Botanical drawing in coloured pencil – summer splendour with Susan Christopher-Coulson

Botanical art Drawing

Ref: SLW11879

Book now

Places available

About this course

An opportunity to capture the lively colour and forms of summer fruits, flowers or vegetables. Choose your favourite subject, or several, from this time of abundance to create either a single study or small composition.

Course Description

Using coloured pencils, learn to create the flamboyant colours and forms of summer flowers, fruits or vegetables, drawn from life to produce either a single study or a small mixed composition.

In a relaxed atmosphere and working at your own pace on your choice of subject, the course offers an opportunity to learn about and experience, different types of coloured pencils and papers as well as techniques for drawing, mixing and layering colour. You will begin to recognise the particular values of different pencil types and paper surfaces and how to regulate pressure and pencil strokes for particular effects.

Botanical work is detailed and requires precise observation, drawing and tonal recognition to create an accurate three-dimensional depiction. Consideration will also be given to composition and presentation of your subject. It would be helpful to bring a suitably sized sketchbook for initial sketching and composition ideas.

The accurate replication of colour is impotant so it will be helpful to bring a small sketchbook (perhaps A5) for testing different pencil types and experimental colour mixing as well as the practicing of techniques for colour build up through layering and blending. This will form the basis of a personal reference book in which techniques and colour work can be continually experimented with and refined to increase confidence and curiosity, particularly if you are new to coloured pencils work.

There will be individual attention on a continual rotating basis as well as demonstration of techniques and discussions about equipment and troubleshooting.

By the end of the course, you should have gained a lot of knowledge about materials, surfaces and from personal experimentation, building the confidence to continue with your study or composition at home, if it is not quite completed during the course. Further confidence will develop with familiarity and frequent practice.

Timetable

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 until 9pm, 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

Included

  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including a wide range of coloured pencils to learn about and experience. The College will supply some plant material/subject matter.

What students need to bring

  • Coloured pencils – preferably artists’ quality- including any water solouble types as these can also be used dry. Please note that Inktense and Graphitint pencils as well as pastel pencils may not integrate with some other coloured pencil types although they are very interesting and exciting when used by themselves
  • A graphite drawing pencil HB, B or 2B or a propelling pencil if you prefer.
  • A good pencil sharpener is vital (hand or mechanical and if possible with two sizes of sharpening hole) and the blade/s must be sharp.
  • Erasers – a soft kneedable putty type (often the grey versions are more pliable) plus a plastic block type or a propelling type such as Tombow Mono if preferred.
  • Sketchbooks as mentoned in course description (perhaps A5) plus loose sheets of Hot Pressed Watercolour paper, heavyweight cartridge or Bristol board (your preference) for the final study/composition. The tutor will have a limited stock for sale and the shop sells paper too.
  • A hand lens if you use one.
  • A clamp/ support to hold your specimen if required
  • Any plant material you wish to work from. Please bring something suitable bearing in mind the course length.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbooks, graphite pencils, sharpeners, erasers including putty rubbers and plastic erasers, and a good variety of papers (including hot pressed watercolour paper, heavyweight cartridge and Britstol boards and pads.
  • Available from tutor:
  • A limited selection of papers especially Bristol board types
  • A limited selection of coloured pencils of different types
  • Occasionally some hand sharpeners
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.

Tutors

Susan Christopher-Coulson

Susan Christopher-Coulson gained a BA (Hons) in fashion design at Kingston Art School. Whilst working in the London fashion industry, Susan also taught part-time on the Art Foundation Course at Colchester Institute. Susan returned to drawing natural history and botanical subjects. Following the success of her first solo exhibition, botanical work became the focus of her work, which has gained many awards including two RHS gold medals. 

Accommodation

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

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.