Painting Orchids in Watercolor on Vellum with Carol Woodin

June 2, 3 and 4, 2017

9:30 am – 4:00pm each day
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Cost, BAGSC Members: $250
Non-Members: $275

Maximum Registration: 16 students

To register: $50 non-refundable deposit (or full amount), check made out to BAGSC, with Carol Woodin on the subject line. Mail to: BAGSC, P.O. Box 50166, Pasadena, CA 91115.

Remaining balance due by Saturday, May 27, check made out to BAGSC, with Carol Woodin on the subject line. Mail to: BAGSC, P.O. Box 50166, Pasadena, CA 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the open Huntington Cafes, at The Huntington.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Workshop Description

Using vellum’s special surface to its greatest advantage, artists will gain comfort in working with this beautiful and translucent material to depict an orchid from the Huntington’s collection. After an overview of the unique characteristics of vellum, the instructor will demonstrate how to cut vellum and how to stretch it over a board. We’ll examine the unique botanical characteristics of orchids that set them apart from other plants, and learn how to use these characteristics to help us in depicting them in perspective. After selecting an orchid from those provided by the Huntington, each artist will make a graphite rendering of it, and transfer it to vellum. Once drawings are transferred and “tuned up”, artists will lay down a first coat of generalized color, laying out a road map to follow during their painting process.

The instructor will demonstrate how to build up color with multiple dry-brush layers, and through these layers we’ll progress to more and more detail. Brush carriage and handling tips will be demonstrated to eliminate puddling of color, and to prevent pulling up of under-layers. Artists will learn how to integrate veining into petals, lips, and sepals, and to use intersection points to build three-dimensionality in orchid flowers. Accurately depicting the broad variety of orchid leaves will also be covered. By balancing contrast and shading, and clarifying detail while smoothing color, artists can tie their paintings together and give them a finished unity. By the end of the workshop each student’s painting will be advanced sufficiently to complete at home.


This is a BAGSC-sponsored workshop; there is no information about this workshop on The Huntington's website. If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

The workshop will be held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, in the Botanical Education Center. The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road San Marino, CA 91108.

The room location is in the downstairs lab, next to the atrium. Please note that this is a working lab. No food or drink is allowed in this room at any time. There are tables outside the lab to leave your drinks and lunches. Eating is not allowed on The Huntington's grounds, except in designated areas.

Parking and Entrance:

Parking is free at The Huntington. You do not need to go through the front gate to attend the workshop. Park in the smaller parking lot to the right as you face the main entrance and walk directly to the small building to the right, the Botanical Education Center, in front of the Children's Garden. A map of The Huntington's grounds can be downloaded from their website.

Directions from surface streets, freeways and public transportation are also available on their website, in addition to accessibility, hours and dining information.

Material List for Carol Woodin

Download a PDF of the Materials List

Carol Woodin

About the Instructor

Specializing in orchids and other rare plants in watercolor on vellum, Carol Woodin’s work has been exhibited around the world. Recent venues include the Museo della Grafica, Pisa, Italy, Santorini Biennale of Arts, Greece, UBS Gallery, New York, and the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Kew, UK. Some collections that include her work are the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Smithsonian
National Museum of Natural History, the
Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection, and the Alisa
and Isaac M. Sutton Collection. Recipient of the 1998 ASBA Diane Bouchier Artist Award, the first Lankester Award for Orchid Art, and a Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal, she served on the Board of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and is now its Director of Exhibitions.

  • Carol Woodin

    Carol Woodin

    Phragmipedium ‘Nicole Tower', © 2017, Carol Woodin, watercolor on vellum.

  • Carol Woodin

    Carol Woodin

    Paphiopedilum ‘Hideki Okuyama', © 2017, Carol Woodin, watercolor on vellum.

  • Carol Woodin

    Carol Woodin

    Telipogon hutchinsonii, © 2017, Carol Woodin, watercolor on vellum.