Botanical art is the skill of depicting the form, colour and details of plant species in drawings or watercolour paintings. They must be as scientifically accurate as possible, but often also have an artistic component. I think of it as an encapsulation of nature.
Tulipa x hybrida by John Pastoriza-Piņol
You can learn the skills of this art form in classes and workshops at the Whirling Room Studio, Observatory Gate, at the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens. If this medium of artwork is new to you, it is strongly recommend that you complete a beginner workshop prior to entering term classes or advanced workshops.
Botanical Art students at work in the Whirling Room
The beginner workshops are four-day courses where students can begin to develop skills in botanical art. This includes outline drawing, foreshortening, tonal work and rendering of surfaces, basic colour work and paint application.
The next workshop is the Spring Beginners Workshop, with Helen Burrows. It's being held from Monday 25th September to Thursday 28th September from 10 am to 4 pm each day. The cost is: Friends $349 and Non-members $410
Iris by Helen Burrows
Helen is a professional graphic designer, who has worked in secondary and tertiary education sectors teaching Art and lecturing in Design and Graphic Communication. With a background in adult educational training, Helen`s pedagogical theory is to deliver instructional strategies that create the best learning experience for both Beginners and Advanced students. Her curriculum, through personalised designed workshops, encourages students to experience and embrace the beauty and intricacies of nature in its many forms.
Her passionate interest in gardening and horticulture has found expression in her commitment to botanical painting. Her work is also held in galleries and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.
Clematis x hybrida by John Pastoriza-Piņol
Experienced artists might want to consider the Spring Flowers Workshop with John Pastoriza-Piņol who is a Melbourne artist and teacher with an international reputation as a leading botanical artist. It is being held on Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th October from 10am to 4pm each day. The cost is: Friends $445 Non-members $507
Gordon Morrison, Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat, has described John's paintings of flowers as 'lush, potent, sensual celebrations of LIFE'. John has recently spent time painting at the National Tropical Botanic Gardens at Kauai in Hawaii, and held a solo exhibition at the Scott Livesey Galleries in High Street, Armadale during May and June. Last year, he was artist in residence at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Colorado, USA, and then travelled to Transylvania, where he worked on paintings that may be selected for the Transylvania Florilegium.
In this four-day workshop, John will teach techniques for drawing and painting spring flowers. Students will learn his methods for the use of masking fluid to achieve very fine detail. This workshop is suitable for those with experience in drawing and watercolour.
The cost of both courses includes materials to be used during the workshop. Bookings are essential. You can book in and find more information about workshops and classes with the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
So why don't you immerse yourself into nature and art with these talented tutors, by taking one of these botanical art courses!