NatureArt Lab

Studio Art Course (Maleny) : ILLUSTRATING BIRDLIFE OF MARY CAIRNCROSS: 5 May to 26 May 22 (Beginners to Intermediate)

Sale price Price $320.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

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Learn all about the technique and process of sketching birdlife, capturing life and charism within your avian art!

About the course:
Not sure where to begin with how to capture some of the beautiful bird species found at the Mary Cairncross Reserve through illustration?  This course will cover the basics of field sketching birds, understanding bird behaviour, avian natural history and capturing the iconic features of our feathered friends.  You will be given the tools and confidence to bring life and charism into your avian artworks.  The main focus of medium choice will be around pencil and coloured pencil with exercises to build familiarity and confidence with thee.  Students will practise field sketching, as well as studio sketching and focus on particular avian features - feathers, beak/feet texture, anatomy etc.

By the end of this course you can expect to have multiple sketches of your favourite backyard bird species as well as a finalised illustration capturing your bird in a natural pose.

The course will include both a field trip and studio time.

Dates:       5 May to 26 May 2022 
Day/Time: Thursdays 9.30am to 12.30pm
Venue:      Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre, 148 Mountain View Road, Maleny

Learning Outcomes:
1.  knowledge of materials and equipment used with field sketching and documenting species.
2.  knowledge of pencil and coloured pencil rendering techniques.
3.  an understanding of bird anatomy and how to illustrate various textures/features found on birds - feathers, beak and feet.
4.  demonstrated understanding of how to approach and develop a finalised illustration of a bird species with accuracy of species behaviour and habitat.
5.  knowledge of the importance of studying and understanding a species in order to capture its charism through artwork.
6.  knowledge of the importance of birds at the Mary Cairncross Reserve and an understanding of conservation for our Australian birdlife.


A materials list will be provided within 4 weeks of the course starting.

Prerequisites/experience level:
Suitable for participants aged 16+. Suitable for beginner to intermediate students.

About the tutor:

Zoe Lawrence is an established natural history illustrator and artist based on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.  She works with a range of medium from pencil, coloured pencil, watercolour, acrylic and digital illustration.

Zoe has a passion for illustrating all aspects of the natural world but with a particular love for bird life.  Throughout her years studying Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle, she has worked on many projects; animations for music videos, private commissions, logo designs and has been published in the Australian Geographic.

After graduating she now works as a freelance commission artist while working full-time in the zoo industry with birds.  Currently working with birds, she gets to experience their behaviour and personalities on a daily basis. She believes that it is important to properly study and have a thorough understanding of a particular species to accurately portray its true beauty and charism within artworks.  She hopes to pass on this knowledge and skills to her students, therefore encouraging a passion and love for our wildlife.


Image credits: Zoe Lawrence


Refund Policy:  Any changes or cancellations made by NatureArt Lab for any reason are 100% refunded or credited (for use on another course).  Any cancellations made by the purchaser are refunded (or held in credit) for the total amount LESS a $60 administrative processing fee.  Special consideration for waiving the $60 fee for compassionate/ extraordinary circumstances can be granted by NatureArt Lab by writing to

COVID-19 Policy: Students on NatureArt Lab studio courses or workshops are required to comply with all stated COVID-19 requirements specified at the time of booking.  This includes showing proof of double vaccination prior to entry at the NatureArt Lab premises/locations, use of sanitiser on entry and during the course/workshop and maintaining social distancing. Any additional COVID-19 related restrictions and/or requirements will be conveyed by email prior to the course/workshop.  This policy will be reviewed and amended as QLD Government policy is changed and these changes will also be conveyed to students prior to commencement.

Discount Policy: Students may be eligible for Seniors Discount and/or Member Discounts on checkout.  If you are unsure about eligibility or how to claim this discount, please email