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11 - 13 AUG

Painting on Vellum: Art Class with Beverly Allen

A three-day art class in the Royal Botanic Garden

This three day introduction to painting on vellum will outline the history and production of vellum with demonstrations of the special techniques for preparation and painting on this traditional medium. The emphasis will be on the subtleties of colour and the use of light to create a jewel-like painting.

Suitable botanical subjects will be available or students may bring their own small treasure.  
For intermediate and advanced botanical painters or those with drawing skills and other experience with other media.

Vellum will be available for purchase at the workshop for approximately $25 to $50.

Includes lunches in the beautiful surrounds of the Botanic Gardens  

About your tutor: Beverly Allen
Beverly worked as a graphic designer and illustrator, before moving to botanical art in 1997. She has shown annually at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney ‘Botanica’ Exhibition since 1999, and exhibits internationally. Her work is held in private collections including the Shirley Sherwood Collection and the Isaac and Alisa Sutton Collection, as well as at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation USA, the Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium Library at Kew Gardens, the Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library, the Highgrove Florilegium for the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust Sydney.

Beverly was awarded a Gold Medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s exhibition in 2007 and in 2010 was awarded the inaugural Gold Medal for Botanical Art by the New York Botanic Gardens.

She co-founded and is president of the Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.


Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 August
9.30am - 4pm daily


$480 ($420 Foundation & Friends Members)


Maiden Theatre
Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquaries Road Sydney




Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens


Public transport recommended. Limited parking available

What is vellum?

Vellum can be defined two ways:
TRADITIONAL (Skin) - Genuine vellum is a smooth and durable surface traditionally made from the hairless skin of very young calves or a calf foetus. 
CONTEMPORARY (Paper) - Vellum is a term used by paper manufacturers to describe the surface of a PAPER (i.e. not skin). Modern "paper vellum" is synthesized from vegetable matter and is used for fine art paper, plans, technical drawings, and blueprints. 

It is important to note that:
  • No animals die to produce vellum.
  • Skins are typically sourced by ethical manufacturers from farms where livestock has been reared for wool, milk or meat.
  • ​Skins would otherwise be disposed of as waste products.
On using vellum for botanic painting:
Encouraged by (McEwen's) example, a new generation discovered the qualities of vellum: smoothness, luminosity, glow, depth, ivory or cream colour, are all remarked on; ‘like painting on butter’ said one of the artists interviewed, ‘the brush just flies’, said another. The translucency of watercolour pigment against vellum, creating the luminous quality of flowers, is therefore a major factor in the choice of support.
The conservation of botanical illustrations on vellum: past, present and future

Source: Botanical Art & Artists

Terms and Conditions
Customer: The person who is attending the event. Member’s Price: Available for customers who will hold a current membership with Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens at the time of the event/activity. Customers, individuals or groups must be named as membership holders. Non-Member’s Price: Available to all customers who are not current membership holders with Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens. For cancellations of less than 10 days: No refunds or transfers. For cancellations of 10 to 30 days prior: Cancellation fee is 50% of event/activity price, capped at a maximum of $100. The remaining amount paid can be used to transfer to another event/activity or refunded. For cancellations of 30 days or more: No cancellation fee applied. The full amount paid can be used to transfer to another event/activity or refunded. Special cancellation policies apply to Foundation & Friends New Years’ Eve event, and National & International Tours. For more information about T&Cs call 02 9231 8182.

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