Ann Swan



Ann works primarily in graphite and coloured pencil and is well known for her fine detail, vibrant colours and strong contemporary style.  She favours the underdog or the unusual in the plant world, drawing our attention to their beauty through her striking compositions. She is constantly experimenting with her chosen medium, trying to achieve a more painterly effect and ever brighter colours and has recently started a series of ‘Larger than Life’ images magnifying small sections of plants and pushing the boundaries of botanical art a bit further.

Ann is passionate about coloured pencils believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can very quickly produce work of quality. Recently retired from many years exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and judging on the RHS Picture Panel she now devotes her energies to teaching and is happy to pass on all her techniques and knowledge.  She runs regular workshops at her studio in Wiltshire and around the world including Spain, Italy, France, South Africa and the USA. Ann also teaches for the RHS at Wisley Gardens and for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Several of her students are now also members of the Society of Botanical Artists and some have achieved RHS medals and also teach in this country and abroad.

Her work is represented in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection and features in many private collections around the world. Exhibitions include The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1994, the Hunt Institute’s 8th International Exhibition in Pittsburgh, USA and ‘Nature’s Bounty’ at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Kew Gardens in 2016.

Ann’s popular book ‘Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils’ is published by Harper Collins and available in the USA as ‘Botanical Portraits in Colored Pencil’. In 2016 Ann will be launching a new website with a regular newsletter   © plus online tuition, tips and tricks. You can also follow her on Facebook and on her blog.

Medal History

1990  RHS Silver Gilt Medal

1991  RHS Gold Medal

1993  RHS Gold Medal

1994  Silver Medal 14th World Orchid Conference

1997  RHS Gold Medal

1999  RHS Gold Medal (jointly with Gillian Barlow and Pauline Dean)


2004 SBA President’s Award for work in other media (shared)

2004 SBA People’s Choice ‘Teasel’

2011 SBA Suzanne Lucas Memorial Award

2011 UKCPS 3rd Best in Show

2011 UKCPS People’s Choice Coloured Pencil

2011 UKCPS People’s Choice Mixed Media

2012 SBA Certificate of Botanical Merit ‘Walnut Life Cycle’

Pictures purchased by the RHS Lindley Library

‘Parasol Trio’      2006

‘Prickly Pear’      2008

‘American Corn’ 2009

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