Due to Covid-19 we have had to cancel courses from March to 1st August, we hope you will find an event later in the year that you can attend.

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.

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.

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.

Example Timetable


An introduction to the weekend course. Classroom based lesson examining our subjects and some preparatory sketches capturing some of the details.


The day will be spent in the studio. There will be demonstrations at every stage. You will draw and refine your initial sketches and use drawing pens to produce a black and white image, then move on to prepare a final composition of your subjects and begin the initial watercolour layers.
In the evening there will be an opportunity to look at the work of some historical and contemporary Botanical Illustrators and discuss changing styles and different mediums. You will be able to continue with your own work.


A continuation of your final painting to completion showing finished and accurate details. This day will also allow you to consolidate the skills learnt previously.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

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.