Botanical illustration workshop

Course Dates: 16/09/24 - 14/10/24
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Learn how Botanical Illustrators accurately depict flowers, leaves, stems and seeds - for the purpose of genus and species identification by Botanists and Biologists.

Work from both primary and secondary source material to create an array of illustrative work, including anatomical and/or decorative.
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Full fee £229.00 Senior fee £183.00 Concession £149.00
Choose a start date

Botanical illustration workshop
  • Course Code: VZ495
  • Dates: 16/09/24 - 14/10/24
  • Time: 14:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Mon, Daytime
  • Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Alison Barratt

Course Code: VZ495

Choose a start date  

Mon, day, 16 Sep - 14 Oct '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

On this botanical illustration workshop, you will learn how to create your own botanical studies using a variety of media and techniques. Using both primary and secondary sources, adopt viewing techniques and approaches to observational drawing typically used by botanical illustrators.
Develop artwork to a finished level, where you will then have the opportunity to scan in and manipulate / digitise ready for next steps.
You will discuss and draw on inspiration from both historical and contemporary examples of the genre, looking at where botanical illustrations play a key role within education and industry.

What will we cover?

• Dissection and Bisection to reveal the anatomy of a plant.
• Drawing from ‘live studies’; considering the form and structure of the plant.
• Perspective and rendering details.
• Colour mixing to capture colours and tones.
• Mark-making to capture texture and/or pattern.
• Using Adobe software to enhance illustrations and add text.

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

• Use observational drawing technique and approaches.
• Develop a good understanding of how to create botanical illustrations.
• Identify markmaking techniques and approaches to making/using colour.
• Explain the use and purpose of botanical illustrations.

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

This course is suitable for intermediate learners; however, you do not need to have experience of botanical illustration specifically, just experience of Illustration in general.

You should be able to follow verbal and written instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information. You may be encouraged to take short written notes for your own use and take part in group discussions.

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

The course will be delivered through:

- Presentations
- Demonstrations
- Practical work
- Individual and group tutoring
- Group discussion

Additional / extension activities may be set for you to complete at home or outside of the course hours. Completion of additional tasks is encouraged to help you get the most out of the course. Where required your tutor will discuss these with you during each session.

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

We advise and recommend that learners bring any specific plants or botanicals they wish to work with as a source of inspiration.

At City Lit, access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. We advise you to bring a A5/A4 sketchbook for the recording of ideas and an A3 folder and/or a USB drive to transport work to and from City Lit. Additional materials required as part of the course will be discussed by your tutor if required.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.

To get 15% LGC discount, you will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment and being a student at City Lit. You can apply in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. Student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When you enrol on a course at the City Lit, you will be able to apply for a student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud. Simply create an Adobe account using your City Lit email address (which includes your student number) and indicate that you are a student. Please note that Adobe accounts must be set up by students independently, your tutor or other staff cannot support you with this.

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

We recommend looking at our range of workshops in graphic design, illustration, children’s book illustration and graphic novels to see what’s on offer.

For more information about any of the courses on offer, please visit our website.

Alison Barratt

Alison Barratt is an illustrator, graphic designer, artist, academic. She gained a BA at Chelsea School of Art and trained for an MA at the Royal College of Art. Since then she has worked in London as an illustrator/designer. In addition she became Programme Leader for Illustration at the University of Sunderland in 2006, travelling between London and Sunderland. In 2017 she based herself wholly in London. Alison works as an illustrator for clients from publishing, corporate, advertising, supermarkets to editorial. These include Quadrille, Conran Octopus, City of London, NHS, English Heritage, Waitrose, M&S and the Sunday Telegraph. As a designer she has worked for design studios, newspapers and magazines including Condé Nast, Sunday Times, Observer, Sunday Telegraph. She has designed corporate identities, logos and books for Northern Arts and various art galleries. Whilst at the University of Sunderland she set up a research relationship between The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle and her students. In 2014 she was a speaker at the 2014 ICON conference in Portland, Oregon. Alison has been a visiting lecturer at City University and the University of Stirling.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.