Workshops & Courses

Workshops 2019


HIGHAM HALL, Cockermouth 
Botanical Still Life – Coloured Pencils
30th January 2019 – 3rd February 2019

A Botanical Still Life picture is a piece of work that shows the botanical subject as accurately as possible but either in a container, on a plate or just on a table or similar surface.  This means shadows can be introduced to ‘anchor’ the subject to a surface rather than just having a plant, fruit or vegetable ‘floating’ on the paper.

There will be a choice of subjects for you to choose from but if you would like to consider what you would like to draw please bring it with you.  You may also bring a suitable container if you wish to use one.  Subjects could include grapes, tangerines, apples, nuts, vegetables such as asparagus, pak-choi, fennel or plants such as flowers, winter flowering shrubs, beautiful leaves.  The material available, even in the winter, is endless.



HIGHAM HALL, Cockermouth
Drawing a Bird or Animal – Coloured Pencils
3rd – 6th February.

On this workshop all participants will be able to draw a bird or animal of their choice.  However, if you are not sure what to draw your tutor will supply a photograph for you to work from.    This means you may all draw the same subject but this does have advantages as you will all be able to watch your tutor apply colour before you do it for yourself.   You will be shown how to copy it onto good quality art paper and then colour it step-by-step. The result will be a stunning piece of work you will be proud of.  If you do bring your own picture please ensure it is a very clear picture so you can see the details.


TINDALLS, Colchester
Demonstration Day
Saturday 9th February

Janie Pirie is a double RHS Gold Medal winner and produces remarkable illustrations using coloured pencils.  Today she will be demonstrating the methods she uses to produce her beautiful work and you will then have the opportunity to have a go.


TINDALLS, Colchester
How to draw Snowdrops using coloured pencils.
Wednesday 27th February

Although Snowdrops are white they are not as difficult as you think.  Janie will show you how to capture the delicate beauty of these early spring arrivals to make them look amazingly realistic.



TINDALLS, Colchester
Creating a Picture using Sepia.
Tuesday 5th February.

A photograph in Sepia brings back memories of the very early photographic methods.  Although old-fashioned they evoke a sense of the romantic.  Using the new Lyra Sketching pencils Janie will show you how to turn a coloured photo into a sepia-tinted piece of artwork.  The best photographs to work from would be portraits but anything you like would be acceptable for this workshop.  This workshop will be an invaluable lesson in tonal values.



Botanical Illustration
15th – 19th April

This exciting course is for those who may not have a previous knowledge of coloured pencils but who are interested in botanical art and wish to explore the wonderful world of coloured pencil drawing.  Whilst no previous knowledge of coloured pencil use is necessary, basic drawing skills of plants would be useful.

Good quality coloured pencils are ideally suited to botanical art.  Far superior to the ‘crayons’ we used at school, modern coloured pencils designed for professional enable the user to create the most intricate and vibrant illustrations.

The course will begin by covering the basic techniques so that beginners can become acquainted with the pencils.  Composition and observation of plant material will also be covered at the beginning of the course.

Subject matter for this course will not be confined to just summer flowers as leaves, fruit and vegetables also offer the most exciting of challenges and will teach students a variety of approaches to their chosen subjects.  Students may bring their own material if they wish.

BOOKING: http://www.field-studies-council-org


Illustrating Herbs
11th - 13th June

Herbs are the unforgotten ‘poor relations’ of the botanical painting world.  They may not be as ‘showy’ as some of our native and incredibly flamboyant flowers but they are, nevertheless, beautiful – and very interesting.  On this three-day course take the opportunity to study a few herbs in detail and record them in coloured pencils and graphite.  The plants available will be dependent on the weather but the gardens always have a wonderful selection so making a choice of what to illustrate will probably be the most difficult problem you’ll encounter.

This course will be a great way to explore a multitude of green shades as well as learning how to cope with tiny detail.

Group demonstrations and individual tuition will be given throughout.


HIGHAM HALL, Cockermouth 
Treasures of the Summer Garden – Coloured Pencils
16th – 23rd June

The early summer garden is full of the most amazing subjects to illustrate.  Using the very forgiving medium of coloured pencils you will be guided through an exciting and relaxing few days of creativity.  The starting point will be drawing your subject to show it at its best, then on to choosing the right colours, learning techniques and ‘tricks of the trade’ through to creating a beautiful piece of finished botanical illustration to be proud of.  Group demonstrations and individual tuition throughout from your RHS gold medal award-winning tutor.



Masterclass - LEAVES
Essential Botanical Details – what to put in and what to leave out.
Thursday 3rd October

Veins, hairs, serrated edges – leaves have a multitude of intricate structural details.  The botanical artist needs to decide how much to show when illustrating a plant.  On this one- day work shop you will learn how to show all the necessary characteristics of your chosen subject without going overboard and drawing too much.  The tuition will also cover, in detail, how to make veins look realistic and natural, however fine they are.


Masterclass - GLOSS & SHINE
Essential Botanical Details – what to put in and what to leave out.
Friday 4th October

Glossy, shiny or just a sheen? - Botanical subjects can display any of these characteristics.  On this work shop you will learn how to create all these effects.  Subjects that are incredibly glossy, such as berries and conkers, are a joy to the botanical illustrator.  This workshop will show you how to create this effect to make your subjects ‘pop’ off the page.  You will also be shown how to differentiate, and then apply, a shiny appearance rather than a full gloss and also a sheen to show where a plant is catching the light.

Botanical Illustration is precise and detailed.  However, the botanical artist needs to know how much detail to incorporate into their work without going overboard.  This Masterclass workshop will cover leaves and venation, gloss, shine, edges, textures and much more.  Subjects will also include berries and *conkers (*if available).

Working with coloured pencils your tutor will show you how to decide what detail to put into your drawing and how to achieve the very best results with this medium.


RHS Hyde Hall
Botanical Illustration
Saturday 19th October

On this workshop you will learn how to draw a botanical subject accurately but quickly as well as creating a good composition.  Techniques on how to use coloured pencils to colour your drawing and bring it to life will be demonstrated to you throughout the day.  Subjects will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own.  However, as it is hoped you will complete a small piece of artwork by the end of the day please choose carefully.  Nothing too large or too complicated!  Small pieces of fruit, a simple flower, berries or even vegetables are best.

Flatford Mill, Dedham
Portrait Painting using Coloured Pencils
23rd – 25th October

Using coloured pencils this course is for students who wish to draw a portrait from a photograph.  It could be a grandchild, a partner, or just a face you find interesting and inspiring.  Janie will show you how to copy your photo and colour it to bring it to life on your paper.  She will show you how to create skin tones of all shades, how to make eyes sparkle and how to tackle drawing hair.  She will also show you how to achieve fine details like eyebrows, eyelashes and blemishes.  Your subject can be old or young – as long as you find it interesting.  Bring a good quality photograph and ensure your subject is large enough for you to see all the details.  An A4 size or larger is best.  Crop your photo if necessary as you don’t want to waste the paper with a large background.

BOOKING: http://www.field-studies-council-org


Shells, Fossils & Insects
5th – 7th November

You walk past them, on them or swat them but perhaps, after this three-day course, you will think again about some of the everyday things we ignore on a daily basis or, at the very least, when we are on a beach holiday.  Shells offer up the most amazing colours and patterns, fossils give us the chance to think about the past and record some of their wonders on paper, whilst insects have the most intricate shapes and colours that will be a joy to illustrate.

Working in both graphite and coloured pencils you will be shown how to draw and colour accurately and make your subjects look incredibly three-dimensional.

Group demonstrations and individual tuition will be given throughout.


Private one-to-one or group tuition

If you would like private tuition at any time throughout the year in the UK please email Janie at
Demonstrations/Tuition to Groups and Art Clubs

The exact title/choice of topic can be discussed. 
£200.00 for a full day (10.00am - 4.00pm)
£125.00 for a half-day or evening. (3 hours)
Travel is charged at 45p per mile.

For bookings and further information please phone 01473 311970 or email