May 1 @ 9:30 am – Jun 5 @ 12:30 pm
MASTERCLASS IN BOTANICAL ART - NILAVAN ADAMS @ Workspace A, Naturelab | Griffith | Australian Capital Territory | Australia

Students wishing to develop their botanical art skills further will work with award-winning botanical illustrator Nilavan Adams in a project-based class setting. Students will study complex botanical art subjects, focus on composition and depth of form with finished works.

Suitable for students with botanical art and watercolour experience.

It is recommended that students enrol in the ‘Painting with Watercolour 1 and 2’ courses as a pre-requisite for all watercolour courses.

Jun 12 @ 9:30 am – Jul 3 @ 12:30 pm

The course will focus on painting Australian native plants with a study of grevilleas, guided by award-winning botanical artist Cheryl Hodges. We will closely observe the plant with both magnifier and microscope, and also some dissections. We will note our observations and describe the plant in a nature journal style. This information will then be used to render a detailed watercolour portrait of the plant, discussing composition, tone, colour, using washes, glazing and dry-brush work. There will also be an opportunity to try pen and ink and also watercolour on vellum.

Suitable for beginners to intermediate level. It is recommended that beginners enrol for the ‘Introduction to Watercolour’ workshop with Lesley Wallington.

Hardcover Bookbinding Workshop—Create Your Own Journal or Sketchbook with with Deanna Hitti @ Domain House,
Jul 2 – Jul 3 all-day

This workshop is a special introduction to bookbinding with artist and professional bookbinder Deanna Hitti. Deanna’s work has won two Artist Book awards and has been acquired by many major institutions including the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia. At present, she is working on a project with cartoonist, artist and poet Michael Leunig.

Because places are very limited, this two-day workshop will be held twice, first on consecutive weekdays and then over the following weekend.

During the two days, Deanna will share her love and knowledge of bookbinding, and the experience she has gained over more than 15 years. The workshop is structured step by step to allow each participant to create their own beautifully finished hard cover journal. A great amount of information will be shared on suitable papers, sewing techniques for securing the spine, through to making a hard cover for the book. The cost of the workshop includes an individual kit of materials put together by Deanna herself. Students will also be asked to provide some very basic items such as sheets of newspaper, rulers and a pencil.

Suitable for the complete beginner or the more experienced craftsperson wanting to create their own archival grade journals, photo albums and artist books.
See Deanna’s books at

A brief materials list will be provided by the Friends’ office after booking.

Midwinter Workshop: Dormancy or Nature at Rest with John Pastoriza-Piñol @ Domain House
Jul 5 – Jul 6 all-day

During this two-day workshop, students will observe and document the unique and fascinating structures of winter skeletons: buds, stems, seedpods, bulbs and seeds. With John’s guidance, everyone will work towards producing a composition incorporating several elements that is both pleasing and informative.

Suitable for those with some experience of botanical illustration. A materials list will be provided by the Friends’ office after booking.

Beyond Botanical Art Class with Deirdre Bean @ The Calyx
Sep 22 – Sep 23 all-day

Extend your watercolour experience. In this class choose to paint subjects from the seaside. Shells are a perfect choice for their shape, form and colour. As models they sit perfectly for hours while you take your time perfecting your skills.

Suitable for those with drawing skills and experience with watercolour.

Deirdre Bean is a recognized botanical artist who exhibits locally and internationally. She paints in watercolour on paper and vellum.  Deirdre’s watercolour paintings are painstakingly executed over many hours and are always botanically correct.

Influenced by traditional painting methods, Deirdre Bean brings her fine illustrative style into a fresh contemporary practice inspired by the natural world. Deirdre paints her subjects closely, revealing intricate detail and perfect forms that the eye sometimes misses.  She sources her subjects from fieldtrips and methodically composes her paintings in the studio.

Environmental threats to Australia’s flora has inspired Deirdre to paint species of environmental importance and vulnerability. Deirdre is a PhD candidate in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle. Her research title is ‘Australia’s mangroves: a plant community facing an uncertain future’. She is currently working on the mangrove species of Australia, most of which grow in and around the Daintree River in Far North Queensland.  The mangroves are the subject of her post graduate studies in Natural History Illustration.

The Art of Botanical Illustration 2018 Exhibition
Oct 13 – Oct 28 all-day

Papaver somniferum by Vicki Philipson

Many works have been purchased from The Art of Botanical Illustration exhibitions for inclusion in the State Botanical Collection. The State Botanical Collection belongs to the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and is located in the Herbarium. It is made up of two sections: the first section contains over 1.2 million dried plant specimens which are used in scientific research; and the second section is located in the library and is made up of books, periodicals, collections of maps, letters, manuscripts, photographs and artworks. This material is an invaluable resource to staff and researchers working in areas such as biodiversity, classification, evolution, geography, molecular systematics, conservation and horticulture.

It is important that the works exhibited in The Art of Botanical Illustration are scientifically accurate. Each artwork is carefully selected by a panel which includes a botanist, an artist and the head librarian at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to ensure that the highest standards are met. The work must adhere to the following criteria: it must provide an accurate representation of the form and botany of the chosen subject; the characteristics of the species or variety must be adequately conveyed; the representation should be an artistically pleasing, balanced and a considered work of art; it must be identified and named accurately according to standard botanical practices; and must have been completed within the previous two years.