Botanical Drawings & Illustration (Absolute Beginners and Continuing Beginner Students)
This is a course in botanical illustration for the beginner as well as continuing beginner-students of botanical art and illustration. All ages of beginner level are welcome.
What The Course is About:
The course is about botanical art and scientific illustration using different media, such as graphite, ink and watercolour. You will learn about the properties of different media and how to work with them as used in Botanical illustration specifically. You will be shown how to produce morphologically accurate and aesthetically pleasing illustrations, including simple line drawings, three-dimensional black and white illustrations (pencil and ink) and finally watercolour paintings. You will get a basic knowledge about botany and learn what to look out for, in order to produce scientifically accurate illustrations and realistic botanical art work. NOTE: There is out of necessity an element of Botanical terminology that you will be introduced to throughout the course where it is appropriate to the subject matter of the day.
3D Campus: Bentley House, 4a Disraeli Road, SW15 2DS (Directly opposite Putney Library). N.B Classes in 3D Studio 1 and 3D Sculpture Studio are not yet accessible for wheelchair users (Staircase leading to first floor). Please speak to the Admin Team who will advise an alternative course at Oxford Road (lift) or ground floor 3D Campus.
A notebook that can double up as a sketchbook. A5 to A4 in size and with a very smooth heavy-duty paper is best, but bring what you have and we will discuss. Only buy if you need to once you have discussed it with the tutor.
Drawing paper: For a direct learning experience, plate finish Bristol Board 250gsm to 280gsm is best. A less durable paper but with a very similar surface finish is bleed proof Layout paper. It is not good enough for final art work but it offers a very good inexpensive smooth surface paper for practice for a direct learning experience.
Basic Artist quality (bonded) Graphite Pencils: H4, H2, H, F, HB, B2 are the only pencils you will need to start off with and possibly for the first 10 weeks. You may need to expand to a broader range during the course depending on your rate of skill acquisition OR at a later stage, but that is different for each individual. NB: Bring what you have and we will try it out and then identify what each of you need to buy extra to tap into a direct learning experience offered in this course. If you have to buy, please consider Derwent OR Faber Castel Artist Quality pencils or equivalent quality brands such as (but not limited to) Caran d'ache and STAEDTLER Mars Lumograph graphite pencils.
A good quality and very sharp pencil sharpener.
A kneadable eraser, (Faber Castel is best but by no means the only one out there)
Continuing students may choose to work in Pen and Ink in which case in addition to the above, they will also need to acquire fine liner pens 0.05, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 in tip size. Recommended sets: Staedtler 4 Pigment Liner OR Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners
NOTE: You can draw without magnification, but you will find finer detail more difficult without it and you will find drawing without it a strain on your eyes (Health warning). I recommend a good quality magnifier (x 6 to X 10 at a base minimum but not restricted to this). It can be hand held, on a stand or as a table fixed gooseneck magnifier, but you will find that it reduces strain on your eyes and makes details that much more visible and drawable.
This is a course in botanical illustration for the absolute beginner with no prior experience as well as continuing students of this course from previous semesters.
You will know the properties of media and materials used in botanical illustration and (with practice) master the techniques how to use them accordingly. You will know how to plan, compose and produce a drawing/painting and how to illustrate a botanical specimen to desired outcome. You will have been encouraged to do scientifically accurate and aesthetically pleasing works in the process of learning and will leave the course with a basic knowledge about plant morphology.