Bark and Lichens
Tutor: Roger ReynoldsCourse Code: 3319-02


Twigs covered in lichen growth are attractive subjects, with shapes and colours that are worth exploring. Being able to add details like bark can enhance a painting, so practising them is really a good exercise. The course will give you information on how to recognise lichens, how to draw their interesting shapes, how to make their special colours, and how to tackle the process of illustrating bark.


Lichens as a group are different from other kinds of botanical illustration. They have their own shapes and colours, but they are good material to work on since they are less mobile than most subjects. Care needs to be taken in the translation of what you see and getting the shapes and colours can be challenging. Drawing needs to be careful and precise, but is part of the fun in building up the picture. It is intended that all these aspects of the work will be addressed carefully, methodically working through aspects of composition, layout drawing for watercolour, colour mixing and painting technique. We will tackle as many kinds of lichen growth as time will allow. Although this is meant to be about painting lichen covered bark, there is no reason why we cannot take on the process of painting the bark of various woody plants as well. Individuals or the group can make their own decisions. Help and guidance will be available throughout.

Please bring with you

Watercolour paper, 300g/m2 smooth, hot pressed like Fabriano Classico 5 or Fabriano Artistico HP. A limited supply of paper will be available from the tutor
Graphite pencils for drawing (suggest HB or B and H or 2H)
Pencil Erasers – putty rubber ones are particularly useful
Tracing paper (if you have it)
A container for paint water – a clean jam jar is fine
Paper towel kitchen roll is really useful for controlling brush loading
Watercolour paints, which might be half-pans or tubes, it doesn’t matter, but they should be artist quality. Suggested colours from Winsor and Newton range might be Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, Winsor Yellow, Aureolin, New Gamboge, Scarlet Lake, Winsor Red, Winsor Violet, Winsor Orange, Permanent Carmine, Light Red, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Permanent Sap Green, Neutral tint and Payne’s Grey
Please do not worry if you do not have any or all of these items. In two days it is unlikely that we would use anything approaching the full list, and key colours will be available from the tutor.
Watercolour brushes, good quality (preferably sable), capable of forming fine points, preferably down to size 0, but again they can be borrowed for the class.
Mixing palette, e.g. a white plate or saucer, don’t buy anything special!
Specimens will be needed. Please try to bring in your own. The more west you go in the country, the better the lichen growth, with greater variety and size, so if you make a trip in that direction it is an opportunity to collect more exciting specimens. I will do my best to gather interesting examples, but we can always do with more!


Suitable for all levels

Course Location

Missenden Abbey
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD


Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds

Roger is a botanical illustrator who works in watercolour and coloured pencil. He is a long standing fellow of the Society of Botanical Artists where his work has been awarded a certificate of botanical merit, and has been used in their publications. He has exhibited at their annual exhibition in Westminster since 2004. In 2016 he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his work illustrating plants. He is a member of the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration which fosters the links between botanists and illustrators and he has an honours degree in botany. In 2018 he was a participant in the day of international botanical art exhibitions and as a member of the Association of British Botanical Art, represented the UK.

12th to 14th Aug 2019
Monday to Wednesday


9amCoffee on arrival
9.15amWelcome and tutor introductions
9.30am-1pmTeaching session
1-2pmLunch for all
2-5pmTeaching session
6.45 for 7pmDinner for residents
7-9.15amBreakfast for residents
9.30am-1pmTeaching session
1-2pmLunch for all
2-5pmTeaching session
6.45 for 7pmDinner for residents
7-9.15amBreakfast for residents
9.30am-1pmTeaching session
1-2pmLunch for all
2-5pmLast teaching session

"Roger is a patient and generous tutor." (Summer School 2019)

"Excellent - best course yet."  (Summer School 2019)

"Always enjoy coming to Missenden - quality of tuition excellent." (Summer School 2019)

"Excellent course - excellent tutor." (Summer School 2019)

"So pleased to have Roger's tuition and encouragement." (Summer School 2019)