Botanical pigment & watercolour making workshop

Learn how to harness the colour potential of British native plants to create your own unique set of botanical pigments.

Star shaped artwork from pigment

Date and time

1 May 2023, 10.30am to 4pm


Botanical Brasserie Restaurant Courtyard, Kew Gardens


Member: £110

Non-member: £120

Maximum capacity

20 people

In this workshop with Lucy Mayes from London Pigment, you will learn how to make a botanical palette of three primary colours from native plant species: madder (red), woad (blue) and weld (yellow).

Make a set of pigments from plant dyes using the traditional ‘lake making process’. This process will convert a soluble plant dye into an insoluble pigment ready to be used in any binding medium to create a range of different paints.

You will:

  1. process the plant material
  2. extract the colouring compounds
  3. mix in alum, which will be the basis for your pigment
  4. add a special material that will ‘fix’ the dye to the alum 
  5. filter off the water
  6. make a range of watercolour paints from your newly formed pigment by adding some cherry gum binder

Leave the class with your own set of botanical watercolours and a completed, specially designed colour chart. 

Multicoloured water paint on white paper
Botanical pigment & watercolour making workshop © Lucy Mayes