Online Course: Botanical Illustration

Explore botanical illustration techniques and applications over 10 weeks on Zoom.

When, Where

  • Zoom


Get acquainted with a range of styles and techniques for depicting flowers and plants at this online course with botanical illustrator and educator Elaine Searle.

Elaine will use her own work and that of other contemporary illustrators to introduce a variety of approaches to botanical illustration, breaking down this large field into manageable sections.

Online sessions will include a mixture of technical explanations and demonstrations, analysis of illustration methods and examples, live practical activities, further activities to explore between sessions and group discussions of work created with tutor feedback included.

By the end of 10 weeks you will have a created your own botanical artworks and have gained insight to the market for commercial botanical illustration.

During the course you will:

  • Learn how to write a plant character checklist which will inform your work.
  • Experiment with techniques which bring simple botanicals to life in line, greyscale and colour.
  • Explore contemporary botanical styles.
  • Learn how to make a small ‘collection’ painting.
  • Gain an overview of the market for botanical illustration.
  • Receive personal feedback and group forum support.
  • Receive resources on aspects of botanical art creation, from contemporary trends to licensing, available exclusively to course participants.

How the course works:

  • Live online classes will take place on Wednesday lunchtimes and include real-time exercises, tutorials, demonstrations, group discussion and feedback.
  • We use Padlet for our courses, where all course materials will be held, including video lectures, recordings from each week and a student gallery for uploading your artwork between sessions for support, peer review and tutor feedback.
  • A minimum of 3-6 hours homework is required every 2 weeks.
  • Participants will receive pre-course materials, including specific paint colours required, a week before the course start date and login details the day before – these will be sent to the email address linked to your Paypal account so please email as soon as possible from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

You will need:

  • A printer or second screen
  • A3 Starathmore 300 series tracing paper (41gsm)
  • A3 hot pressed watercolour paper (300gsm)
  • 2H, HB, 2B and 3B graphite pencils
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Pencil sharpener
  • 12 specified colours of watercolour paint
  • Round brushes in two specified sizes
  • Black fine-line pens

Experience: Some prior experience of drawing and watercolour painting required.

About the tutor:

Elaine Searle is an award-winning botanical artist and educator based in Norfolk with over 16 years’ creating botanical art and more than a decade’s experience teaching all over the world. She is currently working to commission as well as teaching courses for organisations including the American Society of Botanical Artists and Big Sky Arts.

Feedback from Elaine's previous courses:

“The courses are really helpful, explanations are logical and clear to understand and classes cover what I want to really know. I am looking forward to taking more courses with Elaine in future.” Student in Tokyo

"Elaine makes the process of painting flowers very accessible – to the novice as well as the more experienced artist. The class is well designed, each segment flowing smoothly – artistically and technically – into the next. She generously shares a wealth of knowledge in innovative ways, guiding the student to an understanding of the 'whys,' as well as the 'how-tos' of the process. The feedback she gave me was invaluable and spot on. I found the class exceptional and highly recommend it!” Student in North Carolina, USA

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 10 weeks: Wednesdays 13 January – 24 March 2021, 11.00-1pm GMT. No class during half term on 17 February.

The price refers to the whole course, not individual sessions. This course is for those aged 18+ only.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full 10 week online lunchtime course for adults with Gift Aid£434.50 £434.50
Full 10 week online lunchtime course for adults£395.00 £395.00

Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to our general terms and conditions. Age 18+ only.

Your ticket confirmation email may go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please contact immediately if you do not receive it.

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid price includes a voluntary 10% donation which allows us to claim back 25% of the total price paid. This small donation makes a huge difference to a charity like ours which receives no public funding – thank you! UK taxpayers only. Find out more at our Gift Aid page.