Painting luscious tulips in watercolours with Sandrine Maugy

Botanical art

Ref: SWE11709

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About this course

Learn essential watercolour techniques, study the anatomy and form of tulips, paint their vivid colours and distinctive shapes.

Course Description

Study the anatomy and form of tulips and reproduce their vivid colours and distinctive shapes while developing your skills in essential watercolour techniques.

This course will help you to improve your skills in watercolour techniques as you gain confidence in botanical painting. Learn how to reproduce the vivid colours and typical shapes of tulips, improve your knowledge and understanding of colours and colour-mixing theory.

You will use sketches to develop complex drawing and tonal work. Painting techniques covered include wet-in-wet, colour-mixing, composition, tone and shadows, planning a painting and keeping a sketchbook.

Your tutor will support you with demonstrations and individual tuition throughout.

By the end of the course you will:

Be more familiar with the watercolour painting process

Have gained theoretical knowledge as well as practice

Understand the anatomy of tulips

Have improved your ability to identify colours and reproduce them

Have produced at least one finished painting


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


  • Tulips from the Netherlands, from West Dean Gardens and the flower shop.

What students need to bring

  • Water pot
  • Cotton cloths
  • Drawing board (there are some available to use in the College, these are used for other painting courses so for reliable smooth surfaces it is best to bring your own)
  • Any equipment you usually use
  • Any tulips you wish to bring

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Watercolour paper at least 300gms, Hot Pressed or NOT if in a block (glued on 4 sides) (or at least 300gsm is fine if you stretch your paper).
  • Watercolour paper 640gms Hot Pressed if in loose sheets (no need to stretch this paper)
  • Watercolour paints, preferably Artists quality (see list below)
  • Brushes (synthetics are preferable to sables) number 6, 4, 2 and 00
  • Drawing equipment (pencil, putty rubber, plastic rubber, pencil sharpener)
  • Tracing paper, sketchbook or cartridge paper
  • Gummed tape (if you stretch your paper)
  • Eight essential watercolours:
  • Green-bias yellow: Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Light, or Daler-Rowney/Schmincke Lemon Yellow
  • Orange-bias yellow: New Gamboge or Indian Yellow
  • Orange-bias red: Scarlet or Vermilion
  • Violet-bias red: Permanent Alizarin Crimson or Permanent Carmine, or Daniel Smith Anthraquinoid Red or Schmincke Ruby Red
  • Pink: Permanent Rose (not Opera Rose)
  • Violet-bias Blue: French Ultramarine
  • Green-bias Blue: Phthalo Blue Green Shade or Winsor Blue Green Shade
  • White: Titanium White
  • Other useful colours: Quinacridone Red or Quinacridone Coral, Magenta, Perylene Violet, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Sandrine Maugy

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.


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

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