This exciting course is for those who may not have a previous knowledge of coloured pencils but who are interested in botanical art and wish to explore the wonderful world of coloured pencil drawing.

The course will begin by covering the basic techniques so that beginners can become acquainted with the pencils. Composition and observation of plant materials will also be covered at the beginning of the course.

Whilst no previous knowledge of coloured pencil use is necessary, basic drawing skills of plants
would be beneficial. Good quality coloured pencils are ideally suited to botanical art. Far superior to the ‘crayons’ we used at school, modern coloured pencils designed for professionals enable the user to create the most intricate and vibrant illustrations.

Subject matter for this course will not be confined to just flowers as leaves, fruit and vegetables also offer the most exciting of challenges and will teach students a variety of approaches to their chosen subjects. Students may bring their own plant material if they wish. Janie will bring along some of her own work to inspire you. You can see examples of her work at

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

  • Canson ‘Mouliin du Roy’ HP 300g or any other good quality HP paper
  • A good selection of artists’ quality coloured pencils. Janie recommends the
    following: Faber-Castell Polychromos, Prismacolor, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor and Caran d’Ache Pablo or Luminance. If you can afford to it is best to have a complete set of colours.
  • A sketchbook or some cartridge paper
  • A couple of sheets of tracing paper
  • One or two graphite pencils – H, HB
  • An eraser – plastic or putty
  • A good quality pencil sharpener

Janie will have a selection of materials you can buy including paper, sharpeners, erasers, a selection of coloured pencils (the most popular colours) and a variety of other ‘tools’ you may find useful to create your drawing – all of which will be demonstrated by Janie.

Please note that the Centre shop does not stock art materials, apart from loose sheets of Bockingford 140 lb paper.

Sorry this course has ended