About this course


I teach botanical and insect illustration, and have produced another tutorial title “Introduction to Botanical Art – Eucalyptus Leaves”. This tutorial can be completed on its own, or following the previous tutorial.

Through my teaching I've learnt the problems that you might come up against when you first start out with watercolour. I will walk you through the whole process from beginning to end. We will start with some sketch or study pages, looking at each element of the plant in detail, and drawing and painting individual elements, so different stages of the Acacia flowers, and the leaves, on a small sheet of watercolour paper. We'll cover basic equipment required, setting up your specimen, sketching, tonal study, transferring the image to your watercolour paper, and then we move on to painting a large specimen in watercolour. We'll cover the techniques of wet in wet, then building up the colours and textures in layers and then using dry brush to add those final details at the end. For this section I have filmed and narrated me painting a whole specimen, working around the painting in a methodical fashion, to end up with a completed artwork ready for framing. 

This Acacia pycnantha, or Golden Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia, and a very popular plant which is really rewarding to paint in watercolour. It's very satisfying getting those flowers to look plump and round and fluffy, and the leaves (or phyllodes as you'll learn) are shiny and bright, with just enough detail to keep things interesting. Although it's always best to have a live specimen, in this case you don't need one, as there is enough information in the handouts - my sketch and photographs of the plants - for you to get on with painting.


A few words from your instructor: Cheryl Hodges


Example Curriculum

  Introduction
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  Basic equipment
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  Plant study and sketch pages - flowers and buds
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  Plant study and sketch pages - leaf (phyllode)
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  Some tips
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  Preparation for final painting
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  The final painting in stages
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  Some excerpts
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  Stretching your painting
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  Finished!
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Your instructor

Cheryl Hodges


Cheryl is a natural history artist, painting plants and insects in watercolour, on paper and vellum. She particularly enjoys painting Australian native plants and insects, and more recently has been focusing on threatened and endangered species. Cheryl teaches both botanical and insect illustration. She hopes that through her painting and teaching, she will encourage people to look at the natural world with curiosity and fascination and therefore be more inclined to look after it.

Cheryl has won numerous awards and her works are held in public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Cheryl has held two solo exhibitions. Cheryl has paintings in the permanent collections of the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, the CSIRO in Canberra, and the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.


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