With gorgeous scenery, a unique light and charming countryside atmosphere, the Karoo village of Prince Albert is a haven for creatives and artists and has always been open to showcasing new artistic events (​Prince Albert Open Studios​ comes to mind). And now there is another first for the village.

On either Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12, or Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 May (depending which date garners the most interest), contemporary botanical artist ​Sally Arnold​ plans to host a weekend workshop on her craft for beginner to advanced illustrators, showing them how to observe a flower, fruit or vegetable of their choice and create it on paper for further coloured pencil work (watercolour painting will be offered at a later workshop).

The workshop will take place at Nuwe Street in Prince Albert from 09:00 to 17:00 on the Saturday, and from 09:00 to 13:00 on Sunday. The cost is R1 950 per participant without materials, and includes a light lunch with tea and coffee on Saturday. It can accommodate a maximum of six participants and a minimum of three.

Participants will be exploring light sources as well as the shapes and parts of a flower, vegetable or fruit. Composition and colour are important aspects. Participants’ drawings may also remain monochrome grey and still achieve a powerful 3D effect.

Arnold’s intention is to make the workshop a fun and interesting experience, while demonstrating technical tricks and tips towards giving your drawing a wow factor. Realistic botanical art is based on a series of patient steps, which all have to start somewhere all of which will be explained step by step.

Participants are expected to bring the following materials:


Bring a fresh flower, fruit or vegetable of your choice, but keep it simple! You may also bring any sharp, well-lit photos (iPhone or other) of the above that might assist you. It’s all about getting YOUR vision on paper.


Be sure to bring good quality soft (putty) and hard erasers.

Good quality pencils (either Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran d’Ache, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor) – specifically the colours most resembling those of your chosen subject – are a must. You are also welcome to bring water colour pencils, though they won’t be used with water. They often have a great texture when used dry, for example the FC Art Grip Aquarelle.

Bring the following graphite pencils: H, 2H, B, 2B, 4B. Staedtler or Koh-i-noor are good options.

Paper: Bring A4, 240-300gm Fabriano, Canson, Bockingford, Arches paper – smooth (hot press). You may also work on a bigger size if you prefer.

A 30cm ruler.

A good pencil sharpener is a must. Sandpaper pads can also greatly aid you, as well as cutter blades.

Optional extras such as a magnifying glass, black ink waterproof pens, a few loose sheets of paper, tracing paper, a folder and cutter knife will also stand you in good stead.

About the artist

Sally Arnold grew up on her family farm at the foot of the Amathola Mountains in the Eastern Cape. She was fascinated by the artistic, elegant quality of plants and flowers in bloom, and this soon led to an inspiration to capture nature’s forms on paper. Aided by photographs, Arnold creates them on canvas in translucent oil glazes, or on paper in watercolour and with acoloured pencil technique.

She is an ​internationally celebrated artist​ and has obtained a Diploma of Fine Arts at Cape Polytechnic, Cape Town in 1974, received a bursary to Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium from 1975-76 (specializing in stained glass), received a Masters in Modern Art History from J.W.-Goethe-University in Frankfurt, Germany, and is currently studying a Distance Diploma in Botanical Art from the Society of Botanical Arts in the UK.