Botanical illustration

Course Dates: 24/01/19 - 14/03/19
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: 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 City Lit 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, City Lit 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 further develop your skills and interest in Illustration through a range of courses at the City Lit in illustration, animation, cartooning and web design.

You can download a PDF of all the Graphics and Illustration courses on offer at:,_design_and_digital_media, search on the web site or request a printed prospectus from the City Lit home page.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit 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 3 item(s)

Write a review
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)

Book your place

Course Code: VK439

Thu, day, 24 Jan - 14 Mar '19

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £259.00
Senior fee: £207.00
Concession: £158.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
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.