Fungi Botanical Drawing Workshop

with Mira O'Brien (Berlin Drawing Room Founding Director) and Matthias Wilkens (Botanical Expert from Prinzessinnengarten)

Learn techniques for botanical illustration using a variety of foraged mushrooms as subject matter. Inspired by the tradition of Naturalists, who recorded specimens through detailed paintings and drawings, we will explore the magical kingdom of fungi.

The drawings and painting made in this workshop are more like the field notes kept in the sketch books of Naturalists than the highly polished illustrations found in a botany textbook. These recordings are just as much about the subjective process of observation as they are about the recording of scientific data. Techniques will include line drawing with watercolor tea wash, building up layers with watercolor washes, adding detail with special watercolor effects and paying close attention to oft-overlooked subjects! 

September 26 - October 24
5 x on Wednesday in the studio from 6 - 9 pm
1 x field trip, Saturday, October 20 from 12 - 2 pm

Cost: 160

Supply List

Wunderkammer Drawing

with Mira O'Brien (BDR Founding Director) in collaboration with the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Natural History Museum)

Imagine you are seeing a scaly Pangolin or an iridescent Morpho didius butterfly for the first time. Is the timid Pangolin a pinecone come to life? Is the shimmering butterfly more than a mirage? It is this sense of wonder at the natural world that we will seek to reconnect with through the act of drawing.

As we explore the collections of the Natural History Museum, we will assume the role of the Naturalist who was both artist and scientist. Through the act of close observation, we will gain unique perceptual insights into our specimens.

During the first four weekly sessions we will focus on drawing techniques. During the following four weekly sessions we will focus on watercolor techniques. While our studies will be more closely aligned with field work than polished studio work, they will contain the vibrancy of wonder.

Location: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Invalidenstr. 43 · 10115 Berlin

January 11 - March 1, 2019
Fridays 10:30am-1:30pm
Drawing: January 11, 18, 25, February 1
Watercolor: February 8, 15, 22, March 1

Cost: 124€ per 4 week module. 224€ for both modules.
(includes museum admission)




 in the Glasshouse at the Prinzessinnengarten, painting medicinal plants

in the Glasshouse at the Prinzessinnengarten, painting medicinal plants

Botanical Drawing Workshop

with Mira O'Brien (Berlin Drawing Room Founding Director) and Matthias Wilkens (Botanical Expert from Prinzessinnengarten)

Learn techniques for botanical illustration in this workshop held in collaboration with the Prinzessinnengarten.  Inspired by the tradition of Naturalists, who recorded specimens through detailed paintings and drawings, we will explore the fauna of Kreuzberg.

On Wednesday evenings we meet in the studio, where we will focus on learning new watercolor and drawing techniques. Specimens will be available and we will always work from direct observation. Topics might include cross-sections, succulents, flowers, plant-pressings, etc...

On Saturdays we meet in the Prinzessinnengarten and work in the field. Matze, our botanist, will introduce us to the plants. Each week we will focus on a different theme, such as medicinal plants, trees of the garden, etc... These notes can be incorporated into the illustrations.

The drawings and painting made in this workshop are more like the field notes kept in the sketch books of Naturalists than the highly polished illustrations found in a botany textbook. These recordings are just as much about the subjective process of observation as they are about the recording of scientific data. 

Techniques will include line drawing with watercolor tea wash, building up layers with watercolor washes, adding detail with special watercolor effects and paying close attention to oft-overlooked subjects! 

July 25 - August 15, 2018:  SOLD OUT

June 13 - July 4, 2018:  SOLD OUT

  • 4 x Wednesday in the studio from 6 - 9 pm

  • 3 x Saturdays at the Prinzessinnengarten from 12 - 3 pm

Cost: 160

Supply List

Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop

with Mira O'Brien (Berlin Drawing Room Founding Director) and Matthias Wilkens (Botanical Expert from Prinzessinnengarten)

Join us for a special winter edition of the Botanical Drawing Workshop. Learn techniques for botanical illustration inspired by the tradition of Naturalists, who recorded their scientific discoveries through detailed painting and drawing. We will be making our own discoveries through a process of close observation guided by Matthias' botanical expertise. Drawing and watercolor techniques specific to the subject matter, such as layering with watercolors in order to capture different textures and the effect of fine detail, will be introduced each week. 

No previous experience required.

Topics will include:

  • Microscopy drawing: with images projected live via Beamer accompanied by scientific explanation.

  • Cross-sections with layered watercolor, see example below.

  • Winter specimen possibilities to draw and paint from: succulents, forced apple blossoms, ferns, orchids, seed pods, etc...

March 21 - April 18
5 x on Wednesday in the studio from 6 - 9 pm
1 x field trip, Saturday, April 7 from 12 - 2 pm

Cost: 160

Supply List


Mira’s Botanical Drawing Workshop made me enjoy spring so much. It was wonderful to sit in the Prinzessinnengarten, to learn about the plants from the gardener, to focus on their beautiful colors and forms, and to put them down on paper. I also enjoyed the classes in the studio that were a good mix of Mira’s teaching (on various watercolor techniques and art history) and own drawing sessions with calm music in the background. I can highly recommend the workshop – and just signed up for the next one!
— Isabel H. (Botanical Workshop, 2016)
I learned far more in the short time of the Botanical Drawing Workshop than I ever expected. The course combines watercolor and drawing technique with art history and the botanical history of local plant life, which provided a new way of looking at the city of Berlin. It was a really relaxing environment to work in both in the studio and at the Prinzessinengarten. Mira is a wonderful and creative teacher and I can highly recommend her and the course to anyone with interest regardless of skill level.
— Erin R. (Botanical, 2016)
The main reason I joined one of your workshop was because I haven’t drawn and painted for a long time and wanted to start again . Illustration is one of my interest and I find nature very inspiring so it made sense to sign up for the Botanical Drawing workshop. I ended up with far more that just getting back to drawing and painting. I feel now more confident using the watercolors medium that I used to find intimidating and I now keep on painting regularly.
— Nassima C. (Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop, 2017)