RBGE - Unit 10 (Final)

Activities 1 & 2

Activity 1 - Root System

March 16 - Okay, this is it!! I turned in my Unit 9 barely on time - with only 1.5 minutes to spare!  I was working on my graphite work of the cross-section and got totally submerged and almost forgot to do it!! So close! lol

After reading through the new information we have been given on the root system, I will continue to work on my composition until March 30 when Unit 10 is due.  I will also need to do Activity 2 which is "Adding Finishing Touches", so I'll give myself two days for that.

As you can see below, I have decided to do the bottom half of my composition in graphite work rather than have graphite up above the tuber as I thought I would do before.  And I still need to add the three pieces of my dissection at the bottom left.

I'm still not happy with the amount of stylizing I tend to do - I want my work to look true to the subject and not so cartoonish or my style.  But I do see some major improvements that have come about due to this course. Now I just need to do my part and practice, practice, practice the techniques I have learned!

I will continue to work for a couple more hours today, but then have a date with my new grandbaby, August Michael. I can't wait to hang out with my lovely daughter and hold my little guy!  :) Big smiles!!

Here's what I have so far...


I will be back to add whatever else I get done in the next couple of hours, so I hope you will take the time to check back a bit later.

It is exciting that we are nearing the end of this course with only 14 days left! I'm thankful for FB as it will keep me in touch with the other students as they continue on their journey as well. We have all become quite close and depend upon each other for encouragement.

I have planned a meeting with a local botanical illustrator who lives an hour or two from me - and in April we will be discussing a plan for my next year.  She has some great ideas as she has been doing botanical illustration for many years and has even studied in England at some point.  Also, there is an exhibit coming up in my area, and I am considering submitting two of my graphite pieces for sale! This will be my first exhibit if I can do it.

In April, I will look forward to continuing my Drawing and Painting Leaves course with Dianne Sutherland, as well as begin to put together some short beginners courses in graphite to make available here.  This is something I have been dreaming of doing for quite some time and I feel that it's time to step forward in it now.  I hope you will continue to stop in from time to time and see what I have been up to.

If you haven't subscribed to my Newsletter, please take a moment and do it now. I only put it out once a month, so I promise not to bother you with a lot of junk mail.  You can find my back issues in the menu above, and the March Newletter will be going out around the 20th or so.

Blessings friends!


March 17 - Continuing on in my graphite work today - I am feeling pretty good about this composition and have mostly completed my cross section x2 and my root system.  I still have three dissections that I am considering, but may decide to leave them off - not sure at this time.  I will probably leave them for last to be sure that I can complete my painting on time and come back to consider it if I have time.

Here's what I have for today :)


So, if you look at my photo from yesterday (above) and zoom in just above the cross section on the bottom left, you can see a teeny weeny black speck.  I didn't know why or what these are until today...

I should learn to leave such things alone, but they drive me crazy! So I tried to remove it. First, I used my Billy Showell Eradicator brush - but didn't faze it.  After it dried for quite some time, I tried my eraser - but it wouldn't budge.  Next I used (and you will probably cringe at the thought of this) my exacto knife!!  I know, I know, but as I very gently removed the top layer of paper, I discovered what these little specks are... 

What is paper made of?  Trees! and these little tiny specks are a sliver! I could see it perfectly under my magnifying glass! So I removed it with what every good Mom removes a sliver with - a needle! 

Now the speck is gone, but there's a scar! What can I say.  I'm praying that in a few days this paper will settle down and the scar will fade away.  I promise not to touch it any more! :)


I know that's a lot of photos, but I'm really liking this composition and felt that you may like to look at it as much as I do! lol

I put a lot of time in today - about 4-5 hours and I am quite tired, but very fulfilled! I sense God helping me along and giving me not only the strength to press on, but the desire and an excitement!  And I also got to spend a lot of time with my grandson today which always lifts my heart into a realm of lalalala!!!

Thank you so much for checking in and seeing how I'm doing.  You don't even know what it means to me and how encouraging it is! I appreciate you all so much and am so glad to hear from many of you via emails that this website has encouraged you too! What a marvelous blessing!


 My Hon- & My Grandson!

My Hon- & My Grandson!

March 18 - I was able to work on a little bit of fine tuning this evening.  I fixed a bit of shadowing on the left side of my cross dissection and I redid the Calyx on my bud and added some shadowing to the bud itself.  And I also laid down the first layer of color for my seed head.

I took lots of photos of my Cyclamen buds, flowers, stems, etc., so I'm having to refer to those photos now since the flowers are long gone.  But I still have some new buds coming in and one of them is at just the right place to be able to use it for an example of highlights and shadows. 

I'm happier with the Calyx on the bud now, and I feel like the bud itself is a bit more realistic.  As I begin working on the final touches in my last couple of days, I'm hoping it will really look good! :)  Here's what I have tonight...



I'll have more to see tomorrow - the changes today were very small, but necessary. Thank you so much for stopping by.



Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will direct your path.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

March 19 - Today has been such a glorious day, as I was not expecting it to be in the 60s with blue, sunny skies! So my walk in the park with my two daughters and my lil' grandbaby and the dogs was extra wonderful! Then I got home and of course just had to work in the yard and in my garden!

We haven't lived in this house for over 5-1/2 years... So the yard and my adorable little garden have been utterly forsaken by me during this time.  You can possibly imagine the thrill of my heart when we have a nice day here and there and I can get out and begin a major cleanup with lots of loving care!

You would think that after a walk and some gardening life couldn't get much better - but I have just spent 4 hours working on my composition and I am very blessed at how it is turning out!

Here's what I have so far...



Well, other than my light source coming in from the right instead of from the left like it should be, I like how the seed head is turning out so far.  I should fix it, but not sure I can - I may mess it up, so I'll have to think about it a bit...  I still have a lot to do on the stem, so it will give me some time to consider what to do, if anything :)

Hope you had sunshine in your day today. I pray lots of wonderfulness for you all as we approach springtime and gardening and the newness of life! What a wonderful time of year when things impacted by the cold, snowy and rainy days of winter get to be cleaned up and brought back to life...

A perfect time to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

"Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph over His foes!" - I love that hymn! 




My husband built this little broken down and abandoned garden for me - many years ago. It was so beautiful then and I loved slipping away through the white picket gate each day, emerging with beautiful rose stems for the vase inside and lots of vegies and fruit in a basket... 

All that is gone now - it has lost it's gate and it is leaning and broken due to storms that have come and gone, there is nothing growing in it except some grass, weeds & Ivy...


But you know, there's huge blessings in fixing something up and breathing life into it again.  That's what springtime is all about!  A few nails here and there to strengthen it again, a fresh coat of paint, a new gate, a lot of weeding and a little planting and twa-la!  

March 20 - Happy Spring!! It's finally here and it brought with it lots of rain... But that's good because it forced me to stay out of my garden and get some of my composition done.

Today I worked on putting the right side of my seed head in shadow and gave my newly opening bud and stem a first and second wash.  I'm happy with this for the evening and am off to bed now...


I'm happy with this composition so far and may even want to frame it when I finish.  It does have the glitch above the cross section study in graphite, but I am certainly nowhere near a place of perfect in my botanical illustration with watercolor, so it may just have to be okay enough to frame :)

Thank you so much for stopping by! I pray your Spring rains of 2018 will bring many colorful flowers with lots of dreamy fragrance and many wonderful miracles of life!



Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain - The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.
— Zechariah 10:1

March 21-22 - Moving along in Unit 10, racing toward the end of this course - hoping and praying along the way, nothing major will happen to prevent me from finishing my composition!

I don't want to rush or feel rushed, and I am threatened daily with thoughts that I'm not getting better with watercolor at all.  But I re-assure myself by going back to the beginning of this course and looking through all the techniques and all hard work and the obvious progression due to practicing on a more regular basis.

Although I do see a new style emerging, I'm hoping it will transition into a tighter more botanical illustration look over time. So I've decided to not fret about it and keep pressing on toward the goal.  Here's what I have for the past two days...


It will be a great temptation after this course to just go back to my comfortable graphite work and neglect practicing my watercolor, and I absolutely don't want that to happen!  I plan to work along in my Sketchbook Squirrel membership on a daily basis, in addition to finishing up my Drawing & Painting Leaves course with Dianne Sutherland as I have mentioned before.

If you are not aware of Sketchbook Squirrel, you should check it out online.  Jarnie Godwin is a beautiful botanical illustrator that anyone would love to study along with.  And you can also find Dianne Sutherland's website online.

Thank you for stopping by on my journey to becoming a botanical illustrator... It's going to take a while, but I'm gonna give it my best shot!



March 23 - Exhausted and heading to bed, but wanted to show you what I've worked on nearly all day - at least 6-8 hours! It's a lot, but with all these hours of practice today I'm feeling like I'm learning so much more... Here's what I have :)


Hope you are all having a wonderful day of making art!  Blessings to you all and thank you so much for stopping by.  Only one week to go!!


March 24 & 25 - Hello again! I had to take a break yesterday because my fingers and wrist were aching a bit and I can't afford to overdo it in these last few days.  My due date for my final RBGE Certificate Course Composition is Friday, March 30 at 3 p.m!!!  EEEEEKKKK!! 

I'm starting to feel the pressure a bit to finish on time, but I will keep my cool and press on - full blast ahead.

Here's what I finished up tonight...


And here's some New News:  I have decided to apply for the 3-year Online RBGE Diploma Course afterall.  I don't know if they will accept my application, but I'm gonna give it a try!  It can be a very competitive course to get into and I need to put together a portfolio of 6-10 pieces to send in with my application!!! Oh my... Here I go.

I'll keep you updated on the process of that, but for now - I'm just making a decision.  The course will begin in September of this year, so I'm going to be quite busy practicing all of the techniques I have learned during this RBGE Certificate Course.

KK - Until tomorrow... Blessings to you!


March 26 - I wanted to show you the steps I take to do my last flower.  I have been taking pictures of each wash and dry brush work I do before letting it dry and beginning again.  I probably will not be finishing it tonight, but you will be glad to know that I got the smallest leaf finished as well! 

Here's what I have for today's progress:


Now I can do the erasing of the pencil lines around the flower form and continue on with a few more washes here and there and then details and tonal work. I will continue to take photos of each step and show more tomorrow.

I'm really getting excited now! I only have the large leaf and the rest of the flower to go and I'm praising God all the way for everything I have learned in the past six months.

I will need to begin gathering 6-10 pieces of work for my portfolio to go out with the RBGE Diploma course application as soon as I receive it.  Not sure when that will be, but the course begins in September of this year, so it should be soon.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I created this website to be an encouragement to all who stop by, but in fact, you have all become an even greater encouragement to me and I praise God for each of you and pray many blessings for you all as you have blessed me!



March 27 - I worked on the left flower today and still need to add shadows as well as finish the stem - but tomorrow I'll work on the big leaf and get that mostly done - then on Thursday I will do detail work and clean up my edges (which I have been doing all along), and have it turned in by 3:00 p.m. on Friday.

I am having to really work hard to not lose interest.  I have saved the big leaf until the end, in hopes that it would be something I could look forward to that's not just more pinks! lol - It's kind of working :)


I also need to add in my three dissection pieces at the bottom left under the cross-section in graphite.  While the cross-section is done at 2x larger, the three small dissections will be at 3x or 4x larger to show even more detail.

I do love it. I still have so much to learn and to get better at.  Watercolor is definitely not one of those things that come naturally for me as it does for others - I have to really work hard at it and right now, if I don't practice, I quickly lose anything I can do right this moment.

I'm hoping in time and with continued practice, I will get better and become more comfortable and more able to paint with watercolor naturally.  We'll see - For me, it's worth the try!


Thank you again for stopping by.  We are almost done visiting at this post of the RBGE Certificate Course.  I hope you will continue to read through my posts and other journeys I will be taking :) It's always funner with you here!  Remember to subscribe to my monthly Newsletter below - and you can read the past issues in the menu above.



March 28 - So tired - but pressing on - Tomorrow I will finish the big leaf and the dissections at the bottom (hopefully).  Friday, I will be up early to work on finishing details and some darkening of my graphite to bring it to the same tonal value as the paint and then I will submit it around 2:30 p.m. to be sure it's in by 3!!!

Here's what I have for today...


I just love that baby leaf! Actually, the weirdest thing - I am starting to really enjoy working leaves in watercolor - and believe me! That was NOT the case before this course! I was having the hardest time in Dianne Sutherland's Drawing and Painting Leaves course. But now when I return to finish that course after RBGE is done - then maybe it will go a little smoother!

I sure hope so!

Blessings for a wonderful day! - Remember:  Practice Makes Art!



March 29-30 - Just under 14 hours to go before my Cyclamen persicum Composition is due to end my RBGE Certificate Course!!!  Of course, I still have so much to do...

Lord Jesus, help me to paint and not faint! :)

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
— Deuteronomy 33:26



Update at 4:43 a.m. March 30 - Big leaf done... I think... :)


Well, it's 7:19 a.m. on March 30 - and I think I have done all I can physically do! I wanted to add three dissections in graphite at the bottom left, but I'm happy the way it is. I have not submitted yet, and I'm going to get some sleep and see how I feel when I wake up :)

Update: I couldn't sleep and finally got the energy at 1:00 p.m March 30 to get back to work and finish it up! I submitted it on time and I feel great! 

Thank you so much for your prayers through this whole 6 months of the RBGE Online Certificate Course! I have improved as a botanical illustrator and that was all I really wanted! :)

Here's the Final Piece - Cyclamen persicum on Moulin du Roy watercolor paper, painted with Winsor & Newton Professional watercolors and Faber-Castell 9000 series graphites. Also, I used Billy Showell's #2 watercolor brush and her Eradicator brush (which I love!)


We had to scan our work and submit it in this form :)

Final Piece 600 dpi.jpeg

April 17, 2018 - Today I received my final grade for the RBGE Certificate Course - Much higher than I thought it would be!! Truly, I'm shocked, but feel very blessed as I have learned so much during this course!

Overall Grade: Distinction - 82/100!

If you are interested in taking the RBGE Certificate Online Course, which is a good lead in to the RBGE Diploma Course, you can find it at Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh.  I highly recommend this 6 month course.




May 16, 2018 - I decided to get my Cyclamen persicum framed! :)













Below are Memories of the RBGE Online Certificate Course 10/2017-3/2018...