshops are a lot of fun, very relaxed, and we cover an amazing amount of different areas, culminating with my Show and Tell, which is my class evaluation of what the students have produced through the workshop. This is invaluable and they also learn from seeing what works and does not work, and how they can improve their techniques, and also makes them think outside the square.

Demonstratons are integral to this workshop, so I always ensure I am nice and fresh and I clear any cobwebs with a brisk walk to catch the train.

Botanical art is all about Observation, Patience, Practice and Perseverance.

Nectarine Leaf painted in a New Zealand workshop

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