Burren College of Art Summer Workshop

Spring is here and it will not be long before the wonderful Burren landscape in County Clare comes alive with the spectacular flora that makes the region such a special place. Just outside Ballyvaughan, in the very heart of this unique habitat is the Burren College of Art – an internationally recognised Irish non-profit college specializing in undergraduate, postgraduate and alternative approaches to fine art education. In addition to the undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the College runs Summer Workshops in a variety of subjects.

Among these is a Beginners’ Botanical Art Course, which was introduced last year. It was my pleasure and privilege to teach this five-day workshop to a group of enthusiastic and hard-working aspiring botanical artists, and I am delighted that the course is once again part of the schedule of Summer Workshops for 2017.

The course is a very basic introduction to botanical art and flower painting with lots of information about the painting and drawing materials and how to use them. Handouts on relevant topics will be available each day, including some basic botanical information and diagrams.

Students will discover that observation is everything. On the first day, participants will focus on details, shading, creating texture, getting the proportions right, light and shade, followed by an introduction to watercolour – colour properties, colour mixing, making colour charts, using brushes, laying down a wash. After doing a preliminary drawing similar to what might be done in a sketch book, with notes about colour, measurements, etc., students will use the skills learned and exercises completed in the first three days, to draw out and paint their chosen plant on watercolour paper. The atmosphere is informal and encouraging, with lots of one-to-one help available, and demonstrations of relevant techniques.

This course is suitable for complete beginners, as well as those who have some limited experience and would like to improve their skills. Emphasis is on individual tuition and allowing students to work at their own level of experience.  

Further information is available on the Burren College of Art website at http://www.burrencollege.ie/summerworkshops/botanical-art-beginners. You can also contact me directly at laragan.hall@gmail.com.


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