NatureArt Lab

Studio Course: BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION, PART A: Drawing and Tonal Study, 3 - 24 June 2021

Sale price Price $290.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

Tax included.

Keen observation, a little botanical knowledge and well-developed illustration skills underpin every beautiful botanical art piece. 

About our tutor: 

Margaret Saul is a highly experienced botanical artist, illustrator and teacher. Margaret’s interest in nature and art developed in a family of artists and amateur naturalists who delighted in frequent nature rambles and excursions  with time to sketch and paint during summer holidays.  While staff illustrator for the Queensland Herbarium she produced illustrations for field guides and floras and developed a keen interest in botany and in helping to bring a greater awareness of native plants to the general public.  Since 1988 she has enjoyed teaching botanical art and facilitating “the art of seeing” for her many students in Australia and across the USA and as founding director and designer of a comprehensive curriculum for the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration, USA (2004 – 2015).  Margaret is represented in private and public collections including The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, USA, the Sherwood collection in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and in science and art publications. Her botanical portraits are published in four books that document botanical art. 

Preferred media:  Watercolour supported by coloured pencil.

About our workshop:

Be guided in developing your drawing ability by a kindly, knowledgeable teacher who enjoys sharing her vast practical knowledge and skills with botanical artists at all levels of ability. Develop a passion for accuracy, vital for natural science illustration to reveal the true nature of a subject – well before venturing into the art of painting it.

These four classes focus on developing a botanically accurate study of a cyclamen and are designed to seamlessly continue into Part B: Painting in Watercolour. Part A classes include a review of Drawing 1 content, (measurements at the “picture plane”, foreshortening, maintaining a consistent light source across your entire subject), followed by tips for plant collection and storage; botanical terms; observation and drawing of varied leaf shapes, types of leaf/stem attachments, and flowers (as available), surface forms and textures. This knowledge is applied to your cyclamen tonal study where you will also learn how to manipulate tone to enhance interest and spatial clarity within your picture. Your observational studies and newly acquired skills will help you to complete a beautifully detailed pencil tone study of your cyclamen as “Art in Graphite” but also, it provides a valuable reference point if you wish to continue to Part B: Painting in Watercolour.

For you to gain satisfaction with your progress in this brief but intensive botanical drawing course please plan for a minimum of two hours of set homework each week in preparation for the next class. Details of the type of cyclamen selected will be noted on the course materials list. Some printed material, including an overview of weekly class content will be supplied by Margaret.

Suitable for all students from beginners through to intermediate students who wish to develop their botanical art skills. A materials list will be provided prior to the start of the class.

Note: Hand hygiene and social distancing rules will apply throughout the workshop. Class size is limited to 13 students. Students are requested to bring their own drinks and snacks. NatureArt Lab is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and reserves the right to reschedule if required at the time.

If you miss out on a place in this class, please let us know and we can add your name to a waiting list for a future class. Email:

Dates: 3 - 24 June 2021

Days/Times: Thursdays, 1.30pm - 4.30pm 

Venue: NatureArt Lab, M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith

Cyclamen Drawing by Margaret Saul