Botanical Illustration: Summer Fruits in Coloured PencilCourse Full
Tutor: Roger ReynoldsCourse Code: 3317-12


The great strength of coloured pencil illustration is in getting the wonderful mixtures of colour in fruit and conveying their smooth shiny surfaces. This course will consider the methods to be used to get lively, interesting depiction of the range of fruit that should be available to us in summertime. It will concentrate on how to use pencils to obtain image of three dimensional shapes in high colour.


Coloured pencils allow precise placement of pigment on the paper, and it is easy to grade the shading to move from highlights to intense colour in a short distance. By carefully observing the patterns of light falling on the subject it is easy to convey the colour and shine with accuracy.

The course will allow those people who have not used coloured pencils before to have a real opportunity to see how versatile it is as a medium. Pencils will be provided so that there will be no need for a big outlay in order to try out whether you like this medium or not. For those with their own pencil sets, this is an opportunity to get more out of them, evaluate techniques and take them to a higher level. In a two-day course there is quite sufficient time to produce a (small) finished painting. Fruit are both attractive subjects and they do not move, which means once set up and appropriately illuminated, observation on patterns of shine are easier to make. Using a few techniques which are easy to learn you can get close to photo realism.

Please bring with you

The best paper is watercolour paper, reasonably thick, 300g/m2 (140lbs) and smooth i.e. hot pressed (HP) e.g. Fabriano Classico 5 or Fabriano Artistico. (see below)
It is helpful to have a stiff, smooth backing board to support your work, probably A4 or possibly larger
Graphite pencils for initial drawing but soft e.g. B, HB, (not hard pencils H, 2H)
Pencil Eraser – putty rubber ones are particularly useful
If you have mechanical pencil sharpeners, please bring them. (I discourage electric sharpeners, but only because they tend to ‘eat’ pencils.)

A sharp craft knife (Swann-Morton scalpels are best) so you can put a very fine point on your pencils
I usually have a small shallow plastic box with a lid that I can ‘sharpen into’ so that pencil dust can be kept under control round my working area. It might be helpful to set yourself up with a similar device.

A large soft brush is useful for sweeping away from pencils debris from your work.

Paper towel kitchen roll
If you bring or buy pencils please make sure they are from top quality manufactures, e.g. Faber Castell, Caran D’ache, Prismacolor, Derwent, but it doesn’t matter whether they are oil based, wax based or water-soluble. You can only reach quality work from quality pencils!

N.B. Lack of appropriate materials should not prevent you from attending this course. Simply assemble what you can. Nobody will ever be stuck because they do not have a particular item from this list because the tutor will either loan you the appropriate equipment or provide consumables which can be obtained at cost price.

The following items can be purchased from your tutor

Consumption of materials will be small. Practically all items that will be needed for the course can be loaned. There should be no extra expense.

If you have trouble getting paper there will be some available at cost price; 60p/A3 sheet.


Suitable for all levels

Course Location

Missenden Abbey
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire HP16 0BD


Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds

Roger is a botanical illustrator who works in watercolour and coloured pencil. He is a long standing member of the Society of Botanical Artists where his work has been awarded a certificate of botanical merit, and has been used in their publications. He has exhibited at their annual exhibition in Westminster since 2004. In 2016 he was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his work illustrating plants. He is a member of the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration which fosters the links between botanists and illustrators and he has an honours degree in botany. In 2018 he was a participant in the day of international botanical art exhibitions and as a member of the Association of British Botanical Art, represented the UK.

14th to 15th Aug 2017
Monday to Tuesday


9amCoffee on arrival
9.15amWelcome and tutor introductions
9.30am-1pmTeaching session
1-2pmLunch for all
2-5pmTeaching session
6.45 for 7pmDinner for residents
7-9.15amBreakfast for residents
9.30am-1pmTeaching session
1-2pmLunch for all
2-5pmLast teaching session