Contemporary Botanical Art: Working with Grids - Bigger is Better

Learn to grid photos to create a contemporary botanical painting by cropping and/or enlarging. All traditional botanical art processes outlined. Using watercolour, this workshop offers the opportunity to explore another dimension of botanical art to create a unique botanical painting. Class and individual comprehensive demonstrations. All skill levels. Bring your subject and photographs of that subject.


  • Pencil Drawing: Students to complete a tonal Master Drawing with focus on shape, form, light against dark edges and tone and tonal contrast.
  • Painting: Comprehensive painting techniques demonstrated, including gradating watercolour washes and overglazing.
  • Light Source: Understand the importance of the light source to create form and three-dimensionality.
  • Colour Studies: Colour studies (or practice paintings) to be completed.
  • Final Painting: Final painting to be completed and class paintings appraised by tutor.

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

  1. Understand the important processes involved in producing a finished botanical painting
  2. Understand how to create the illusion of three-dimensionality in drawing and painting
  3. Identify and colour match to subject with ease, using a simplified technique
  4. Use a limited palette of primary colours for colour harmony
  5. Use personally recorded colour mixes for future colour matching


  • A4 or A3 size SMOOTH drawing paper. Bring several sheets.
  • Tracing paper
  • HB, 2B and 3B graphite pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Very fine grade sandpaper for sharpening graphite in pencils
  • Staedtler white eraser, or other good quality white plastic eraser
  • Grey kneadable eraser
  • Paper stump
  • Ruler
  • Baking paper (to protect work)
  • Paper towels or tissues
  • Scotch Magic Tape or masking tape.

Watercolour Materials
Winsor & Newton brand Artists' Quality watercolour paints recommended. 5ml tubes

  • Cadmium Lemon (Alternative: Bismuth Yellow)
  • Cadmium Yellow (Alternative: New Gamboge)
  • Cadmium Red (Alternative: Winsor Red)
  • Permanent Rose
  • French Ultramarine (Alternative: Winsor Blue (Red Shade))
  • Cerulean Blue (Alternative: Winsor Blue (Green Shade))
  • Burnt Umber

The Winsor colours are more transparent and less expensive. The cadmium colours are stronger, richer in colour and semi-transparent. Both are lightfast and permanent. Try to use the Preferred colours as these will achieve the best result.

Other materials

  • Bring all watercolour paints you may have
  • Round Sable Brushes: Sizes 0, 3, 5. Check the point of brush. Do not purchase Designer or rigger brushes with long hairs. Kolinsky sable brushes are superior and come in the following brands: Winsor & Newton Artists Round Brushes or Series 7, Art Basic Series 300R, Rekab Pure Kolinsky Sable, Art Spectrum X72. Different shops carry various brands and the prices vary. Check prices. Bring all round sable brushes colours you may have.
  • Paper: Arches 300 gsm hot pressed (smooth). A4 Size, 2 sheets (these can be cut from a larger sheet)
  • Ceramic or plastic palette (for mixing colours)
  • Several small round plastic containers for water
  • Clean cotton rag and tissues

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
  • The Art Scene, West Ryde, Ph: 9807 6900 (incl. online shop)
  • 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.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.