Botanical Illustrators

Botanical Illustrators

The Botanical Illustrators meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month (February – 1st Wednesday in December) from 10am to 3pm in the Elliot Centre, near the Cranbourne Gardens Main Office. Tea and coffee are provided, but BYO lunch.

Whether you are an artist, an aspiring artist or just dreaming about developing a new interest, you are welcome to come along and see what we do, get friendly advice and support. Once you try your hand at illustrating plants, you may be surprised how quickly you can achieve results you would never have thought possible.

Our group get-togethers, made up of artists of varying experience, allow us to share ideas and information and give each other encouragement and support whilst working on our paintings and drawings. The group holds talks and workshops at Cranbourne Gardens as well as exhibitions at various galleries. Watch this page for information about forthcoming events.

For further information about the group, exhibitions or classes:

Botanical Art Workshops

We arrange botanical art workshops, demonstrations and talks conducted by established artists at the Elliot Centre, near the Cranbourne Gardens Main Office.

The maximum class size is 10, ensuring individual attention and workshops can suit beginners or artists with some experience. Fees vary with the type and duration of the workshop. All our workshops are advertised on this page.


The Botanical Illustrators Group has been enjoying the comfort of the Elliot Centre. Each artist has been developing their own subject and continuing to finish works started during our recent workshops, including drawing and painting from specimens collected from the Gardens or from pot plants, such as orchids from the on-site nursery, as well as elements of the plant environment, such as insects, rocks and shells. We are working towards future exhibitions.

Recent Events

Beginners Watercolour Workshop with Marta Salamon

23, 24, 25 October, 2017

Following our successful beginners workshop earlier in the year, we were able to provide a follow-up 3-day workshop to refresh and extend skills in painting and drawing and give an opportunity for beginners. In particular, the aim was to complete a set of drawings looking at the geometrical shapes of flowers as a way of achieving an accurate resemblance. This workshop was led by Marta Salamon, a distinguished botanical illustrator and fine art teacher; winner of the Celia Rosser medal at the 2016 Art of Botanical Illustration exhibition Melbourne.

Participants enjoyed the challenges presented and learned some more intricacies of illustrating flora from live specimens. As seasonal pruning in the Australian Garden governs the availability of freshly cut specimens, the subjects available provided an even steeper learning curve than anticipated. Marta’s encouragement and generous instruction kept the class engaged and all felt they had made progress. There was much valuable feedback to assist in developing our future short workshops.


Native Seduction – Botanical Art Exhibition, 1 – 31 August, 2017

Art works describing the relationship between native Australian plants and their pollinators were shown throughout the month of August at the Visitors Centre. All art displayed was for sale, there were artists-in-residence on Sundays and opportunities to meet artists on 1st & 16th August to gain an insight into how they produce their images. The exhibition was enjoyed by many visitors and some of the lovely artworks were sold.

One of our exhibiting illustrators, Carolyn Landon, author of “Banksia Lady”, the biography of famous botanical illustrator Celia Rosser, gave a talk about the history of botanical illustration at the Elliot Centre on 10 August.

Drawing Foliage Workshop with Geoff Sargeant, 21 & 22 August, 2017 at the Elliot Centre

To coincide with the Botanical Illustrators exhibition, ‘Native Seduction’, we were privileged to hold a two day colour pencil workshop with Geoff Sargeant exploring the subtleties of drawing foliage.

Geoff, an architect, works in the medium of colour pencils on fine papers. He is a fellow of the Australian Guild of Realist Artists and has won many prizes for his work in their recent exhibitions, and is also a member of the San Francisco chapter of the Colour Pencil Society of America. His work is represented in local, private, government and overseas collections. Check out his fabulous work on the internet.

Geoff demonstrated a range of interesting techniques, generously covered technical detail, imparted much information gained through his years of practice and provided two most enjoyable and productive days for the participants. All of us using colour pencils dream of attaining the rich, vibrant intensity and sharp detail which he achieves in his artwork.

Pen & Ink Workshop with Pauline Dewar, 22 – 23 May, 2017

This workshop covered the background history of the development of monochrome illustration as an art form, concentrating on the modern use of pen and ink, including materials and methods as well as techniques for achieving interesting, accurate and aesthetically pleasing work. Participants in this fully subscribed and most enjoyable activity produced some beautiful art.

Pauline took up botanical illustration as a retirement pursuit and continues to exhibit in Melbourne and interstate, receiving a Highly Commended Award in the Margaret Flockton Exhibition of Scientific Illustration in 2012-2014 and being accepted as a finalist in the 2014 Waterhouse Art Exhibition. Her work is represented in the State Botanical Collection as well as in private collections.

Beginners’ Watercolour Workshop with Marta Salamon , 27 – 29 March, 2017

Marta led a most successful workshop enjoyed by a room full of enthusiastic participants who accomplished much fine painting. Following on from the beginners’ drawing workshop last October, this workshop covered basic colour mixing, creating light and dark within the composition and the varied ways of applying paint at different stages.

Marta is a highly experienced botanical artist and art teacher, has exhibited widely for many years and won the Celia Rosser Medal at the 2016 Art of Botanical Illustration exhibition in Melbourne.

2 Botanical Art Talks – 15 February, 2017

1 Sketchbooks – a presentation by Joan Mason

Joan Mason described how she keeps travel diaries in the form of sketch books. Her booklets are full of studies of objects that have taken her interest and are pertinent to the places she has visited. She usually uses pen and ink and watercolour,sometimes pencil, employing a compact travel set. Her pages show a wonderful knowledge of composition, often putting together many different objects on the one page and accompanied by brief notes. Joan shared her lovely work, helpful hints, anecdotes and  fielded questions. Her numerous audience were delighted and inspired.

2 An update about the Beckler Project by Roslyn Glow

Roslyn Glow  gave a comprehensive update on the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty project, now in its seventh year, for which a group of artists have been collecting and pressing botanical specimens and painting the same plants that Hermann Beckler collected in and around Menindee in 1860 on the Burke and Wills expedition. An exhibition of work from this project will be held at the Ballarat Regional Art Gallery 25 February – 16 April, 2018. Participants have included illustrators from Cranbourne and Melbourne Friends. The audience was most interested to hear Roslyn’s thorough summary of the background and progress of this project and to see the slide show she presented.

A full house at the Elliot Centre was richly rewarded by these inspiring, interesting and entertaining speakers as well as the samples of stunning work on show generously shared by the speakers and various colleagues.