English Gardening School

Diploma Course Botantical Painting

One Year Diploma Course - One day per week

Course Aims

Our Botanical Painting Diploma course, launched here by Anne Marie
Evans in 1994, is regarded as partially responsible for the resurgence
of interest in this ancient method of depicting plants. The School
prides itself on the high level of achievement of its students who have
gained places in the collection of the Hunt Institute of Botanical
Documentation in Pittsburgh and the Shirley Sherwood Collection.
Students have been awarded medals by the Royal Horticultural Society,
have held exhibitions and one-man shows in London, the provinces and in
the USA.

Perpetuating The Chelsea Physic Garden’s long association with
botanical painting, many graduates join the Florilegium Society which
meets monthly to record the plants in the garden.

The training aims to teach the accurate illustration of plant
material in watercolour by developing the necessary observational and
drawing skills within a historical context. An understanding and
appreciation of botany, as taught on the course, is deemed vital to
realistic plant depiction.

Although previous experience is not required, a high degree of
motivation, commitment and hard work is expected and an additional two
days per week should be spent on homework.


The course takes place over three ten-week terms, each with a
half-term of one week, commencing in January. Classes are held on
Mondays from 10.30am – 3.15pm. The rudiments of botanical painting are
taught, mainly through a series of highly structured exercises.
Practice of techniques and development of skills is expected between
sessions. At the end of the academic year and to gain our diploma,
students embark on a set project, and our diploma is awarded on its
successful completion.

Students will gain an understanding of the principles and
requirements of this particular form of art; observe a specimen and be
able to select and represent its diagnostic features; draw the specimen
to render clearly and accurately its structure and distinctive
features; represent in a true and realistic manner the colour and form
of the plant; produce work that combines aesthetic merit with
scientific truth.

United Kingdom