Artists of Shambellie House

Floral Illustration Workshop: Natural Impressions and Illustration

From: £45.00

Saturday 20th July

12.00pm to 4.00PM   

***Please note due to the adverse weather forecast for Saturday this workshop has been adapted and reduced to a half day . Please call for details. if you are still interested. Only the painting in the afternoon, indoors will take place.*** 

Follow in the footsteps of Scottish Botanist, Olga Stewart of Shambellie House.  Join us in the enchanting Shambellie Woods, where you’ll explore and learn about the local flora and fauna, develop new artistic techniques to help you capture the natural world and illustrate stunning botanical-inspired postcards.



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Follow in the footsteps of Scottish Botanist, Olga Stewart of Shambellie House.

Take a guided walk through our enchanting Shambellie Woods and discover the beautiful work of Olga Stewart.

Frank Hayes will take us on a guided walk where you will collect and work from found materials to compose natural studies, using handmade Shambellie willow charcoal, experimenting with techniques and creating close up studies with pencil.

The afternoon session will focus on combining selected elements from the morning with embellishment through drawing and painting flora and fauna using a variety of mulitmedia techniques to design and illustrate a collection of up to 4 complimentary botanical inspired postcards.

You will be encouraged to explore the Latin names and meanings of the flora and fauna that they have found on their guided walk and use written elements within their illustrations to describe the colour, texture and locations of the plants.

Illustrations will be completed using collage, line and wash and gouache illustrative technique and you will be given an overview of the mediums and demonstrations of the techniques that you will employ throughout the day.

The day will provide opportunity for self-learning and mindful creation to promote wellbeing and skills development to help everyone develop their own creative practice.

You will take home a series of observational and exploratory pieces from the morning session and a set of complimentary postcards which can be framed as a set at a later date



Your Tutor

Your Tutor

Ailsa Mackay

Ailsa Mackay is an freelance artist, textile designer and tutor. With over 20 years’ experience, her design work has been sold widely across British, German, Australian and US High Streets on fashion textiles, homeware, gift wrap and stationary and her paintings are sold privately to collectors.

She loves to take inspiration from everyday life and the natural world, is passionate about renaissance life drawing techniques and is fascinated by portraits.

Her work is predominantly created using acrylic, gouache and soft pastels working in a big and bold style to keep her brush strokes fresh and dynamic, using harmonious colour combinations.

“The physical process of painting is where I find the most joy. I delight in the journey that my work goes through on its way to becoming its own individual unique piece.”

Your Tutor

Frank Hayes

For further information visit:

Frank Hayes is the Creative Director and Founder of “For Enjoyment CIC”. A foundation of studying at Art College started his creative path over 30 years ago. Over the last two decades Frank has worked in conservation and as a creative force and more recently as a core part of the creative movement that is For Enjoyment, as a mentor, inspirer and tutor. He’s passionate, driven and dedicated to his work. A love of travel, cycling, walking and swimming makes him an explorer of the great outdoors, with a love for natural history since a very young age which is evident through his own creative practice.

Frank’s many hats include photographer, illustrator and environmentalist. He is committed to nurturing the artistic ability within everyone and improving mental and social health, confidence and wellbeing through the power of art and creativity. Through his work with For Enjoyment he’s seen much success and recognition including becoming a two time finalist for the Culture Champion Award and the winner of Community Champion award in the Dumfries and Galloway Life Awards of 2021. He has produced artworks with many organisations across Scotland including one in partnership with Whizz-Kidz which is permanently installed in the First Minister of Scotland’s office. He supports many people from a diverse range of backgrounds into creative careers and helps them forge new paths into the wonderful world of the Arts.

About the Day

The workshop will take place from 10am – 4pm  and refreshments will be provided throughout the day including tea/coffee and lunch.

This workshop indoor portion of this workshop will take place in the Gallery which is only accessible via a flight of stairs and outdoors there are some uneven paths.


Skills gained from the workshop include:

1. Nature-based Creativity: Participants will learn how to find inspiration and materials from nature to create artwork emphasising the importance of observation and creativity by using natural elements for artistic expression.

2. Exploration of Techniques: The workshop offers a variety of techniques such as mark making, continuous line drawing, frotage, and mixed media experimentation. Participants will learn these techniques and how to apply them in their artwork.

3. Botanical Illustration: Focus on flora and fauna will allow participants to explore elements of botanical illustration. They will learn how to illustrate plants, paying attention to details like colour, texture, and form.

4. Mediums and Techniques Overview: Participants will have a broad understanding of a range of mediums and techniques: including charcoal, pencil, collage, line and wash, and gouache

5. Mindful Creation and Well-being: The workshop promotes self-learning and mindful creation as a means to enhance well-being and contribute to personal growth and development.

6. Skill Development: Participants will develop their artistic skills, refine their techniques and expand their creative capabilities .

7. Integration of Latin Names: Exploring the Latin names and meanings of the flora and fauna they find will deepen their understanding of increase understanding of botany and natural sciences and provide depth to their artwork.

8. Designing Postcards: The final activity of designing botanical-inspired postcards allows participants to use their new skills and techniques in a practical and creative way.

9. Overall, the workshop aims to inspire creativity, deepen appreciation for nature, and foster skill development in a supportive and mindful environment.

Kit and Requirements

Please wear sturdy shoes and bring outdoor clothing to suit the weather.

There will be an additional cost of £5 per person for materials, payable to the tutors on the day.

Olga's Story

Olga Stewart, in 1947 “While climbing a hill at Aviemore, rather slowly and rather pregnant, I collected flowers on the way and so began my collection of practically every plant, wild and naturalised, that I have seen”

And over the next fifty years Olga drew an estimated 2,500 flowers and grasses.

In 1975, she became the botanical recorder for Kirkcudbrightshire and her records are available in the Dumfries & Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society Series 3 vol. LXV (1990)

She provided illustrations for a number of publications and books, the only one she ever received money for being “My Book of Flowers” by Princess Grace of Monaco, in which she illustrated the chapter on Legends with pen drawings.

Join us for this unique opportunity to follow in her footsteps of and take time to enjoy the flowers of Shambellie Woods.  


If you have answered yes and would like to discuss your requirements then please get in touch.