Creating a piece of botanical art using coloured pencils, but with an underlay of either watercolour of water-soluble pencils to speed up the process.

Using coloured pencils on their own can take a long time to complete a piece of work but using water-soluble pencils or watercolour and then dry pencils over the top the image can be produced much faster, but with the same amazing results.

Tutor: Janie Pirie

Janie Pirie has had a life-long interest in painting, beginning with painting pictures of the family garden at the tender age of four. She has studied at both the Northampton School of Art and the Colchester School of Art, where she specialised in illustration. Janie became a full-time artist in 2002 and is now concentrates on her beloved floral/botanical subjects as well as portraits using, in the main, coloured pencils. Janie’s meticulous and striking compositions are given a noticeably subtle touch with her deft coloured pencil work. It is this attribute that gives her pictures the composition, detail and depth of colour that has made her originals, limited edition prints and art workshops so popular. Janie is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists and in 2008 was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s floral art exhibition at BBC Gardeners World Live. She followed that with a Gold medal at the same show the following year, when she was awarded ‘Best Botanical Artist in Show 2009’. A second RHS Gold Medal was awarded to Janie in May 2014 for her studies of roses. In 2010 her picture of grapes (All Is Safely Gathered In) won ‘Best in Show’ at the UKCPS Annual and in 2011 her amazingly detailed drawing of a Savoy Cabbage won her Runner-up ‘Best in Show’ as well as ‘Best Botanical’ in show. Her drawing of Blueberries won her Runner-up ‘Best Botanical’ in the same show. Following UKCPS shows have seen Janie awarded ‘Best Portrait’ for ‘Clare’ and ‘Best Still Life’ for her depiction of cherries in a bowl with the apt title ‘Life Is Just…..’. Janie has also been awarded two Certificates of Botanical Merit by the RHS. She regularly runs courses at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, Sheffield University Botanic Gardens, the Cumberland Pencil Museum in Keswick and, also in The Lakes, residential courses at nearby Higham Hall, Bassenthwaite. Janie lives in the beautiful surroundings of the Dedham Vale on the Essex/Suffolk border. She runs art workshops in her garden studio and at other venues around the country and exhibits both locally and nationally.

What's Included

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

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Sketching paper (even printer paper will do)
  • An HB pencil (propelling ones are best)
  • Fine tracing paper (63g or less)
  • Hot Pressed art paper (300g)
  • Watercolours OR water-soluble pencils
  • Brushes
  • Erasers
  • Coloured pencils (I use Faber-Castell Polychromos but also use many other varieties)
  • A good pencil sharpener

PLEASE NOTE: Do not buy a small tin of cheap coloured pencils as they do not have decent pigments so getting colour down is difficult. I will have coloured pencils you can buy individually so you need only buy the colours you need for the subject you are illustrating.

Subject matter will be provided depending on what is available at the time. This may include flowers, shrubs, fruit or vegetables. If you have something you would like to illustrate you are welcome to bring it along.

About FSC 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.

Arrival Day

Check-in is between 1600-1800, if you are arriving after 1800 please advise us, so we can ensure you are advised of access codes, room key location, and room location.

You will meet the tutor at Dinner, and you will have your first session after Dinner.

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