The Botanical Illustrators

Join the Illustrators. This group is just part of an exciting range of activities and events the Friends run for their members. The Friends support the Botanic Gardens providing financial and volunteer support for projects and events. Love the Gardens? Join the Friends! 

The Botanical Illustrators
are artist members of the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, who meet regularly to paint, take classes and workshops, and put on exhibitions of their work. Volunteers to assist with the organisation of Botanical Illustration with the Friends and with exhibitions are most welcome.

Following the success of the Eucalypts of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Nature's Small Wonders Exhibition held in October 2011, the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne Botanical Illustrators Group held a similar exhibition from 5-20 October 2013 - From the Forest to the Foreshore - Natural History: Ferns, Fungi and Their Allies.  In October 2015 an exhibition called reFraming Nature was held. reFraming Nature will again be held in October 2017

The Whirlybirds

The Whirlybirds is a group of Botanical Artists who meet in the Whirling Room on Tuesdays. We share ideas and support without a tutor. We are now enrolling for ten-week sessions each term and there are four terms per year.There is both a morning and an afternoon group.  
The first term for 2017 for Whirlybirds commences on Tuesday 7 February.
The cost is $88 for the full term and $33 for 3 casual meetings per term.
We have vacancies in the afternoon group from 1pm to 4pm and you are most welcome to join us.
If you are interested please call Sandra Sanger on 9598 9532.

Members of this friendly group range from beginners to professionals, and there is no instructor. Rather, members encourage each other in their artistic endeavours, discuss works-in-progress, offer advice, and occasionally, work on a group project. 

Quarterly Meetings  >>

Each quarter the Botanical Illustrators Group hold a meeting open to all artist members of the Friends. At each quarterly meeting there is a guest speaker.

The next Quarterly Meeting will be on July 19, 10 for 10.30 am, $5.50, pay on the day. All welcome.

Dolores Skowronski-Malloni will speak to us. Dolores and Rita Parkinson have published a book on practical guides for botanical art composition. Dolores will speak about the essential visual skills that professional illustrators use in the depiction of botanical subjects.



Botanic Art Essays  >>

A series of short essays in which text is accompanied by a few examples of superb art works produced by our talented Botanical Illustrators. Even though many artists will paint the same (or a related) species, and take great care to record it precisely and accurately, individual interpretations can be vastly dissimilar.

Margaret Flockton Award 2016

The Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens, as a major fundraising organisation and supporter of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, is pleased to sponsor the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration.  

The renowned and highly-celebrated annual Margaret Flockton Award for botanical illustration was this year won by Pauline Dewar, from Victoria, against an international field of entries spanning the globe and representing Australia,       New Zealand, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. Pauline's First prize was $5,000. Pauline's illustration was of Pellaea falcata P. nana (pictured right)
Other botanical illustrations receiving recognition in the 2016 Margaret Flockton Award may be viewed following this link.....

Congratulations to Melbourne Friends' artist Pauline Dewar whose illustration is shown here

Image: Pellaea falcata P. nana by Pauline Dewar

Cranbourne Friends' Botanical Illustrators and Botanic Art Classes

The Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Botanical Illustrators meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month on the Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens site to paint, encourage and support each other.

The group also holds workshops, talks, presentations and exhibitions
For details, see:
For further information about the group, exhibitions or classes, contact Margaret Holloway on m. 0438 985 382 or email

Volunteer Application Form
(Adobe PDF File)
Studio Location Map
(Adobe PDF File)

Join the Friends now to become involved with the Illustrators or the Whirlybirds

The Whirlybirds

Papaver somniferum by David Reynolds