Saturday, 12 March 2011

Diploma Portfolio, SBA Distance Learing Diploma Course

Posted the final 3 portfolio pieces and sketchbook this week! I will update this post with images when they have been marked.
The requirement for the Diploma Portfolio is: 
  • Botanical illustration
  • Fruit or vegetable
  • Mixed Study

The deadline for submission was brought forward by one week, the deadline 12th birthday!. 

Graduation and the SBA Associate Membership
Graduation for the SBA Distance Learning Diploma course 6 is on the 15th April at the Artists Guild, Bloomsbury, which coincides with the SBA annual show, 'The World of Plants'.  I hope to head down to London for this event. I also have 5 paintings included in the exhibition ( submitted in February), which is some of the work that I completed outside the course. I'm applying for Associate membership this year as It will be my 2nd year submitting 5 paintings and look forward to seeing the wide variety of work - last year over 700 paintings were on show!

Here are the final diploma portfolio works:
Beetroot drawing
Vegetable Study
I grew this beet myself and completed this a while ago and decided, due to lack of time, that it was OK to submit as the fruit or vegetable piece.  So I didn't actually do it for the diploma just as part of other work  during the course. This isn't actually the final version - I added an extra leaf at the top to cover a small mark made just before putting it into the envelope! I prefer this version. There could have been a bit more contrast on the leaves to give the glossy appearance and to separate the leaves on the right hand side. I was happy with the beet and the roots though and the composition was good apart from that extra leaf. (final mark 23.1/25). 

Iris reticulata for the Botanical study

Botanical Illustration
Difficult to photograph this one because of the light pencil work - there's a bit more to it which includes the reproductive parts x 1.5 on the right hand side but it didn't show up so I cropped the image. Again perhaps a bit more contrast on the pencil work would have benefitted this one. (Final Mark 23.8/25).

Mixed Floral Ttulips and Anemone

Mixed Floral, a last minute dash to the finish line
Having had a few 'out of the blue' things to deal with in Feb and March, i.e. my grandson in intensive care! I had spent some time away from home, as a resut I found myself with only 3 days left to complete my final diploma piece! It seemed inevitable at one point that I'd have to defer until next year, but following encouragement from Margaret Stevens, I picked up one of the few remaining bouquets from the supermarket on my way home from the hospital, I'd driven the 8 hour trip home and this was all that was left in the Aberdeen Tesco store - it was the middle of the night!   It had a very limited palette and I'd no idea what variety of tulips they were - but decided it was the only option and to give it my best shot! I tracked down the very helpful tulip grower via email and he helped me to identify the flowers.  It did the trick and I managed to get it in the post on time.  There's a slight misalignment on the stem on the right hand tulip, which probably cost me - I'll correct this at some point. The judges particularly liked the detail and tone in the central anemone. I would never have chosen this but hey ho! (final mark 23.6/25)

Finally some tips for future students
If I was going to make any recommendation to new students it would be to do plenty of additional work around the course materials. You never know what might happen that will leave you short of time! The time- frame for the submission of assignments is very lenient so there's no excuse not to do extra work. 


  1. Congratulations on a huge effort Dianne. Look forward to seeing your final portfolio pieces and hear all about the Graduation. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me in this course. Well done!! A wonderful birthday present...

  2. Well done indeed! Can't wait to see the last paintings you've made ;)

  3. Congratulations!! I can't wait to see the final pieces. Your work is so beautiful. Enjoy graduation!!

  4. Well Done on getting everything completed :) Can't wait to see the finished work. I hope to be visiting the SBA show myself. Will you be at the preview? I'll keep my eyes peeled for your presence.

  5. I am going to the SBA show as well, I will look out for your work. Looking forward to see the portfolio work. Alena

  6. I saw your work and it was marvellous - even better in the flesh. Well done on your distinction!

  7. Hi All

    Apologies for not replying sooner. I'm only going to be around for the graduation day on the 15th - can't make it into London before that date. Looking forward to seeing all the other work. Thank you all for your kind comments:)))

  8. Dianne i love your final portfolia pieces :)
    I actually really like your mixed flower study; even though it only includes 2 types of flowers! I love the poppy :)Congratulations on your distiction; you more than deserved it. xox

  9. Thanks Julie, I was a bit concerned about only having two types of flower in the mixed floral but having looked at Mary Ann Scott's diploma piece, which was awarded top marks, I saw that she only had two - so didn't even bother asking and just went ahead:) Also I found it really difficult to produce a mixed floral on the A3 paper....very tight for space unless you are painting very small flowers. I scaled down my previous mixed floral (painted at 80%) because it just wasn't possible to fit it on the paper!

  10. Hi Dianne, Congratulations on your wonderful work and resulting high marks--very well deserved. I am amazed at how much you accomplished in three days! Thank you very much for sharing your work, the story behind it, your marks and your self-critique. It all is very interesting and helpful.