• Helmsley Walled Garden Botanical Illustration - Bridget's Class 1
  • Helmsley Walled Garden Botanical Illustration - Bridget's Class 2

Botanical Illustration with Bridget Gillespie

Botanical illustration – two day practical course

Course Leader – Bridget Gillespie

Botanical illustration is the art of depicting plant forms accurately, to capture their particular characteristics and to aid identification. Helmsley Walled Garden is rich in plant material for subjects but feel free to bring specimens with you. The course will include demonstration and individual tuition covering drawing techniques, composition and colour mixing. Anyone wishing to attend a series of courses to improve their skills and confidence are most welcome.

We will be working in watercolour. Please feel free to bring your own selection, but you may find the following list useful as plant depiction often needs colours not always found in standard sets. ‘Artists Colours’ are usually better quality and try to avoid ready-made greens as it is much better to mix your own.


BLUES: Ultramarine, Cobalt, Cerulean, Indigo (artist’s quality as it is blue not grey)

YELLOWS: Aureolin, Winsor, Lemon, Cadmium, Yellow Ochre

REDS: Scarlet Lake, Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Red

PINKS: Permanent Rose

BROWNS: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber


PAPER: Up to A2, good quality ie 140lb Hot Pressed or Not surface. Sketch & tracing paper

BOARD: A2 maximum

BRUSHES: A selection of sizes from 1 to 7 with good points, sable if possible

PENCILS: A selection from 2H to 2B

SUNDRY: Sharpener, eraser/putty rubber, water pot, kitchen towel, magnifying glass, masking tape


Delicious snacks and lunches may be purchased from the Vine House Café. The Orchid House is heated and ventilated but come prepared with layers. You may wish to bring a cushion for added comfort.

Deposit    A non-returnable deposit of £15 is requested on booking. Balance due on attendance

Maximum number of ten people per course

Course dates

  • April 26th and 27th
  • May 24th and 25th
  • June 18th and 19th
  • July 12th and 13th
  • August 16th and 17th
  • September 17th and 18th
  • October 11th and 12th

Cost per participant per course £75

To book, please contact Bridget on bridget.gillespie@btinternet.com