Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New! Live Botanical Art Tutorials and Botanical Illustration Course

This week I'm really excited to launch the next phase in my online courses as Live Video Demonstrations and Tutorials. The first session, titled ' Red Hot Chili Peppers: Using the Washes and Dry Brush Techniques in Practice' is taking place this Sunday 6th April at 1300 hrs UK time. During the session, which will be delivered via Skype, I will be painting different types and colours of chili peppers. They make brilliant subjects.... perfect for demonstrating light and shade in creating a 3D form and employ a range of watercolour techniques. 

Chili peppers are pretty much always available and can be purchased at low cost at the local grocery store, their small size means I stand a good chance of getting something finished in a relatively short time scale! The session lasts for three hours, so hopefully I'll get one of each colour finished . If you want to join me and paint along, ask questions or just watch. 

 Click here to find out more.
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An example of chili peppers as work in progress
The chili  pepper  makes a perfect  little subject! The rich colours and shiny form requires a number of techniques to create the 3D effect with the right finish. 

The live tutorials should be fun and can actually have some advantages over the classroom, each session is intended for small groups of up to a maximum 6 students. Participants will be shown how to set up the subject and can paint along or just watch and or ask me questions from the comfort of their home! Details will be mailed out regarding the session in advance.

I've timed the sessions to start at 1300 hrs UK time which means it covers a fairly wide geographic area and may offer different times at a later date too if there is demand. 


A variety of chili peppers are available at most supermarkets.

I know that some people will say that you can't learn in the same way online but the technology keeps moving on and we're now much closer to the real classroom experience. The videos may be made available online at a later date on my YouTube Channel.


Over the past three years or so I've been teaching students online with a selection of courses and short videos clips. This was always something that I wanted to do because I know how difficult it can be to access classes or courses where travel, time and substantial amounts of money is involved. 

Personally I lived miles away from anywhere, had children at school and ill health in the family, so it was pretty much impossible at some points in my life.....so I appreciate how frustrating it can be when you want to learn but just can't access education for whatever reason. I always try to listen to what students want and accommodate their interests and adapt to suit. 


I'm offering more courses over the summer ( taking advantage of the longer daylight hours!) which reflect my own areas of interest and experience. Most important point at the heart of my teaching method is this statement: 


I don't want you to paint like me or copy what I do but instead want to provide the building blocks that underpin botanical art and illustration to enable you to become an artist in your own right.


The live sessions cover a range of subject areas.  The second session takes place on Tuesday 15th April 1300 hrs UK time- An Introduction to Illustrating Dissections in Botanical Illustration.

An introduction to illustrating dissections will guide students through the basics when it comes to identifying and illustrating the reproductive parts of a flower. 

There are also further sessions planned on the following:

 painting on vellum, painting leaves and composition. 


Also if anybody has suggestions for a session,  please feel free to get in touch with me and I will aim to accommodate any suggestion if I feel it's something I can teach.


And finally, I have also just launched a new more comprehensive course on Botanical Illustration, which starts May 7th. It's for just 6 students and so gives a fairly in depth 'start to finish'  approach, including graphite and watercolour techniques and studies, dissection and identifying the important plant parts for illustration, to creating a study page and colour studies. It finishes off with a full botanical illustration. 


So that's all of the new courses, they've been keeping me busy, so I just need to find a little time to finish off my current paintings on vellum.... more about those in the next blog post. Here's a peek at a detail. 


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