Learn the basics of watercolour techniques to create a piece of botanical illustration.

The day will cover how to lay down simple glazes, merging colours, getting good gradations, adding fine details and so much more.

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
  • Hot and Cold Drinks

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Hot pressed paper (300g)
  • Watercolours
  • Brushes
  • Paper towels
  • HB pencil (propelling ones are best)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser

Subject matter for the day will be provided unless you have something you want to bring along. All subjects will be simple (fruit, vegetables, leaves or uncomplicated flowers).