Specialist Workshops in Botanical Art

  • Learn more about botanical art and painting flowers and plants
  • Take one of our specialist botanical painting workshops
  • The Friends hold regular specialist workshops during the art class term break times
  • Members of the Friends enjoy special reduced rates for all classes and workshops, so Join the Friends now to become a Member.
How to Book:  Book online for botanic art workshops.
For all Botanic Art Term Classes please telephone the Friends' office on (03) 9650 6398 
Please read Terms and Conditions (download right)

Too Many Little Flowers? Coloured Pencil Workshop 

with Mali Moir

Watercolour pencils! Just right for those small and complex flowering racemes you love but dread to attempt in traditional watercolour techniques. Watercolour pencils are a wonderful solution: they easily render small, tight areas, are quick to cover many small flowers, are controllable for stripy effects including long strap leaves and even those plants that have ‘too many little leaves’. Easy peasy! Perfect for flowers such as Erythrina, Dahlias, Redhot pokers, Chrysanthemums, Jacaranda, Salvias, Lavender, bunches of palm fruits, succulent flowers and so many more.
Suitable for all levels except complete beginners. A materials list is available from the Friends’ office.
When: Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 and Friday 12 January
10 am to 4 pm  
Where: Whirling Room Studio, Observatory Gate, Royal botanic Gardens Melbourne
Cost: Friends:  $375 Non-members:  $440
Bookings Essential - Online or 
Bookings/Enquiries: (03) 9650 6398

Ephemera: Collecting and Painting 

with Dianne Emery 

Many botanical and natural history artists build their own personal collections of found objects: seed pods, cones, shells, nests, dead or live insects, skulls or dried leaves. Often anything that takes their fancy and that they consider beautiful, curious or fascinating, is included. Many artists have turned some of these objects into beautiful works of art. One example is Rory McEwen’s ‘True Facts from Nature’ from the 1970s. In this workshop Dianne will encourage her students to rummage through their collections to find a small group of objects based around a theme or concept. And of course it is possible to include even more ephemeral objects such as small fruit or small flowers.
It is recommended that participants have some experience. A materials list is available from the Friends’ office.

When: Monday 15, Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 January
10 am to 4 pm
Where: Whirling Room Studio, Observatory Gate, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Cost: Friends:  $315    Non-members:  $368
Bookings Essential - Online or 
Bookings/Enquiries: (03) 9650 6398

Short Course: Preparing Your Artwork for Exhibition 

with Kate Nolan

With the Art of Botanical Illustration exhibition coming up in the spring, Kate Nolan has agreed to teach a short course on ways to prepare a successful entry. She says,  ‘It is exciting to be chosen to exhibit your artwork, but there are lots of little tips and tricks which can help you present it at exhibition in the best possible way. This two-day course will go through all those little things such as how to flatten your paper if it has buckled, the best ways to deal with any blemishes, how to decide exactly how to frame your work.’ 

Suitable for artists at all skill levels. A materials list is available from the Friends’ office.
When: Thursday 18 and Friday 19 January 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Whirling Room Studio, Observatory Gate, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Cost: Friends:  $195   Non-members:  $260
Bookings Essential - Online or 
Bookings/Enquiries: (03) 9650 6398

Leaf Matters 

with Kate Nolan

Painting a single leaf is a wonderful way to play with watercolour and botanical illustration. There is no end to the ways in which leaves can be arranged on paper, from slightly abstract to almost forensically scientific. In this course, Kate will take her students through some of the different types of leaves to be painted: Eucalypt leaves, which allow for lovely colour mixing; crispy fallen oak leaves, which provide wonderful shapes and shadows to play with; dead skeletal leaves where there is a world of detail; delicate fresh shiny leaves. The class will look at a different type  of leaf every day. Kate says ‘Come along and have a blast painting some of the most beautiful leaves in the world!’ A materials list is available from the Friends’ office.

When: Monday 22, Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25  January 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Whirling Room Studio, Observatory Gate, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Cost: Friends:  $440    Non-members:  $505 
Bookings Essential - Online or 
Bookings/Enquiries: (03) 9650 6398
Terms and Conditions
(Adobe PDF File)
Studio Location Map
(Adobe PDF File)

Join the Friends now to take advantage of Member rates at Botanical Art Classes


Maireana turbinata produced by Mali Moir using watercolour pencils..


Wings by Dianne Emery


Eucalyptus gonocalyx juvenile leaf by Kate Nolan. Many members will recognise this painting as the emblem of last year’s The Art of Botanical Illustration 2016 Exhibition.


Wrinkly Oak Leaf on vellum painted by Kate Nolan.