Botanical art

Botanical painting – anemones with Mariella Baldwin

Ref: S3D09472

Suitable for all

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About this course

Anemone flowers provide wonderful rich hues at a time of year when there are few bright colours available. They provide the perfect subject for exploring velvet texture and a luscious palette in watercolour painting.

Course Description

This course is ideal for anyone who would like to explore rich velvet colours in watercolour combined with accurate colour matching and observation. The dominant colours displayed in the anemone flower at this time of year are vibrant violets, scarlets, crimsons and magenta. The course aims to give you the opportunity to explore colour theory and colour matching using the flowers as guides. Drawing and composition will also form part of the course. Group demonstrations will be given as well as individual attention. You will be encouraged to work at your own pace and to create an observational worksheet which will be a valuable reference.

Whilst these flowers have strong colours, they nevertheless have a dancing light quality which requires a delicacy of touch. This will be examined during the course. Using a step by step approach you will be guided on how to achieve an accurate drawing which faithfully represents the flower. Various painting techniques will be demonstrated and you will be given tips on how achieve depth of colour whilst retaining the delicacy needed. Reference will be made to contemporary and historical artists.

By the end of the course you will leave with your personal worksheet with notes and exercises which will be a useful resource for all future work. You will practice various techniques which you will be able to apply to your painting and you will pick up a number of useful tips. You will learn a step by step approach to your painting and leave with a painted study of an anemone flower from which future work can be built upon.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply flowers for study.

What students need to bring

  • Any previous work, or picture references for discussion.
  • Please bring any of the below 'available to buy' items if you have them.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbook - Smooth paper (or block of smooth cartridge paper - computer paper will do)
  • Hot-pressed watercolour paper.
  • A block/pad or single sheet cut into 4 (approx. A3)
  • Pencils: 2H, HB, and 5B solid graphite
  • Pencil sharpener or craft knife, ruler, putty rubber and plastic eraser
  • Tracing paper
  • Masking tape
  • Watercolour brushes (preferably miniature sable - Winsor and Newton series 7 miniature or equivalent). Size 1, 3 and 5.
  • An old or cheap brush for colour mixing
  • Watercolour ceramic palette (any plain white plate or saucer will do). Artists' quality watercolours - Winsor and Newton or equivalent. Minimum three colours [1/2 pan or tube - although preference for 1/2 pans]. Winsor Lemon, French Ultramarine, Permanent Rose. Other useful colours: (Winsor and Newton - or equivalent - Artists' Quality) Phthalo Green, Raw Sienna, Phthalo Blue (Green Shade), Dioxazine Violet, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Scarlet Lake, Quinacridone Magenta, Permanent Alizarin Crimson. (plus any personal favourite - or other colours already collected)
  • Optional useful extras - but not essential:
  • Magnifying glass
  • Layout paper
  • Examples of previous work

"It was a pleasure to work with Mariella and learn many skills and tips that she had to offer. Mariella is a very experienced and talented botanical artist. She provided many demonstrations and individual advice. Her expertise shone through and was captured by the whole group. We all completed a botanical painting by the end of the weekend to be proud of and Mariella provide positive feedback on all pieces as a group with suggestions of how to improve even more. I liked the positive way she provided feedback which left everyone inspired to continue with their botanical painting."

Shirley, 2019


Mariella Baldwin

Mariella Baldwin studied botanical illustration at the English Gardening School, London and received an MA in Visual Arts from Sussex University. Her paintings are held in collections both in the UK and USA. She is a painting member of Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society. Her book 'Botanical Painting' was published in 2011.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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