Botanical Watercolour - Watercolour (5 Day Tyalgum Art Retreat)

with Heidi Willis

This intensive workshop offers a wonderful opportunity for participants to be guided through the process of botanical painting. Please note price shown is for your deposit only. Full workshop price is $1295pp* 

2017’s intensive workshop will have its usual emphasis on improving your over all watercolour techniques: but the focus this time will be exploring the gorgeous topic of painting flowers in full bloom… and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Working with standard watercolour techniques of washes, the more complex process of glazing (or layers of wash) and the intricate art of dry brushing, this wonderful subject offers an ideal opportunity to look intimately at colour, form, texture, light, tone, structure and techniques so specific to botanical illustration. For anyone familiar with my workshops, you’ll know that I don’t get bogged down in theory in my classes. I prefer a very hands-on approach, and one where we can get straight into it with our wet brushes and learn on the go. I have found it’s a comfortable approach that many people love and appreciate. Through extensive demonstrations, step by step tuition and guided learning we will work to demystify and simplify the process and create valuable strategies to achieve successful outcomes. Together we will find a new level of confidence and establish sound footholds for independent painting beyond my workshops.

In this 5 day workshop, you will:

- Focus on washes and glazing to create depth in artworks

- Learn the basics of dry brushing and where to use it

- Understand techniques that are specific to botanical watercolour

- Establish processes so that you can continue to create beautiful botanical illustrations of your own

- Enjoy Heidi's hands on approach to teaching including demonstrations, step by step tuition and one to one work

Supplies list:

Pencils, 2H and 2B OR • Mechanical pencil (HB, 0.5 mm) and a Pure Graphite stick (2B)

White plastic eraser

Scotch tape

Taklon nylon brushes (sizes 3/0, 1, 3, 5 with GOOD points and a cover sleeve on them) (I will bring supplies with me as per note below)

a KLIK Palette (Try RIOT for supplies, these are about $3 each. I use 2 myself but 1 will be enough for a start)

Watercolour paints artist quality Windsor and Newton

Paint colours


Windsor Violet

Perylene Maroon

Permanent Rose

Permanent Magenta

Windsor Red


French Ultramarine Blue

Raw Sienna

Burnt Sienna

Olive Green

Windsor Lemon Permanent Sap Green

Payne’s Gray

Cobalt Blue

Cerulean Blue (Red Shade)

Green Gold

Cadmium Yellow

Permanent Sap Green

Payne’s Gray

Cobalt Blue

Green Gold

Cadmium Yellow

Additional note

Worksheets $1 a sheet on the day to cover printing costs

Heidi will supply watercolour paper and brushes, which can be purchased directly from her direct. It saves the hassle of everyone hunting supplies down individually, especially at the minute with so many supply issues going on, and it means were all on the same page.

Boards are approx $6 each. Brushes range from approx $3 - $4.50 each. We anticipate that these workshops will sell out very quickly and encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.

This workshop is being held as part of our 5 Day 'Best of the Best' Art Retreat at the Tyalgum Ridge Retreat. The price includes share room accommodation, all meals, tuition and nightly activities. We are unable to separate workshops from our accommodation and food package so if you choose to stay or eat elsewhere, please note that we cannot adjust our prices.



Please note that the Tyalgum Ridge retreat is located at 783 Tyalgum Creek Rd, Tyalgum Creek NSW. You will need to head to the end of Tyalgum Creek Road and continue onto a dirt road for about 100m before you reach the retreat. Please note that there is no internet reception so make note of your directions before you leave Tyalgum.

There is parking to your right as you arrive. The building is located over 2 floors so there are some steps involved.

Tyalgum can be reached from the coast via Murwillimbah or from the north through Chillingham and the Numinbah Valley - both are beautiful senic drives.

From Tyalgum take Tyalgum Creek Road (runs between the Tyalgum Hotel and the service station) for 9kms. The last kilometre is a good quality gravel road. The retreat is the last property (no. 783) at the end of the road.

We are 30 kms or 25 minutes from Murwillumbah.

The drive from the Gold Coast Airport takes about an hour.


Students must be 16 and over for all adult classes unless arranged otherwise with Artable. The enrolment form for under 18s who are attending an adult class must be signed by a parent or guardian. Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if they are staying in the accommodation.



Bookings for workshops will be in the order of bookings received on our website and paid in full at the time of booking. Artable bookings via the website give you an automatic confirmation of your via email. You need to write in the notes section of the booking form if you wish to share a room with a specific person or persons.


Telephone bookings must be accompanied by full payment via credit card and all booking conditions apply as per website descriptions.


Artable reserves the right to cancel a class if minimum enrolments are not reached by 1 June 2016 or for circumstances beyond our control. Students will be offered placements in an alternative workshop or a refund of all fees.

Arable relies heavily on group numbers for this retreat and will therefore charge the following cancellation fees if you choose to cancel or do not attend:

On or before 1 April - FULL REFUND

On or before 1 May 2017 - 20% of workshop fee

After 1 June 2017 - 100% of workshop fee


Registration is from 7-8.30am on the first day. We will gather together for orientation at 9am on the first day in the main hall. Classes commence at 9.30am and conclude at 4pm each day. Lunch is for 1 hour and held from 12.30-1.30pm. Dinner is held from 6.30-7.30pm in the Dining Hall.

Morning and afternoon teas will be permanently set up in the dining hall and tutors can work around their own times for these breaks.


There will be welcome drinks in the Main Hall from 5.30-6.30pm on the first evening. Other evenings will combine tutor discussions, art demonstrations, product demonstrations and more. You will be presented with a weekly timetable of events when you arrive and register.

We will hold a final night party on the last evening.


Accommodation and meals are included as part of your workshop fee. We are unable to separate the workshops from the accommodation and therefore unable to split payments. Please advise us at the time of booking if you require meal preferences via the notes section.

Accommodation is in basic shared room accommodations (male and females are kept separate) with basic shower facilities. All linen is provided, however you are encouraged to bring your own doona/blankets for extra warmth. If you are travelling interstate, we will arrange bedding on your behalf (advise at time of booking).

You can choose to have a room to yourself for an extra $




All students must register at the front desk upon arrival and before heading to their room or workshop. Registration is between 7 and 8.30am on 4.00pm and 6.00pm on Wednesday 5 July.

All course, accommodation and events information will be provided at registration.

By purchasing this workshop, you agree that:

You have read and agree to the above conditions.

A class may be cancelled and you will be given a full refund.

If you choose not to use the accommodation or food options, you will not be refunded any part of your workshop fee.

Cancellation fees apply from 1 April as outlined above.

Artable may take photographs throughout the 5 days to be used for marketing purposes.

Location: Tyalgum Ridge Retreat

Starts 8:00 amWednesday 5th Jul ENDS 4:00 pmSunday 9th Jul
$300 per person

Meet the Teach

Heidi Willis

Australian born, Heidi Willis is an entirely self-taught Natural History watercolour artist. Her work intricately illustrates our native and exotic plants, flowers, fruits and seed capsules, whilst her powerful & distinctive portraits of our spectacular bird life offers viewers an insight into the world as she experiences it. Painting full-time since 2003, Heidi quickly established herself as one of Australia’s emerging artistic talents. Her reputation as a leading natural history, wildlife and botanical artist is well established and her meticulous and intricate studies of botany and birds can be found in significant public and private collections around the world.

Heidi’s work has featured in prominent national and international exhibitions over her career. Highlights include The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize six times to date, winning a Highly Commended award in the Works on Paper section in 2014 resulting in her work going on tour with the prize winning entries. Her major work St Vincent’s Amazons and Cannonball Tree has just been selected as a finalist again for the 2016 exhibition. The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize is one of Australia’s most prestigious and richest art competitions held by the South Australian Natural History Museum. Several of her works have been showcased as a finalist at the Focus On Nature exhibitions, a leading international Natural History Art Prize held in the New York State Museum. Her work has also featured and won awards in both Botanica and The Margaret Flockton Award, hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

Her work is held in the permanent collection at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation PA, USA and her work has also been included in the highly regarded Shirley Sherwood Collection. Her work has also been featured in several publications, most significantly Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, Craft Arts Magazine, Colophon, SA Life, International Artist Magazine and Artist’s Palette Magazine multiple times over, with her work featured on the front cover of Artist’s Palette issue 123. In 2015 she was taken on by Australian Geographic as a freelance botanical illustrator where her work features in the Nature Watch section of the magazine.

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