Happy New Year to all!
Despite the ongoing pandemic, 2021 turned out to be a pretty busy year, I used the time to develop my teaching resources and my own practice, as well as taking on some pretty big commercial illustration projects.
I completed the sketchbook project, with 42 entries and 51 species included, this has been one of the best things I've done for a long time. Although I loved painting each and every page, one of my favourite entries was the Fly Agaric mushrooms that were just a stones throw from my doorstep.
This was a joint project with my friend Debbie Crawford from the US and it kept us motivated and enthused about out subjects for the whole year.... I can honestly say that the excitement of the next page never wained. We called the project botanical sketch dates, and will continue along with my other sketchbooks, including the white flower book and a mini leaf study book. You can see all of my sketchbook pages on my Instagram (Dianne Sutherland Artist) or Facebook page where you can read more about each entry - or here's a quick flick through.
I'd like to thank all who have sent messages of encouragement and demonstrated such enthusiasm for our project, I also wrote a blog about the value of sketching (on my other blog) click here to read.
Here's a free mini tutorial of the same subject, which can be found on my You Tube Channel. I don't have a lot of public videos available and most are for courses but there are a few which you may find interesting and I'll be adding more over the coming year, so keep an eye out for those on my Channel, Botanical Art Online with Dianne Sutherland.
Beginners in Botanical Art Tutorial
Last year the decision to restructure my courses meant putting the Botanical Art for Beginners taught course on hold for a few years for a rewrite, the good news is that there is going to be a tutorial for beginners in botanical art, which is a scaled down version of the former course with some new videos! This will be available at the end of January.
This tutorial is a non assessed introduction to the world of botanical art and illustration with many hours of videos on various subjects, including fruit and seed pods, vegetables, leaves, flowers along with information on materials and composition and technique videos. It's a great start for those who want to try out botanical art without the pressure of a longer course or as an introduction to a longer course. It may also suit leisure painters who simply want to try their hand at botanical art subjects and don't know where to begin. The tutorial will cost £75, and, as with all tutorials, you keep access indefinitely, so can return when you like and study at your own pace, you also benefit from future additions of materials. Check the tutorials page for booking information.
The Fabulous World of Flowers Tutorial
A new tutorial on painting flowers is also going to be available in Spring 2022, I'll be painting some favourites from my garden as well as flowers from further afield to add to this tutorial. It also includes dissections and fascinating flower stories.
A New Website for the Botanical Illustration Course
The Botanical Illustration Course is my longest running and most popular course. It was updated with new materials in December and has so much content that it now has its own dedicated website to deliver the materials called www.botanicalartcourses.com
I'm looking forward to developing this course further for the next presentation.
Possible in Person Sketch-booking Class
It's been a long time since I taught a class in person, maybe two years! I decided not to go down the Zoom route for the moment and this year hope to resume in person with a class on creating a sketchbook. It will be in the UK - if there is sufficient interest and its safe to do so. It is likely to be a 2 or 3 day class in the Midlands region during the summer. More to follow on this, but feel free to message or email if you are interested in such a class. I will give any expressions of interest first refusal.
White Flower Sketchbook Publication
As mentioned above, I continued to work on a 'White' Sketchbook, painting white flowers on coloured backgrounds. Publication will be at the end of 2022. Will keep you posted on the progress and looking forward to adding lots more fabulous white subjects this year. Here's a favourite from last year, Papaver somniferous "white Wedding' pencil and gouache on Stillman and Birn grey paper in the Nova Trio sketchbook. .
That's all for now folks! I wish you all a happy and healthy year full of painting. I'll sign off with my last sketchbook entry for 2021, a dead oak leaf, which seemed a fitting end .....I'm onto rebirth with the first entry, which is Hazel catkins to begin 2022 and will share this soon.