Amicus Botanicus

The Chelsea School of Botanical Art

The Chelsea School of Botanical Art

The Chelsea School of Botanical Art (CSBA) offers courses based on sound educational principles taught by accomplished and respected artists, academics and botanists.

The school, under the leadership of Helen Allen BA, (Hons) PGCert Ed, Dip EGS, FLS, will soon be entering its sixth year offering a range of Short Courses, Masterclasses and Longer Courses for the more advanced artist.

The art and scientific practice of depicting plants has evolved over centuries and continues to develop worldwide. Botanical art and illustration are crucial conservation tools in the description of endangered species, of collections of rare and native plants, and of plants in particular botanic and historic gardens.

The Chelsea School of Botanical ArtStudents of CSBA learn traditional drawing and painting techniques through understanding and practice, applying them to botanical subjects. Basic botany and the close observation of plants are fundamental to creating a botanical painting that is scientifically accurate and aesthetically pleasing.

The teaching of many botanical art techniques is starting to move out of the classroom and onto the internet. We still firmly believe that the value of face to face learning in small groups cannot be underestimated. The classroom environment, with the benefit of group discussions and personal feedback, remains the most effective way for botanical artists to learn and grow with confidence.

With this in mind, CSBA relocated to The GreenHouse in Ham, South West London, in January 2019. The GreenHouse is a space dedicated to learning and practicing botanical art. The studio is light-filled, warm and rich with inspiration. There is an extensive library of books covering all areas of botanical art and the studio is fully equipped.

Ham is located in the lush suburbs of Richmond, within walking distance of the River Thames, Richmond Park and the 72 hectare local nature reserve of Ham Lands. The studio can be reached by bus or a river-walk from either Richmond (Overground, Underground and National Rail) or Kingston Upon Thames (National Rail). There is also free parking in the vicinity.

CSBA’s Diploma Course in Botanical Painting and Illustration is to be replaced in 2019 by two new independent courses that may be taken separately or in sequence. In addition to these two courses, an advanced course for those who want to take their work to an even higher level.

CSBA students continuing their studies to gain CSBA’s Botanical Painting and Illustration Diploma are invited to hand-in final projects in early July 2019. There will be two further opportunities to hand in: July 2020 and 2021. Please stay in touch and rest assured that you will be supported in completing your final projects.

Office hours for applications and queries are Mondays and Tuesdays, 11am to 2pm.

Please note that the school currently has no access for wheelchair users.


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