Tulips have such strong colours they really demand to be tackled in coloured pencil. You will be able to choose the complexity of the tulip you want to paint, so the course will suit beginners and the most adventurous botanical artists. Help with techniques and pencil use (including demonstrations) will be provided according to individual needs. This is an opportunity to make use of all those colours!
Straight, upright tulips can be drawn easily, and it doesn’t take much time, so getting on with the analysis of tone and colour can proceed at a pace. Even so, looking at the subtleties of the way light falls on petals makes the difference between a boring representation and an interesting picture, so working with observation and finesse gives results to be proud of. Coloured pencil work gives you control to do this well but also requires subtlety in technique, which, if you have not already got it, can still be learned quite quickly. If you feel like an adventure there are many more exciting tulips to paint with fantastic colours and shapes, fiery parrot tulips, dark shining tulips, or highly patterned varieties. Careful help will be provided as you work, techniques when required, will be demonstrated. The aim is to push yourself further no matter what skills you currently possess, and to produce a painting you can be proud of.
Please bring with you
Tulips are liable to open up in the warmth of a room, and parrot tulips unroll and spread during a day. It is very useful to take a photograph so you can check the original set-up, so please bring smart phones, ipads or other means of making a record for yourself to help you check details.
The best paper is watercolour paper, reasonably thick, 300g/m2 (140lbs) and smooth i.e. hot pressed (HP) such as. Fabriano Classico 5 or Fabriano Artistico. (see below)
Graphite pencils for initial drawing, but soft e.g. B, HB, (not hard pencils H, 2H)
Pencil Eraser – putty rubber ones are particularly useful
If you have mechanical pencil sharpeners, please bring them. (I discourage electric sharpeners, but only because they tend to ‘eat’ pencils.)
A sharp craft knife (Swann-Morton scalpels are best) so you can put a very fine point on your pencils
I usually have a small shallow plastic box with a lid that I can ‘sharpen into’ so that pencil dust can be kept under control round my working area. It might be helpful to set yourself up with something similar.
A large soft brush (or feather) is useful for sweeping away pencil debris from your work.
Paper towel kitchen roll is useful for several jobs.
If you bring or buy pencils please make sure they are from top quality manufactures, e.g. Faber Castell, Caran D’ache, Derwent, Prismacolor, but it doesn’t matter whether they are oil based, wax based or water-soluble. You can only reach quality work from quality pencils!
If you want to illustrate your own tulips please bring them, you will then have your specimens to take home to complete your work. Travelling with tulips can be difficult because the plant can be damaged. Wrapping a brown paper tube round the flower provides travel protection.This is particularly so if you travel by train. Specimens will be available in the class and you will be able to take your specimen home with you.
N.B. Full sets of 120 Faber Castell pencils will be available on loan. You do not need to go out and buy them.
The following items can be purchased from your tutor
A supply of paper will be available to purchase at cost price.
Suitable for all levels
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD
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.