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Botanical illustration & mental health workshop

This three hour workshop will take place on Saturday 8th July at 6.30pm UK time. There will be a half hour break at 8pm. Recommendations for drawing materials will be provided prior to the course, including AN EXCLUSIVE 10% DISCOUNT CODE FOR WONDERFUL STATIONERY SHOP PRESENT AND CORRECT.

This is a workshop suitable for complete beginners.

During the workshop you will learn the following:

How to break down the complex forms of plants and their flowers into a series of simple shapes.

How to use that technique to drawing a simple botanical specimen 

How to apply this technique to flowers and plant forms that are more complex

How to use 2 simple techniques to add shading,  giving depth to your illustrations

Tips for collating your illustrations into a botanical diary and I'll demonstrate examples to inspire your future illustration projects

The mental health benefits of combining contact with nature and creative activity - how a period of drawing or indeed any craft alters brain biochemistry and how this is enhanced if . In particular I'll explain how several brief drawing sessions per week of of just 10 minutes or so can decrease your anxiety and improve your mood.

The impact on mental health of creative habits and the cumulative effect of 2 or more 10 minute drawing sessions a week on your mood

Before the course: I'll message you with recommendations for drawing materials and for plants to look out for on walks, on waste ground or in your garden that are perfect for this workshop.


Emma Mitchell is an author, mental health advocate, naturalist, professional illustrator and designer-maker. She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, spent time in academia studying molecular cell biology and was an technology consultant in emerging technologies in Silicon Fen until 2008, when her struggles with depression and anxiety led her to begin writing about the positive impact of both nature and time spent creatively on mental health.

Emma has written and presented films for BBC Springwatch and appeared on BBC Countryfile, Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Ramblings. She is a Guardian Country Diarist and has contributed pieces on nature and mental health for the Times, Big Issue, inews & Psychologies magazine.


Emma has been teaching creative workshops with a focus on mental health for more than a decade. She taught Anita Rani to cast yarrow in silver on BBC Countryfile and has taught classes at the Victoria & Albert museum, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and Highgrove.

In Emma's classes students learn the techniques needed to make and draw beautiful things, but crucially she combines this with teaching the science that explains why and how spending time creatively can shift  brain biochemistry to improve mental health.