Art & science come together as the ‘Up Close’ events begin!

Art & science come together as the ‘Up Close’ events begin!

The 2014 Biodiversity ‘Up Close’ events started not with a bang on Wednesday night, but the calm sound of pencils moving carefully across art paper. Local artist & botanist Yvonne Riley took a full class through the process of creating a botanical illustration – just like those you would see in a botanical reference book or poster. The course was held at the NGT Community Nursery in Mt Gambier and aligns well with the nursery’s aim to promote the conservation and propagation of the threatened flora of SE SA and SW Victoria.

With the desks decked out with plants from the nursery including Arthopodium milleflorum (Pale Vanilla Lily), Ptilotus exultatus (Pink Mulla-mulla) and a form of Goodenia ovata (Hop Goodenia) endemic to Portland, Yvonne gave some tips on how to capture the plant on the page. She stressed the importance of keeping the materials clean, to only draw what you see rather than what you remember, to work outwards from a focal point on the plant, and to always keep the correct scale.

As everyone happily got to work the room was quiet with concentration (save the occasional bit of frustrated muttering) and there was clearly some talent throughout the room. The class finished their pencil outlines and moved into adding colour, and with luck the first illustrations will be finished next week!

A big thankyou goes to Yvonne for a great first session and we look forward to the next three. Note that there is possibly room for one more student if anyone is keen to come along next Wednesday from 7-9pm. Contact Jonathan Tuck if you’re interested on 0432 406 486 or

Botanical Illustration Course week 1
Botanical Illustration Course flyer

For more information on the 2014 Biodiversity ‘Up Close’ events see the webpage at

Hope to see you out there!

Jonathan Tuck