Botanical Watercolour with Heidi Willis - Birds with Heidi Willis

Join one of Australia's best botanical watercolourists for 2 days of learning her step to step technique around creating highly realistic watercolour illustrations.

A note from Heidi:

Working with standard watercolour techniques of washes, the more complex process of glazing, (or layers of wash), as well as the intricate art of dry brushing, these wonderful subjects offer an ideal opportunity to look intimately at colour, form, texture, light, tone, structure, and techniques so specific to botanical illustration. My classes always have a strong focus on the watercolour medium in general, because when we understand the medium, we can apply these skills to any subject you choose. We will explore washes, glazes and dry brushing to help your work progress and to find the best way forward for you as an individual artist.

Botanical painting is such a beautiful genre to work in, and it’s an especially ideal choice for anyone who feels they have a natural tendency for detailed work. I know that many of you will identify with this sense, and I am always one to say ‘go with it!’ For anyone familiar with my workshops, you’ll know that I have very practical, no nonsense approach to my work and teaching, and I don’t tend to 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 and successful 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. I’d like to welcome you to join this fantastic opportunity and group, I look forward to seeing you in the wash!

*Please note that this workshop is on the Anzac Day weekend, please consider this before booking.

Art Supplies

Supplies list

  • Pencils, 2H, HB and 2B
  • Mechanical pencil 0.5 mm HB
  • White plastic eraser
  • Scotch tape
  • Taklon or good quality detail brushes (sizes 3/0, 1, 3, 4, 5 with GOOD points and a cover sleeve on them)
  • Palette (a KLIK Palette)
  • Masking Fluid (colourless W&N please)
  • Sketchbook
  • Tracing paper
  • Blade to cut paper and sharpen pencils etc
  • Paint colours

    Watercolour paints artist quality Windsor and Newton

  • Sepia
  • Windsor Violet
  • Perylene Maroon
  • Permanent Rose
  • Permanent Magenta
  • Windsor Red
  • Indigo
  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Raw Sienna
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Olive Green
  • Permanent Sap Green
  • Payne’s Gray
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Cerulean Blue (Red Shade)
  • Green Gold
  • Windsor Lemon
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Paper/board
  • Langton Watercolour Board 10x14in – Allow 1 per day - Heidi will bring these
  • NOTE:

    I will bring worksheets, Langton boards and brush supplies with me for the group. You can reimburse me for these costs at the workshop. You can also use a class set of paints for $30pp if you don't have your own paints.


    TBA - Gold Coast

    Book online

    $395 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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