NatureArt Lab

Studio Workshop: PAINTING LEAVES AND COMPLEX SURFACES - Botanical watercolour : 19 June 2022 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Sale price Price $190.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

Tax included.


See a leaf through a fresh perspective! Become acquainted with a variety of colour illustration techniques demonstrated and practised at class: skills suited to painting styles that celebrate nature's detail.  As boldly coined by John Ruskin, "If you can paint one leaf you can paint the world"!

Date: 19 June 2022

Days/Times: Sunday 9.30am - 4.30pm 

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

 About the workshop:

The aim of this workshop is to teach a variety of techniques suited to illustrating different types of leaf surfaces that with practice will enable greater flexibility in your approach to detailed painting.  Please note that this learning opportunity does not culminate in a finished art piece.

Learning Objectives:

  • Revise observational drawing skills to represent the true character of a leaf; its shape, margin (edge details), venation pattern, surface form and surface textures.
  • Mix and match bright to dull greens using a selected set of three tube colours
  • Learn various colour illustration techniques to achieve: 
    • Flawless watercolour washes and seamless colour transitions using a unified palette of greens applied with a slick wet-on-wet painting technique.
    • Reduce the number of watercolour wash layers by applying 'transparent' dry-colour pencils as glazes to brighten selected painted areas, and apply complex surface shadow details with dry-colour pencil as an underlay - in many instances this latter technique can surpass the appearance of laborious, fine dry-brush strokes.
    • Illustrate surface sheen, and create highlights without applying white paint.
    • Practice a variety of techniques to successfully illustrate detailed leaf venation. 


Suitable for people aged 16+ who have completed NatureArt Lab courses Drawing Two and Watercolour One, or commensurate experience. 

Materials List: A materials list will be sent upon enrolment.

About our tutor: 

Margaret Saul is a highly regarded botanical artist, illustrator and teacher whose interest in nature and art developed in a family of artists and amateur naturalists delighting in frequent nature rambles with time to sketch and paint during summer holidays.  After successfully graduating with a four-year diploma from the Art School, Brisbane that offered a traditional art school education, she worked full time as a natural science illustrator then as the first staff illustrator at the Queensland Herbarium while she produced illustrations for field guides and "floras".

From 1988 she developed a keen interest in teaching everyday people to enjoy the wonders of the plant world "through the eyes of an artist" resulting in the founding of her Brisbane School of Botanical Art and later as founding director of the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration, USA (2004-2015) - designing its extensive well-rounded curriculum.   

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. More recently her exhibition piece was selected as part of the global presentation for Flora of Australia: A Botanical Art Worldwide Exhibition, 2018. Her art is also represented in science and art publications and her botanical portraits are published in four books that documented botanical art.  Preferred media: Watercolour - often supported with dry-colour pencil. and in science and art publications. Her botanical portraits are published in four books that document botanical art. 

Image credit: artwork by Margaret Saul


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, wearing of masks, 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 ACT 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

 If you have any questions please email