Whether you are a beginner wishing to build a solid foundation for your plant painting, or whether you are more advanced but wanting to learn more about wet-in-wet watercolours or colour-mixing, this course will help you understand the characteristics of your subjects and the behaviour of watercolour paints.
The aims of the course are:
- to improve your understanding of foliage structure (for example placement, veining, shapes and forms)
- to develop your skills in colour-mixing, especially autumn colours
- to improve your technique in order to render the right textures, colours and patterns
The course will include some drawing and painting exercises that will help you find the right shapes and positions of leaves, as well as their structures and textures. There will also be some experiments in colour-mixing, including some general rules and some specific mixes, which will help you match the painting to the subject. Some time will be set aside for exploring subjects of your choice, allowing you to develop skills you particularly wish to improve. The subjects will include autumn foliage, orchards fruit and late blooming flowers.
By the end of the course, you will have produced series of sketches and studies, as well as colour swatches. For the main piece of work, you will have the choice between producing a page of a selection of autumn subjects, or a painting of a specific plant.
Some plants will be provided from West Dean Gardens and the greenhouses, and some will be brought in by the tutor. You will be able to pick individual leaves from the gardens, and you are also welcome to bring some with you if you wish to study a particular subject.
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.
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.
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)
Sandrine Maugy is a member of the Society of Floral Painters and the Society of Botanical Artists. She writes articles for Artists & Illustrators and her book Colours of Nature was published in 2013.