Ros Franklin SBA: Painting Botanical Treasures on Vellum


Workshop Description

The workshops will start by looking at the different techniques and styles of painting on vellum. Small pieces of Manuscript vellum will be available to purchase at cost, and botanical treasures from the garden will be available to paint.

With demonstrations, one-to-one tuition and plenty of guidance, we will build up transparent layers in watercolour to depict our chosen subjects.

We will then add detail, and make these little botanical treasures glow like precious jewels.

Required Materials

In an ideal world, this is the equipment required – please bring all your usual equipment if you have done botanical painting before, do not rush out and buy everything. Paper, some spare paints, and some equipment can be provided.

  • Mechanical pencil size 0.3mm 2H leads, or, 2H good graphite pencils with sharpener
  • White plastic rubber
  • White china mixing palettes or a plate, for paints
  • Magnifying glass
  • Painting board and rest if required
  • Jam Jar for water                                                                  
  • Light – daylight bulb (don’t forget the charger) … if you have one, I will bring a few spares

Winsor and Newton colours are good to start with, sold in tubes, pans and half pans. This is a suggested selection for the beginner (those marked with an * are recommended as a minimum palette). Do try to keep to transparent colours and avoid very opaque ones, although there are some semi-opaque ones listed here. (I use half-pans, or small tubes.) Do NOT let your local art shop sell you student quality:



  • Permanent Alizaria Crimson
  • Scarlet Lake
  • Permanent Rose

Cadmium Orange


  • Winsor lemon or transparent yellow
  • New Gambode
  • Indian Yellow
  • Quinacridone gold


  • Colbalt Blue
  • Prussian blue
  • French ultramarine
  • Winsor blue green shade


  • Winsor violet
  • Cobalt violet
  • Cobalt turquoise light


  • Terre verte
  • Yellow ocre
  • Burnt sienna
  • Indigo or Payne's grey
  • Perylene green
  • Viridian
  • Red orange (Sennelier)

If you already have artist/professional quality watercolours paints, and different brands/colours, bring them all with you.

Other very popular makes are Daniel Smith, Schminke and Sennelier


I will have vellum for sale: Manuscript Finish I, size 6” x 4” at £8, which will be prepared for you ahead of the workshop.


Invest in the best sable you can afford

  • Da Vinci Maestro Kolinski sable series 10 or 11
  • Raphael 8404 (With orange tips to handle) 
  • Winsor & Newton series 7 miniatures
  • Either use Miniature, or, round brushes, buy 2 brushes to start with. Always check the points. Good shops will never mind you trying them. Bring any sable brushes you have, plus a synthetic brush for mixing.

NB If you are working on vellum you will need small brushes, size 0 and 1 to start with

Workshop led by Ros Franklin GM SBA (Fellow) FLS FEPFS