Alison Cutts; scientific & botanical artist


I am an artist and scientific illustrator working in rural Northumberland (UK). I describe and explain the structures, shapes and textures of plants and animals and the space around them in two dimensions, with or without the use of colour.

I am fascinated by complex forms, repeating patterns and spirals.

I work in a range of media including watercolour, ink and coloured pencil, but always using many elements to build up the image. This could be many tiny dots of ink or many layers of transparent colour.

My career began as a scientist, and my artistic process begins with observation. I look, see, analyse and dissect. Then I draw to understand. Then I draw again in response, to explain, interpret and communicate.

Bsc Hons Zoology (with second year minor in Fine Art), Leeds University

PhD Biomechanics, Leeds University

Diploma in Botanical Illustration (Distinction), Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh

paintings and drawings

Brassica oleracea

A closer look at the humble cabbage... click the image to view the gallery


Prickly fascination... click the image to view the gallery


A many-legged group of arthropods... click the image to view the gallery


Academic, precise, pen and ink illustrations record the technical details... click the image to view the gallery


Loose, bold and sometimes colourful ink drawings capture the essence of a subject... click the image to view the gallery


When you have nothing but an iPad... click the image to view the gallery

exhibitions & awards

Current Exhibitions

30 November – 11 January - The Art Sale, Queens Hall Hexham

Recent Exhibitions

26 October – 1 November 2019 – Edinburgh Society of Botanical Artists 8th Annual Exhibition ‘ Infinite Beauty’ John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

2 - 29 September 2019 - "Subterraneous" an exhibition on the theme of invertebrates organised by the North Pennines AONB Bowlees Visitor Centre, Teesdale

13 - 22 September 2019 - RBGE Diploma Exhibition (final portfolio) Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

September 2018 : RBGE Diploma Exhibition (first year work)


Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) Fellow (elected 2019)

RBGE Eve Reid Bennett award for botanical illustration (2018)

talks, classes & workshops

I teach Botanical and Natural History Illustration at several venues in North East England including the Natural History Society of Northumbria and Newcastle Arts Centre.

Newcastle Arts Centre

14 March 2020 ‘Botanical Illustration – Eat Your Greens’. Further information at: Newcastle Arts Centre.

Natural History Society of Northumbria

28 January 2020 ‘A beginner’s guide to botanical drawing’. A relaxed hour at teatime exploring plant material 17:30 – 18.30

Open to all; members free, non-members £5. Booking required at: NHSN.

Starting 24 February 2020 ‘Botanical art from the very beginning’. Five week introductory course, Monday afternoons 13.15 – 15.15

More information at: NHSN.

I also teach botanical illustration to informal groups - if you would like to arrange a workshop for your group (or individual tuition) or an informal talk or demonstration, please email me at

Recent classes and talks include:

Stocksfield Plants & Gardens Society:

‘Botanical art and looking closely at cabbage’ 

Natural History Society of Northumbria:

An introduction to scientific illustration

Drawing a gastropod shell

Drawing a winter twig

Illustrating spring leaves

The nature sketchbook

The art of bones

The art of fossils

Printing with leaves (outdoor family activity day)

commissions, sales & licensing

Original work, prints and cards are for sale at exhibitions and at Allendale Forge Studios in Northumberland Allendale Forge Studios

Prints and cards are available at Etsy and at exhibitions.

I have a shop at Fine Art America where some of my images are available as prints, cards and homewares: Fine Art America

Original work is sometimes for sale at exhibitions.

All the images on this website are available to license - please email me at for details.

If you would like to commission a specific piece of work, please email me at to discuss.

professional memberships

I am a member of:

The Association of Illustrators: AOI portfolio

The Society of Botanical Artists: SBA page

Edinburgh Society of Botanical Artists: ESBA page


contact me at: