Botanical art

Introduction to botanical drawing with Ann Swan

Ref: S1D10014


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About this course

An introduction to the materials and techniques used to produce vibrant coloured pencil plant portraits.

Course Description

On this course you will learn about the materials used for coloured pencil botanical work and the reasons why they are effective. You will learn the basic skill of laying down colour smoothly, mixing colours and choosing effective shade colours.

Ann will demonstrate the techniques of layering, embossing, burnishing and underpainting and give you clear guidance as you have a go yourselves. You will learn basic leaf techniques, how to mix realistic greens with some ways of achieving fine veins.

You will leave with some colour mixing templates and notes from the course plus a leaf study and a good idea of how to go about starting a botanical drawing in coloured pencil. Once you have completed this course you will be able to learn more on a longer course with Ann.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • 2 x sheets of 300gms Hot Pressed (smooth) watercolour paper
  • Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils: 103 Ivory, 278 Chromium Green Oxide, 174 Chrome Green Opaque, 172 Earth Green, 168 Earth Green Yellowish, 170 May Green, Rembrandt Lyra Splender Blender, Empty Copic Marker Pen, HB Pencil, Eraser, Handheld sharpener with a fresh blade

What students need to bring

  • Notebook

Available to buy

Available from tutor:

  • Ann will bring a selection of additional and optional materials for students to try or buy.
  • Further selection of Faber Castell and Prismacolor Coloured Pencils
  • Rapesco 64 Desk Top Sharpener
  • Practice pads of Fabriano Studio Watercolour paper
  • Pergamano 0.5 Embossing tool
  • Promarker Clear Blender Pen


Ann Swan

Ann is one of this country's leading botanical artists and teachers working primarily in coloured pencil and graphite. She has been awarded four RHS Gold Medals and her work is in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection and the RHS Lindley Library. Ann is an enthusiastic and nurturing teacher with over twenty five years' experience and now teaches around the world. Her book 'Botanical Painting with Colour Pencils' is a leader in the field.

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