Introducing Advanced Mentoring
What to expect of with the Advanced Course Programme
This course differs from many others in that its a mentoring programme rather than a set course, that means that this is about you developing your own work, and my assisting you with the process. This method give you more freedom to express yourself as an artist and is akin to being a freelance artist but with support and guidance from me. It may well be the case that you already have a very specific goal with this programme, such as completing work for an exhibition or want to use it to create the body of work to be eligible for membership of a society or even to complete a Diploma Course, all of these things can an be accommodated too....basically this course is about achieving your goals.
The Self Assessment
There are no set exercises to complete by a deadline and you will be initiating you own ideas for work, at the beginning of the course their is a self assessment exercise, were you look closely at your own work and describe what's good about it as well as what you think could be improved, this introductory exercise is vital to the process, so don't rush it. There is also an additional written work about your experience, interests, influences and goal, which are useful for me to know at the outset
Following submission of the initial exercises, I will make an assessment too and we will develop a course of action together to initiate you body of work, which can comprise a minimum of 5 works over the two years, that might not seem like very many and you may achieve more, but remember that one excellent signature piece can be worth a lot more to your career that 10 average pieces of work.
You will find a range of exercises and links to Tutorial Resources on the Advanced Student home page, these links provide resources to assist you with the development of your works, the exercises are optional but I recommend undertaking the Dissection and Scaling but this can be done alongside the work that you are developing if suitable. There are 10 tutorials included in the resources, which may help you by demonstrating everything from drawing to colour mixing, watercolour techniques etc.
How to Develop Work: From Plant to Illustration
You will be encouraged to use a process for developing work, look at the planning a botanical illustration page for guidance information.
This process begins with accessing good plant material and not working directly from photographs (that doesn't mean you will not use your reference photographs as part of the process). Thereafter, you should carry out some research, the first part of the research is establishing the correct identification and name of the subject, such as using the Kew database Plants of the World Online. You should observe and understand the subject, take measurements of parts and make colour notes, sketches and document as much information as possible, this can be completed in sketchbooks and on study pages, such as the one shown on. this page featuring Ludisia discolour. Next comes the composition planning, which is probably the most challenging part, it should never be rushed, you can also complete tonal studies in graphite or as a tonal paintings to help you to understand the tonal variation between parts and in relation to light. Finally you will be well equip with the knowledge and experience to complete a final drawing or painting. Throughout this process you can consult me directly to assess the process and to confirm that everything is correct or to discuss whether any changes, additions are needed.
In addition to the all important artwork you will also be offered advice on the business of being a botanical artist