New! Tutorials: Building Skills! 
Start anytime and work at your own pace - keep access indefinitely and benefit from annual updates to the tutorials

Do you want to learn about specific topics and techniques or supplement your learning by developing your skills. Botanical Art Online has a new range of affordable tutorials that may be just what you are looking for. These non-assessed tutorials are delivered via dedicated web pages with video tutorials with detailed written instruction as downloadable PDF documents. Once purchased you keep access indefinitely and can take the tutorial at any time and revisit it whenever you like, also benefitting from annual updates in materials.

NEW for 2020

I've been overwhelmed by the popularity of Watercolour Techniques and Colour mixing, so much so that I've decide to launch a whole new range of Tutorials. In addition to the first tutorials, I'm pleased to announce that Drawing Perspective and Creating Form and Keeping a Sketchbook are now available.   

Please Note: if you purchase a tutorial using a Paypal email address which is different from the email you want the tutorial password delivering to, please send an email to me at providing the correct details.  

Tutorial 1: Watercolour and Dry Brush Techniques 

Available now: Cost £55 

  • Do you struggle with patchy washes, ragged or hard edges, heavy flat paint or 'cauliflowering' effects?


  • Are you unsure about what dry brush techniques actually are and when and where to use them?


  • Perhaps you find it difficult to create any form and your painting is flat, lacking depth and saturation and doesn't really pop off the page as you'd like it to?

  • Maybe you simply want to brush up on your watercolour techniques, learn new ones or to supplement learning?

If any of the above apply to you then this could be just what you are looking for.

This non-assessed comprehensive tutorial provides simple guidance and instruction on the essential watercolour techniques used in botanical art. The same techniques can also be applied to many other natural history subjects too, such as insects and shells. The tutorial has 12 short instructional videos on various watercolour techniques including all of the washes and dry brush techniques as well as troubleshooting problems. In addition the demonstrations include topics such as creating and maintaining highlights, and crisp or soft edges are 2 longer videos showing how to put those techniques into practice by breaking the process down into a simple step-by-step approaches in a painting of small subjects, such as petals, leaves and fruits.

  • The tutorial can be completed in your own time because there is no assessment

  • Suitable for all levels from complete beginners. 

  • When you sign up you will receive a password to access the web page on the start date

Tutorial 2: Colour Mixing, Using the Primary Palette 

cost £55 Available Now  

  • Do you struggle with matching the colours found in nature and with understanding how primary colour mixing works? 

  • Perhaps you find it hard to understand what mixes to use for shade colours? 

  • Maybe you can't understand why you white and yellow flowers look dirty?

  • Or maybe you just can't achieve the vibrant colours in your reds, purples and other vibrants? 

  • Do your greens look the same or are the just lacklustre and flat?

if you want to gain a better understanding of colour and how to use it in practice this tutorial can help you. Learn about colour theory and colour mixing as well as my own approach and palette choice, using primary colours. 

As well as the basic colour wheel system, with complementary, harmonious and analogous colours etc. I've included practical demonstrations in 12 videos and written this tutorial to include my own favourite colour topics, which specifically relate to botanical painting, including:

Mixing with a primary palette

My green and brown mixing system: using the light value of blue as the predictor colour

Why White isn't really White: soft and high light value colours

Keep it Clean, avoiding the dreaded 'botanical' grey and muddy mixes

Hot and Cold: colour temperature and why it's all relative 

Yellow, Orange and Red! How to keep it bright​

Rich Purples 

The dark side of the values: Black Mixes

Neutral Tint: Painting tints and shades

Seeing colour and tricks of the eye: Using underlying colours

This tutorial includes: two downloadable PDF documents with over 10 exercises and 12 accompanying videos, showing how to make colour charts, wheels and paintings of actual subjects using different colours.  

Tutorial 3: Graphite: Perspective Drawing and Creating Form

Cost £55 Available Now

Is drawing from life difficult and perspective a mystery to you? 

Do you struggle to create believable 3 dimensional drawings using shading? 

If so this tutorial provides just what you need as it shows the techniques and process in the videos with written text to support. 


  • Explore materials and equipment that work best for tonal drawing and the differences between them.  

  • Learn to make line drawings of leaves, flowers using perspective, by using a combination of measuring, observation and shapes. From simple line drawing to more complex subjects. 

  • Understand the importance of good lighting on your subjects, learn about tricks of the trade,  how to set your subject  lighting and about using simple photography methods to help.

  • Learn about the different shading techniques, where to use them, continuous tone, stipple (in graphite and ink), hatching and cross hatching, with examples. 

  • Create form in your drawings using light and shade with graphite by understanding the approach to layering graphite.

Suitable for all levels. This tutorial has 19 videos and a downloadable 16 page PDF with a range of exercises to carry out.

Tutorial 4: Painting Feathers

Cost £55 Coming soon

Who doesn't want to draw and paint feathers? 

Capture the different textures from the shiny irridescent surfaces and those lovely floaty parts

This mini tutorial will teach you about the structure of feathers and will show you how to draw and paint then on paper and vellum with beautiful soft results.

Tutorial 5: Drawing More Complex Forms 

Cost £55 Available soon 2020

In a tangle with roots, confuses by cones and Fibonacci sequences or maybe  you just lost your way in a flower centre or multi petalled flower?

This tutorial will help you to break down those complex forms in to achievable subjects. With no complicated math! 

Tutorial 6: Achieving the Depth and Detail

Cost £55 Available soon 

Apologies for slight delay in launch date, which is due to current slower processing and upload times. It will be ready soon! 

This tutorial is ideal if you have already taken the Watercolour Techniques tutorial or have some watercolour experience and want to push your work to the next level by learning more in-depth techniques. 


This Learn how to: 

Create and maintain shine 

Create texture, such as velvety. petals

Develop rich deep colours 

Create transparency

Paint bloom, such as on certain fruits 

As well as helping you to create the finer details found in veins and small intricate parts in plants

Tutorial 7: Keeping a Sketchbook - NEW!

Cost £55 Available Now

Do you want to keep a sketchbook but find it daunting and don't know where to start?


This course gets you started with:


  • Choosing materials

  • Identifying and describing subjects

  • Colour matching and notes

  • Layout and how to decide what to include

  • Observational drawing and measuring for accuracy 

  • Using different media and approaches from graphite to watercolour

  • When and how to use photography

  • Working with limited plant material

  • Different approaches, e.g. double page spreads, mixed composition pages

  • Working away from home 

There is a 26 page printable document

10 videos

Plus, for the first 4 weeks further step-by-step videos will be added each week showing my latest sketchbook work as it progresses, which reveals the process that I use -

taking you from the ideas stage, to drawing, tonal studies and a complete watercolour sketch pages, complete with dissections and annotation. 

Drawing and Painting Leaves NEW!

Coming November! cost £110

Do you find drawing and painting leaves the most challenging part of your botanical work! 

If so this new tutorial could be for you. It's a longer tutorial than others with many videos, simply because leaves are such a large topic! Here are some of the areas covered. 

Learn about and understand the structure and types of leaves

How to measure and draw using line and tone 

Understand the tonal values and effect of light and shade on leaves

Underlying colours: how to see and interpret them in your painting

How to use photography to assist the process

Leaves in perspective

Colour mixing for leaves

Green leaves, from light to dark 

Autumn and coloured leaves

Variegated and patterned leaves

Blemishes and nibbles

Serrated margins

Natural accurate veins 

Surfaces and textures: glossy, matt, hairy...there are many types of leaves etc.



With examples on watercolour paper and some on vellum, downloadable pdfs and many videos. This tutorial will help you to become a better leaf painter! 


More information shortly.  

This website and all of its content, unless otherwise specified, is copyright of Dianne Sutherland (2012)

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