Botanical illustration

Course Dates: 16/11/19 - 07/12/19
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Joanne Roberts

Botanical illustration is both an art form and a means of scientific engagement. Learn about depicting form, colour and differences in plant species with precision and detail on this studio and location-based course.

See what you could create – view a small selection of work made on this course



What is the course about?

Guiding you through basic techniques, such as careful observation, pencil drawing and mixing colours, the course moves on to more advanced skills such as creating depth and perspective to rendering detail, texture and pattern in a wide range of botanical subjects.

What previous students liked most about their course:

“I have more confidence with water colour.”
“A very good introduction to botanical drawing and watercolour, I have more confidence in tackling projects.“
“The tutor was very supportive and gave constructive criticism which was very helpful.”


What will we cover?

- Drawing Forms in Nature
- Colour Mixing
- Rendering details, textures and pattern
- Using digital technology in combination with hand drawn images
- Dissection and Bisection, the anatomy of a flower
- Putting together an illustration portfolio.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Draw botanical subjects with scientific accuracy
- Mix colours to correspond with observed colours
- Successfully execute tonal gradation, texture and pattern
- Use digital technology to enhance your illustrations
- Recognise the main reproductive parts of a flower
- Present a portfolio of botanical illustrations.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a beginners course.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with workshops, practical exercises, tutorials and handouts. Please note the Build uses Apple Mac computers in Digital arts, Graphics & Illustration and Photography. A short piece of homework will be set at the end of each lesson.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

It would be useful to bring a memory stick (or portable hard drive – please note PC formatted hard drives can be read by Apple mac computers, but not written to.) CDs/DVDs are available.

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, Build students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You can develop your skills further on VK501 Build children's book illustration course, VK530 Children's book illustration for beginners or compliment your illustration skills with a range of courses in illustration, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This course challenges you to observe plants carefully and describe them precisely in pencil or watercolours. The standards are high and the achievements of fellow students impressive.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 10/03/2019)
Great for your confidence and ability to frequently work at home. Understanding of new skill; working with watercolour and focuss on precise details of the original.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 08/03/2019)
Great course if you want to develop your observational skills. Valuable encouragement from a tutor who really knows what she’s doing!
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Review by Tim / (Posted on 28/02/2019)
Most enjoyable! I'd like to do more of the same, so perhaps a follow-up course would be useful?!
Course Rating
Review by Mudmaid / (Posted on 31/03/2015)
Great teacher, great facilities & learning environment. Really enjoyed the course as I started as a beginner and when the course ended by now I feel confident in my observation and drawing skills.
Course Rating
Review by A / (Posted on 27/03/2015)
Joanne is a really good and patient teacher, and got me from drawings that looked like cartoons to something more resembling the plants and fruits that I was drawing. She got me really interested in colour mixing and spending time looking at the specimen. I cannot believe that six hours could go by so quickly, and how she was able to fit so much into the course. Brilliant.
Course Rating
Review by Spoquey / (Posted on 25/03/2015)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VK456

Sat, day, 16 Nov - 07 Dec '19

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Full fee: £279.00
Senior fee: £279.00
Concession: £170.00

Or call to enrol: 222-66-889-99

Download form & post

Any questions? [email protected]
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.

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