The course is a very basic introduction to botanical art and flower painting with lots of information about the painting and drawing materials and how to use them. Handouts on relevant topics will be available each day, including some basic botanical information and diagrams.
Observation is everything. On the first day, participants will focus on details, shading, creating texture, getting the proportions right, light and shade, followed by an introduction to watercolour – colour properties, colour mixing, making colour charts, using brushes, laying down a wash. The class will be devoted to doing a pencil sketch of the chosen plant and adding colour. This will be a preliminary drawing similar to what might be done in a sketch book, with notes about colour added. Using the skills learned and exercises completed in the first three days, students will draw out and paint their chosen plant on watercolour paper. Lots of one-to-one help, including demonstrations of relevant techniques.
After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Canada and working for several years in commercial art studios in Canada and the US, Jane moved to Ireland, where she spent over 30 years working as a natural history illustrator and book designer. For a number of years, whilst freelancing, she also taught art part-time at Clifden Community School. In 2004, she wrote and published, with her husband, a popular field guide, Connemara Wild Flowers. An early interest in painting highly detailed miniatures, combined with her knowledge and love of all forms of plantlife, eventually led Jane to specialise in botanical art. In addition to painting both wild and cultivated plants, she curates the annual Claregalway Botanical Art Expo at Claregalway Castle, is Communications Officer for the Irish Society of Botanical Artists, and runs botanical painting courses and workshops in Co. Galway. Her work hangs in collections in Ireland, Canada, the USA and the Netherlands.