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Botanical illustration



Whether you are a beginner or someone with experience in this or other art forms, this course provides the opportunity to focus thoughtfully and closely upon flowers, fruits and features of plants. While it is helpful to have some knowledge of drawing and painting, skills can be developed through practice. An interest in plants is essential.

The content of this flexible course will depend on your previous experience with drawing plants. Those with experience can work on their own pictures and get advice on technique and feedback on your work.

The following topics can be covered:
  • The role of close observation in this art form
  • How to begin a drawing
  • The role of tracing paper, watercolour paper, watercolours,specific pencils and brushes
  • How to apply watercolour in botanical art
  • The place of correct names in botanical art
  • Linneaus and the identification of plants
  • Significant features of plants
  • The role of magnification
  • What to look for when painting garden plants
  • Composing a design
  • Transfering  the design and painting
  • How to begin painting once the design has been transferred onto paper
  • Mixing colours and matching them for realism

Participants have the opportunity to exhibit in our end of year diversARTy exhibition at Eltham Library Gallery to celebrate their achievements with friends and family.

This course is open to people aged 18 years and over. 

Places may be available in this course after the start date. Please contact us to enquire: 9433 3744


This course is held at our Eltham centre - 739 Main Road.

What to bring

For beginners:
  • Sketchbook - Canson Bond Layout, A3, 70gsm paper
  • Pencils: 1 x 2B, 1 x HB and 1 x H
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Paper towels
  • At least one sheet of tracing paper

For those with more experience, who want to paint:
  • Brushes in sizes 1 and 5 with good points (sable is best but there are decent artificial ones)
  • White porcelain plate or artists palette
  • Arches hot pressed paper, 300gm
  • 2 jam jars
  • Artist quality watercolours; the following are a good basic start:
  • Permanent Rose
  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Cadmium Lemon
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cerulean Blue

Victorian Artists Supplies, 715 Main Road, Eltham will give a 10% discount on purchases to those enrolled in a Living & Learning Nillumbik course. Materials list and approximate costs, supplied by Victorian Artists Supplies: Material List (PDF) / Material List (screen reader accessible version).
We advise you to buy your materials/equipment no more than one week prior to the start of the course to avoid expense for a course that may be cancelled.

About the Tutor

Marta has been painting and exhibiting as a botanical artist since 1996. She has a Bachelor of Education with a major in Fine Arts, but it was through classes with Jenny Phillips that Marta gained the skills required to work in the field of botanical art.

Much of the work Marta does is focused on Australian flora, especially that of Western Australia. She travels regularly to WA to spend time as an artist-in- residence. The Dandenong Ranges is also an ongoing source of inspiration with its mix of exotic and native trees and flora.

Marta has botanical paintings in private collections in Australia and in the Sutton Collection in the USA. Images of her paintings have also been used by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and in Canberra.
In the Botanical Gardens Exhibitions "The Art of Botanical Illustration", 2016, Marta's paintings have been awarded the Celia Rosser Medal (2016) and an Honourable Mention (2018). Both are awarded for excellence in the field.


Concession fees

A Concession fee of around 10% off is available to holders of Health Care Cards, Pension concession cards or Veterans Gold cards. 
If you are eligible, please select the concession fee when enrolling and click "calculate discount".
You may be asked to present your Health Care card, Pension concession card or Veterans Gold card for verification when attending a course or activity.

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Upcoming Workshops

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Contact us



  • Diamond Creek
  • 119 Cowin Street
  • Diamond Creek 3089

  • Eltham
  • 739 Main Road
  • Eltham 3095

  • Panton Hill
  • 18 Bishops Road
  • Panton Hill 3759

  • Nillumbik Shire Council trading as Living &
  • Learning Nillumbik, Registered Training
  • Organisation No. 3989, ABN 64 487 894 794

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