Art Instruction

Introduction to Botanical Art in Watercolor @ SF Botanical Garden

DATES: February 9 – May 2 & 3 – September 12 & 13

Regular workshops will be held at SFBG. Join me as I continue to teach watercolor techniques as they apply to botanical art. This year I will be announcing themed classes designed to take a deeper dive on narrower subjects. Details will be available soon at

Investigating Camellias & Magnolias

San Francisco Botanical Garden

Sunday, February 9th from 10:00AM-4:00PM

Come take a playful look at the robust leaves of a magnolia, or the papery flowers of a camellia. These early spring beauties are the subject of this workshop with local botanical artist, Sally Petru. Students will create study sheets to understand the parts and habit of these specimens. The purpose of this workshop is to work comfortably and loosely in graphite and watercolor to depict aspects of the plant that invite intrigue. Sally will offer demonstrations as well as one on one assistance. Bring a lunch. A materials list will be provided. Basic materials will be available for purchase.

About the instructor: Sally Petru is a botanical illustrator with 18 years of experience. She has been teaching both beginners and experienced artists locally for several years now. She obtained a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from Filoli in Woodside after several years of small group instruction. She finds that teaching botanical art brings both her and her students great joy. Her involvement in teaching and promoting botanical art has created a sense of community.


LOCATED In Golden Gate Park, with entrances at the corner of Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way (Main Gate) & at MLK Jr. Drive


Come by Wednesdays from 1-4pm to learn basic drawing techniques. These weekly sessions are designed to build your understanding of form, light, and color mixing in watercolor. Through close observation of a subject you will produce an accurate drawing from which you can base your painting. Artist Winnie Wong will be teaching alongside Sally in oil. This is a new team teaching opportunity. We hope you’ll join us. FEE: $40 per drop in or $150 per month. It’s best to contact Sally to arrange for a spot in the class as times may change, or for private or group sessions.

Ongoing classes are available on Thursdays from 11-2pm in the home studio by arrangement.

Northern California Society of Botanical Artists presents

Workshop: Leaves – Illuminating Hidden Colors 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 from 10:00 to 3:00

4th Street Fine Art Studio Gallery – 2000 4th Street, Berkeley, CA

Note: Members of NCalSBA have first priority events


Armed with a Certificate from the Filoli Botanical Art Program, undergraduate studies in horticulture and studio art, and extensive coursework with Botanical Art Masters, I began teaching in 2011.  It has been my pleasure to work with budding artists of all ages, having worked with children from age 6 to adults. The greatest challenge came while teaching child, parent, and grandparent in one workshop at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. What a delight to see this kind of collaboration. Whether the instruction is private or group, I can tailor your lessons to fit your needs.

I gladly open my home studio, located off of my garden, for private or group instruction. Interested students may assemble their own groups or join ongoing classes. Workshops may also be coordinated either in the home studio or elsewhere.


My botanical art classes with Sally opened the door to that which previously was a mystery:   “How do they do that?”   In a process that initially seemed almost too daunting for this novice, Sally’s patient and enthusiastic teaching style encourages me at every step, challenges me to really see what I am looking at, and gives me the tools and techniques to translate those visions into paintings I can be proud of.   And I get to have fun, in the process, too!  Thank you, Sally!

Contact me for more information.