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with Mira O’Brien (Artist and Berlin Drawing Room Founding Director)

January 12 – February 16, 2021

6x Tuesday 6- 8pm CET ONLINE
(6pm in Berlin, 12pm in New York, 9am in San Francisco, 5pm in London)

Cost: 185€ (inc. VAT)

Learn botanical watercolor techniques from your home and discover the hidden botanical gems of winter. Grey, cold winter is not as vibrant as spring or as perfumed as summer; however when we adjust our mode of perception to the season there is still much to be observed. Some plants are fascinating in their hibernation phase, such as the naked branch of a tree or dried seed pods. Some specimens are transformed upon closer observation, such tree bark through a magnifying glass. For a final flower painting, a trip to the florist is also not completely out of the question.

Get to know fascinating characters from the history of botanical illustration, as well as their techniques. Slide presentations will accompany most lessons, providing insights into the figure of the Naturalist as well as some surprising information about even the most mundane plant specimens.

While instruction will take place through an interactive livestreaming format (Zoom), care will be taken to emphasize the individual sensual experience of drawing from living specimens and working with watercolors.

Watercolor Painting:

The livestreaming classes will introduce watercolor techniques through live demos and interactive instruction. Techniques will include line drawing with watercolor tea wash, building up layers with washes, adding detail with special watercolor effects, mixing colors and more. All levels are welcome.

The painting made in this workshop are inspired by the figure of the Naturalist, who was both artist and scientist. These recordings are just as much about the subjective process of observation as they are about the recording of scientific data.

Specimen Collection:

Each class will include instructions for specimen collection, so that we can all work from direct observation. Simple instructions provided days in advance will direct you to pick up a rust colored leaf from the sidewalk, grab a weed sprouting out from a crevice, purchase a piece of seasonal produce and other actions intended to call attention to oft overlooked instances of nature in our everyday environment. For anyone who is not able to go outside at all, photographic references will be available.

Supply List


Our Online Workshop Format:

Classes meet via Zoom, livestreaming, and include live demos and step by step instructions from the instructor. Participants will do exercises along with the instructor and have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback during class time. We keep class sizes small and the atmosphere is interactive and intimate. Participants have the option take a little extra time on their own, at home, to complete the exercises or practice at their own pace, although this is not required. Finished work gets uploaded to a Dropbox folder where the instructor will give individual feedback and answer questions in the comments section. Participants can also comment on each others work in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Recordings from each week’s live-streaming session will be made available to participants.