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Botanical Illustration with Mirra Whale

Course overview

Join Award winning artist Mirra Whale for this two day botanical drawing and hand colouring workshop. This workshop is suitable for all levels from absolute beginner to the experienced artist. Bring along your choice of plant specimen and create your own beautiful botanical work of art, from traditional to contemporary. Mirra is the 2019 winner of the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award and a finalist in the Archibald Prize.

What to expect

Students will

  • learn fundamentals fundamental drawing skills such as observing and drawing shape, volume, perspective and tone
  • be introduced to a range of different drawing techniques to create the illusion of realism and three dimensionality and to develop your observational skills.
  • explore ways to be expressive and adventurous in their work
  • learn about a range of drawing mediums include charcoal, graphite, ink and watercolour

We’ll be looking at plant structure and isolating particular characteristics of each plant species, whilst working on composition and trying different techniques using pencil, ink and hand colouring with water colour.

_ "…botanical draughtsmanship demands understanding of the plant, even down to minute detail, as well as its portrayal with accuracy and grace…precise observation develops superb techniques of drawing and colouring."_ William T. Stern in 'The Orchid Paintings of Franz Bauer'

Image credit : Fleabane and Dandelion from Ode to the Urban Weed series by Mirra Whale

Is this course right for me?*

Suitable for enthusiastic beginners and beyond


  • Watercolour paints, brushes and palette
  • 2 x Imperial size sheets of Arches 300 gsm hot pressed watercolour paper (available from art supply stores)
  • rags, small spray if possible
  • HB and 2B pencils.
  • Kneadable rubber (Faber Castell is a good brand) and a palette.
  • A plain white card folder, A4 or foolscap size is useful to put behind specimens.
  • A sketchbook or visual diary or other cartridge paper in loose sheets

Our workshops are now delivered virtually. Maximum of 12 students in all our classes Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need.

Unless otherwise noted, prices exclude art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

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This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Course testimonials:

  • Mirra shared references and tips on technique freely and encouraged a great atmosphere in the class, which helped us focus on the detailed work required.
  • The course helped me to improve my drawing by slowing down and paying attention to details. Mirra was a very encouraging teacher.
  • I was very happy with Mirra's guidance and warm manner. I came away from the course with a deeper understanding of the skills needed for floral watercolour painting. I can highly recommend the class.