Botanical Drawing and Illustration

Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG14BU
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Botanical Drawing and Illustration


12 – 16 August | 2024 | Monday to Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, one week
Nottingham Trent University

This course, aimed at beginners and improvers, will develop your knowledge and skills in the field of botanical art and illustration. Typically, the course will appeal to those who have an interest in the natural world either as a result of hobbies (gardening, horticulture or painting) or through employment (landscape designers, conservationists and botanists).

Surprisingly, botanical illustration courses are few and far between, and finding experienced tutors in this field is limited.

So, if you've struggled to the find the right course and want to take your art in a new direction, this will be prefect.

On this course, you will:
• learn about the history of botanical art and illustration, and the key influencers
• work from natural subjects indoors
• spend short periods in Nottingham's arboretum (if weather permits)
• practice drawing, colour matching and composition skills
• learn how to represent the illusion of 3D form on a 2D surface
• explore surface pattern and textures
• apply basic colour theory, colour relationships and tonal values
• apply watercolour tonally to achieve perspective
• gain an understanding of the different forms of composition (such as movement, balance and aerial perspective) within the arrangement of your subject matter.

The course is predominantly practical, ensuring that your individual learning needs are met via practical demonstrations, group and individual tuition, written material and critiques.

In addition to the studio time, you'll also be asked to complete manageable practical homework assignments, and preparation for the next class, to reinforce your learning.

What will you gain?
By the end of the course, you'll be able to demonstrate how to observe and draw botanical subjects accurately, using mark making descriptively and sensitively. In addition to your new skills, you'll also experience the positive impact of botanical drawing on well-being and mindfulness.

Level: Beginner.

Entry requirements: No previous drawing or painting experience needed.

Where you'll learn: 
You will be based in the School of Art and Design on the City Campus. You'll find bright drawing and painting studio and workshop spaces to develop your ideas and create exciting work. You'll also have access to the NTU library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can't reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Here's what our previous attendees said:
- 'Dawn was fantastic, inspiring and enthusiastic. There wasn't enough time in the day, it was so good, I could have done more of everything. Highly recommended' TG
- 'I have always been interest in trying this and wanted to gain some new skills, which I can now do using drawing and watercolour' JH
- 'Excellent friendly and professional tutor, Dawn was very encouraging as I was trying to decide if I liked drawing and want to do more' RS
- 'I've got a good basis to and enthusiasm to continue drawing and painting botanical subjects, I enjoyed being taught the skills and being with a new group of people' PS
- 'Dawn is a brilliant, patient and encouraging tutor. I love flowers and wanted to improve my painting skills, I really got to look at the flowers, tried colour mixing and trying different techniques that really helped with watercolour washes. Thank you so much' CF  
- 'Really enjoyable and informative course, Dawn was lovely and very talented, I felt comfortable and learnt a lot. I specifically enjoyed the watercolour demonstrations by the tutor where we could see an image being built from scratch' EE
- 'An excellent course. I left with a much better understanding of the medium and the whole process of botanical drawing and painting. Can't wait for a follow-up course, but for now I have plenty of exercises in drawing and colour mixing to do to put everything Dawn taught me into practice. Dawn was patient, supportive and generous with her knowledge and the group was lovely. Thank you Dawn'
- 'This has been one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever done. It has given me confidence in my artistic ability and has been a boost to my mental welbeig. I loved it' JB

Tutor profile: 
Dawn Wright has been teaching botanical art for the past 15 years. She's a Fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists, a member of the Eden Project Florilegium, Northamptonshire Botanical Artists' Society and the Association of Botanical Artists. Dawn exhibits regularly around the UK and has had work hung in the prestigious Mall Galleries in London and at the RHS Botanical Art Show. Her work is also held in private collections.

Dawn says 'I enjoy recreating the colours which the changing seasons bring us, relishing in the challenge of capturing light and drama, encouraging us to stand still for a moment whilst we look, look and look again at the natural world. Dramatic colour and compositions don't have to be big and blousey; a newly-sprouting bud of blossom about to open, the promise of new beginnings, or the changing colours of a leaf just before it falls from the tree – all have a story to tell, waiting to be interpreted by the botanical artist.'

Need accommodation?
You can book a self-catered, single room with private bathroom on the NTU city campus, right next door to studios and classrooms.

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Opening Times

Botanical Drawing and Illustration (12 Aug 2024 - 16 Aug 2024)

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