Introduction to botanical illustration

Painting course at the Kalthaus of the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna


20.–21. 01. 2024, 9:00–17:00 - fully booked
17.–18. 02. 2024, 9:00–17:00 - fully booked
01.–02. 06. 2024, 9:00–17:00 - fully booked
21.–22. 09. 2024, 9:00–17:00 - fully booked
12.–13. 10. 2024, 9:00–17:00 - fully booked

Maxillaria mooreana © Margareta Pertl

All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper and a magnifier – and a fabulous world will open up to your inquiring eye. We will study, dissect and draw plants, and finally capture them, using watercolours or crayons. You will learn the basic techniques of botanical illustration. We will address the issue of painting plants accurately, get to know botanical illustrators from various periods and study their techniques, and enjoy our own successful botanical illustrations. Drawing cross sections of essential plant parts using a binocular microscope helps us improve the understanding of the structure of plants.

The intensive observation of nature and the meditative task of painting make for a highly fulfilling personal experience.

The detailed representation of plants, as it is possible using drawing ink and watercolours, has always had a significant impact on science. Until the invention of photography, botanical illustrations were the only possibility for accurate documentation and still today, they are highly valued for plant identification and their detailed representations of plant characteristics.


Course information

All courses for 2024 are fully booked. For registration and question about the course please contact the ZooBot-Society.

Margareta Pertl

Margareta Pertl studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and works and lives in Vienna and Dublin. She has been working in botanical illustration since 1997 and has won several awards for her watercolours and ink drawings in Austria and England.

She is a founding member of the society “Wiener Schule der botanischen Illustration” (Vienna school of botanic illustration), and member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Irish Society of Botanical Artists, the Zoologisch-Botanische Gesellschaft (zoological-botanical society) and the Irish Orchid Society.

Her botanical aquarelles are exhibited in Austrian and international collections.