Clematis in Coloured PencilCourse Full
Tutor: Roger ReynoldsCourse Code: 3420-08


The garden Clematis provides an opportunity to use the versatility of coloured pencils to the full. Choose your subject carefully and you can have challenging colours to mix, superb leaf curls to draw and textures to work at that make you grab for your pencils. We will look at layout, drawing, researching colours and how to build up textures for a really attractive piece of work.


Almost every garden has a Clematis that is a wonderful subject for coloured pencil workers; the flowers come in a wide variety of shapes and colours, from whites to deep rich reds, blues and purples. The curling leaves act as a wonderful foil to the very clear-cut shapes of the flowers and the versatility of the coloured pencils provide an ideal medium to capture the extensive colour range of these beautiful blooms. The course will deal with the techniques of layout, drawing and how to handle your pencil-work to best effect, including selection of colours, layering and building up the colours, textures and patterns of the blooms (and the leaves as well). In many Clematis flowers the anthers are lighter than the petals, which poses a problem in constructing the illustration. How to get round the difficulty will be discussed along with demonstrated solutions, so it should be a course for hard work but ultimate satisfaction.

Please bring with you

  • The best paper is watercolour paper, reasonably thick, 300g/m2 (140lbs), and smooth i.e. hot pressed (HP) such as 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 (but will be available on loan from MSCA)
  • 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 something similar.
  • A large soft brush (traditionally a feather) is useful for sweeping away pencil debris from your work.
  • Paper towel kitchen roll is useful for several jobs.
  • If you bring or buy pencils please make sure they are from top quality manufactures, e.g. Faber Castell, Caran D’ache, Derwent, Prismacolor, but it doesn’t matter whether they are oil based, wax based or water-soluble. You can only reach quality work from quality pencils!
  • If you want to illustrate your own plants then please bring them, you will then have your specimens to take home to complete your work. Travelling with large blooms can be difficult because the plant can suffer from being knocked so that buds fall off etc. This is particularly so if you travel by train. Specimens will be available for loan but to take them home you may have to purchase the plant.

N.B. Full sets of pencils (120) from Faber Castell will be available on loan for the course, as will pencil sharpeners and other essential equipment. You do not need to go out and buy everything. Lack of appropriate materials should not prevent you from attending this course. Simply assemble what materials you have. 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 may be purchased at cost price.


The following items can be purchased from your tutor

Larger sizes of paper will be available at cost price.


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 fellow 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.

17th to 18th Aug 2020
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

"Excellent tutor." (October 2019)

"Always enjoy coming to Missenden - quality of tuition excellent." (Summer School 2019)

"I thought the course was excellent and the tutor very encouraging and explained techniques clearly." (May 2019)

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For Clematis in Coloured Pencil on 17th to 18th Aug 2020