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Virtual Visiting Artist Master Course: Creating the Wow Factor in Botanical Artworks

With Elaine Searle, botanical artist


Join us for a 3-day virtual workshop! 


Dates: Tuesdays, May 18, May 25, and June 1

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT

Fee: $285 ($255 for NCBG Members)



In this Visiting Artist Master Course, learn how to employ layered composition and aerial perspective techniques to add depth and drama to botanical artworks. Take your work to the next level with great wall appeal!


Elaine will share her approach to

  • deconstructing a complex subject into manageable elements
  • lighting a subject for impact
  • composition to enhance the impact of a white specimen
  • employing a range of subtle 'shadow mixes' to enhance form in white specimens


Demonstrations will be watercolor but the principles covered are applicable to artists using other media to create botanical artworks in color.


Format: Three Zoom sessions will feature a mixture of presentations, narrated demonstrations, discussions, and progress reviews. These sessions will be recorded and made available to students for the duration of the course. Students will also have access to an online forum for sharing questions, resources, feedback, and more.  



  • COMPUTER or TABLET to access course material and to participate in Zoom online sessions
  • CAMERA or SCANNER to submit work in progress
  • DESK LAMP – Preferably with a single daylight bulb


Click here for the course supply list and details about the plant specimen.



White Hydrangea quercifolia


The registration period has closed for this event.

Registration is open through 5/11/2021 5:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)



About the artist

Elaine Searle is a professional botanical artist with over 15 years experience of teaching botanical art from beginner to masterclass level. For two years she was course Director of the Diploma program at Chelsea School of Botanical Art, London. She has run workshops for:


  • American Society of Botanical Artists (several venues and in 2020 2 x zoom ones)
  • Big Sky Art
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • Dutch Society of Botanical Artists
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
  • House of Illustration, London
  • Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens (several)
  • Leicestershire Society of Botanical illustrators
  • Minnesota School of Botanical Art (several)
  • New York Botanic Gardens
  • Society of Botanical Artists
  • Virginia Robinson Gardens, Beverly Hills (several)


She has run her own online short courses since 2014 and Zoomschools since March 2020.


This course will be offered using Zoom for live meetings and Padlet for sharing feedback, videos, and other resources.

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Elaine Searle

Adult Programs Cancellation and Refund Policy

If a class is cancelled due to insufficient enrollment or has been filled prior to receipt of your payment, you will be notified and your payment will be refunded in full. Students who cancel seven or more days in advance of the start of a course will receive an 80 percent refund. Thereafter, the registration fee is forfeited. If there are extenuating circumstances, allowances can be made at the discretion of the Director of Education. The full cancellation and refund policy for adult education programs is available here.