Botanical painting – fruit, vegetables and seedheads with Sandrine Maugy

Ref: S2D33412

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Places available

About this course

Learn how to paint fruit, vegetables and seedheads through a series of demonstrations and individual support, i ncluding tone, colour-mixing and wet-on-wet watercolour techniques.

Course Description

The West Dean extensive walled gardens and orchards provide a large harvest, from ornamental gourds to edible vegetables, beautiful fruit and intricate seedheads.

The aims of the course are to:

- Improve your skills in watercolour techniques

- Increase your confidence in botanical painting

- Develop your knowledge and understanding of colours and colour-mixing theory

- Enable you to use light and dark to paint three-dimensional looking subjects

- Show you how to use blemishes and other features to make the fruits and vegetables look realistic and to give them personality

Your tutor will teach you techniques in sketching, wet-in-wet watercolour painting, dry brush painting, colour-mixing, composition, tone and shadows, planning a painting and keeping a sketchbook, and creating volume. She will support you with demonstrations and lectures on the techniques as well as one-to-one support.

During the course, you will become more familiar with the watercolour painting process, gain theoretical knowledge as well as practice, be able to paint better looking fruit and vegetables, improve your identification of colours and be able to reproduce them, and produce one or several finished paintings. There will also be a session on Harmonic Shadows, a method by which local colours are used to create shadow colours in harmony with the subject.

At the end of the course, you should be able to take home some sketches and at least one finished painting.

Course Materials


  • Fruit, vegetables and seedheads from the West Dean orchards and walled gardens are provided, as well as additional fruit and vegetables from the tutor’s garden. You are welcome to bring some subjects if you would like to paint something specific.

What students need to bring

  • If you like working on stretched paper, you might like to stretch a couple of sheets on board ready to start painting.
  • Brushes
  • Watercolour paper (at least 300 gsm, Hot Pressed or NOT)
  • Tracing paper
  • Cartridge paper or sketchbook
  • Watercolour paints – (artist’s quality preferably) in all the colours you have
  • Palette
  • Drawing equipment (pencil, putty rubber, plastic rubber, etc.)
  • Optional: Gummed tape (if you stretch your paper)
  • Water pot
  • Cotton cloths
  • Transfer paper
  • Any equipment you usually use

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including brushes, watercolour paper, tracing paper, cartridge paper, sketchbooks, watercolour paints, palettes, gummed tape and drawing equipment (pencils, putty rubbers, plastic rubbers, etc.) are available to buy.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Some paints, heavyweight paper and some art materials

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

General Information


Sandrine Maugy: Lilly

Sandrine Maugy

Sandrine Maugy is a member of the Society of Floral Painters and the Society of Botanical Artists. She writes articles for Artists & Illustrators and her book Colours of Nature was published in 2013.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.