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.

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.


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.

Bring a friend!

If you are attending a course at Flatford Mill at the sole occupancy price, we are offering a special rate for a friend or partner not enrolled on the course to also stay at £50 per night for dinner, bed and breakfast.

Please contact FSC Flatford Mill on 01206 297110 or [email protected] to book this offer.

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

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
  • Blu-tack
  • 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.