Botanical Drawing: Form, Tone & the Third Dimension

Create three-dimensionality in your drawings with tone, highlights and shadows, which reveal form, depth and texture through the effect of light. Learn about perspective and composition, and how to quickly bring your drawing to life through a special technique of effective shading. Stippling forms part of this workshop. Explore various techniques using black drafting pens to create multiple dots, which subtly varies the density of shading to create tone and form. Class demonstrations and individual tuition will form an integral part of this workshop which is suitable for all skill levels.

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Effectively use tonal contrasts to achieve form, solidity and three-dimensionality
  2. Create smooth and even graphite gradations
  3. Understand how tone can create texture and depth
  4. Create a three-dimensional illusion on a two-dimensional surface
  5. Use knowledge of tone to bring a botanical drawing to life
  6. Create a botanically accurate master drawing with enough information to use it effectively as a blueprint for a painting


  • Bring your own botanical subject. This can be a plant, flower or seeds, pods or nuts
  • Sketch pad or smooth paper, A4 or A3, or sheets of loose drawing paper (depending on the size of the plant). Heavier grades of smooth paper are preferable for a finished tonal drawing.
  • Drawing Pencils: HB and 2B or other grades you may have
  • HB, 2B pure graphite pencils
  • Small paper stump (torchon) available from art shops
  • Clutch or propelling pencil 0.5mm HB (optional)
  • Staedtler white eraser, or other good quality white plastic eraser
  • Grey kneadable eraser
  • Small Stanley knife, art scalpel or single edge safety scraper blades (for sharpening pencils)
  • Very fine grade sandpaper for sharpening graphite in pencils
  • Large soft brush to remove erasings
  • Paper towels or tissues
  • Baking paper (to protect work) or tracing paper
  • Magnifying glass, hand held (x3 magnification)
  • Ruler
  • Black Waterproof Pigment Liner or Drafting Pen (available from art shops) size 0.05, 0.1
  • Any Rotring or technical pen sets you may have.
  • Heavy grade smooth drawing paper 200gsm or Arches 185gsm or 300gsm hot pressed smooth watercolour paper.

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


  • The Art Scene, UNSW Art & Design Campus, Greens Rd Paddington NSW. Ph: 8815 1569
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 223-225 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Ph: 02 9331 2166.
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746. (Closed Fridays and Sundays)
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

Show full classes

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .