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Françoise Balsan

Graduated from the Ecole du Louvre and the Sorbonne in Art History

After first copying the botanical painting of the old masters (Ambrosius Bosschaerts, David de Heem, Jan Brueghel de Velours) I switched to watercolor painting having for reference masters: Nicolas Robert, Claude Aubriet, Sybilla Merian and Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

With my background as an academic (degrees in Art History from the École du Louvre and the Sorbonne (Paris IV), I researched treatises left by students of Pierre-Joseph Redouté for my study of the artist's techniques. Thanks to my experience as a teacher, the  techniques of Pierre-Joseph Redouté are easily accessible.

I teach in Nice and lead workshops in many places (Saint Paul de Vence, Paris, Le Perche) including on line via the internet.

The workshop

My techniques and inspirations

In my studio, I paint in watercolor fresh flowers picked in the gardens, during my walks, bought at the flower market of Nice. I paint in watercolor on paper or parchment. I work by superimposing glaze or in the manner of the great master Pierre Joseph Redouté (see tutorials).


Botanical painting

Rediscover a technique full of finesse that has been somewhat forgotten.

Botanical art which includes illustrious artists such as Nicolas Robert and Pierre-Joseph Redouté, has been out of fashion and is often relegated to scientific collections (Museum of Natural History in Paris for example) where it is similar to the herbaria of yesteryear. This delicate art requires the use of watercolor which thanks to its transparency and the freshness of its colors gives a lot of subtlety and finesse to the paintings. Watercolor is traditionally applied on satin finished paper or vellum.

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