Botanical Watercolour Workshop

Botanical Watercolour Workshop

Sat/Sun 23 & 24 Nov 2013

with David Mackay

Time: 10am – 4pm

Cost: $250pp

David Mackay was botanical illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney for 16 years and previously at the National Botanic Gardens of Papua New Guinea. He has been guest artist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew London, the University of California at Berkeley and the Linnean Herbarium in London.

Using techniques for painting plants with botanical accuracy, we will work on different shapes and textures and will discuss the appropriate depiction of detail – what to put in and, importantly, what to leave out. Further, we will investigate the use of light and shade in botanical art to create drama and depth.

BYO lunch.  Book early to avoid disappointment

Resources/Materials required:

  • A sheet of hot-pressed watercolour paper, 56 x 76cm, cut into quarters (David uses 640gsm to avoid buckling but you may have your favourite paper of choice)
  • Light weight cartridge paper for sketching – 6 or more sheets
  • Watercolour paints, palette, 2 water jars and a piece of cotton rag
  • Brushes – ‘Rounds’ – two size 6 brushes, a size 3, a size 2 and a size 0. Most botanical artists use pure sable brushes but David finds that sable-synthetic blends do as good a job and often better. Certainly, even if you are using pure sable brushes, the size 8 brush doesn’t need to be pure sable! Roymac and Rekab are good brands of sable-synthetic brushes for the larger sizes. For the smaller brushes his favourite brushes are ‘Winsor & Newton Sceptre Gold II 202 sable synthetics’.
  • For one of the exercises we will be using acrylic paint so you will want at least one sable-synthetic brush (size 2 round) for the weekend (pure sable brushes can be very quickly and easily ruined by acrylic paints!). Acrylic paint will be provided for this exercise.
  • Pencils – HB for sketching and a fine 2H pencil and thick 3 or 4B pencil for tracing (David usually uses clutch pencils to avoid continual sharpening, 0.5mm for the HB and 2H pencils and 2mm for the 3B pencil, but again personal choice will dictate which pencils people use)
  • Erasers – a plastic one and a kneadable one

Below is a list of colours that David will be using (All Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colours).

Participants do not have to purchase these particular colours, as you may prefer to use your own choice of colours and brand.

  • Permanent Sap Green
  • Hooker’s Green
  • Prussian Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cadmium Scarlet
  • Winsor Red or Cadmium Red Deep
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Umber
  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Titanium White