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IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS - The Holt Estate, Hampshire

The Holt Estate
The Holt Estate

Sarah teaches workshops and courses at The Holt Estate, near Winchester in Hampshire, throughout the year.

The course venue is located in a beautiful rural setting in the South Downs National Park.  

The Holt Estate is centrally located near to Winchester with good road links to the M3, A272 & A32

If you are interested in attending any of the workshops below, please let Sarah know by emailing her at:

You will then be notified of availability and payment can be made via the payment buttons below.  Payment is taken via Paypal, but you do not need to have a Paypal account to use the payment platform.

Your place is only secure once payment is made.

Confirmation of payment and further information will be sent within 48 hours of booking.

Please remember to check your junk/spam email folder if you have not received an email within the given time

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Illustrating Characteristics of Trees in Spring - Pen & Ink

24th & 25th March 2023


At The Holt we are surrounded by trees on the estate parkland, along the hedgerows and field boundaries, as well as around the Old Workshop. 

During this time of year the trees are coming to life with bursting buds, new leaves, catkins and flowers.

Come along and explore the characteristics of trees in Spring, learn to identify features and especially how to depict them in your artwork.

The workshop will focus on observational drawing from life, first in pencil and then using pen and ink to accentuate the shape, form texture and pattern through mark-making.

Skill level:  Suitable for those interested in detailed botanical drawing, who are new to botanical art or are more experienced.

Illustrating Hares in Pen & Ink with an atmospheric background

21st & 22d April 2023



Seeing hares in the countryside is a real treat.  Often they will freeze in position when you come across them, or will be startled leaping off to areas of cover.  This particularly applies in the spring when there is a change in their nocturnal habits due to  breeding behaviour.


Pen and ink is the perfect media to use when illustrating them, even combining different colour pens to portray the texture of their coats.  To enhance an illustration further, an atmospheric background will be created using diluted inks, portraying colours you may see in the hare's natural habitats.  

Skill level:  Suitable for those interested in detailed natural history illustration with some experience of detailed drawing techniques / working in pen and ink.

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Painting Birds of The Holt Estate in Gouache

21st & 22d July 2023


The  bird workshops at The Holt have always been popular and Sarah is thrilled to be returning with another bird illustration workshop in 2023.

The estate and farmland consist of a wide variety of habitats, all of benefit to a range of wildlife encompassing many bird species.

Using high quality photographic images you will be taken through the steps of drawing your chosen bird species, before adding further details using gouache.

Gouache is a highly opaque form of water-based media, which is also extremely versatile when illustrating the natural world.  You have the flexibility of working from dark to light using this media, which is very beneficial when creating the visual density and texture of bird's plumage.

Skill level:  Suitable for those interested in detailed natural history illustration with some experience of detailed drawing techniques and watercolour painting.

**NOTE** If you do not have your own gouache paints, a palette of selected colours can be provided for use during the workshop.  There will be a small additional charge for this which is payable when attending the workshop.  Please email Sarah after booking to let her know if you require this.


Sketching on Location / In the Field - Gaining Confidence & How to Create a Field kit

4th & 5th August 2023


Sketching on location / in the field  can be very daunting initially.  Sarah will guide you in the many ways that you can increase your confidence, both in drawing and how to cope with working away from your usual creative surroundings.  She will also share different formats for field sketching kits, the different media she uses and how to use it, and practical sized sketchbooks for a variety of uses.  

Different drawing approaches will be introduced, including spontaneous sketching techniques as well as those more detailed.  

There will be time set aside to become familiar with the different ways that references can be gathered, so that you have enough information to incorporate into any future work.

The beautiful and picturesque Holt Estate provides the perfect venue to enjoy working in the field where there are a variety of habitats to explore, such as woodland, hedgerows and grassland.  At this time of year there will be many species to see such as birds, insects, possibly small mammal species, and even farm animals too!

Skill level:  Suitable for those interested in observing and drawing the natural world, beginners in botanical art and natural history illustration, and those more experienced.

Illustrating Orchard Fruits

15th & 16th September 2023


Orchards are few and far between nowadays and provide an important habitat to many species if managed appropriately, as well as a place to grow fruit.

During this workshop we will be illustrating a variety of orchard fruits available at this time of year, including apples and hopefully quinces, pears, and plums.  

Water colour and/or gouache are the perfect media in which to depict these fruits.  You will be introduced to different painting techniques to enable you to achieve a realistic depth of colour, form, pattern and shine.  To finish off your botanical portrait we will illustrate a longitudinal section of your chosen fruit in pen and ink using line and stippling. 


Skill level:  Suitable for those interested in detailed botanical drawing, who are new to botanical art or are more experienced.

Large, light, airy working space

Limited to 8 attendees when needed (Covid restrictions)

Subjects included

 General refreshments & afternoon cake included

Easy access, all on one level

Car park 

For further information please email:


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