Esmee Winkel

Personal details

E-mail: esmee[at]


Scientific illustrator and Botanical artist at Naturalis Biodiversity Center.


  • Master Scientific Illustration, Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design and Maastricht University
  • Biology BSc, Leiden University


  • Fellow Linnean Society of London
  • American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA)
  • Wiener Schule der botanischen Illustration
  • Association of British Botanical Artists
  • La Société Française d’Illustration Botanique
  • Dutch Orchid Society


  • 2018: Gold Medal, Royal Horticultural Society, London, for 6 watercolours of Ophrys species.
  • 2017: The Margaret Flockton Award, Second Prize, for an illustration of Monanthotaxis pynaertii.
  • 2016: ASBA Botanical Illustrator Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Art.
  • 2016: Hermine van Bers Beeldende Kunstprijs, Honourable mention.
  • 2016: Gold Medal, Royal Horticultural Society, London, for 6 scientific illustrations.
  • 2014: Jill Smythies Award, The Linnean Society of London.
  • 2013: Gold Medal, Royal Horticultural Society, London, for 6 scientific illustrations.
  • 2012: Gold Medal, Biscot, Edinburgh, Scotland, for 8 scientific illustrations.
  • 2012: Jury award, ‘Focus on Nature’ exhibition, New York State Museum, USA, for an illustration of the reproductive system of dragonflies.
  • Her work is included in the permanent collections of Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Hortus botanicus Leiden, Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Focus on Nature New York State Museum, the RHS Lindley Library and in private (Royal) collections.

Drawing media

Pen and Ink, watercolour, pencil and digital drawing programs.


“Botanical paintings and Scientific Illustrations have an important role in the publications and theses of researchers. By illustrating for students, PhD candidates, Postdocs and senior researchers I aim at making a large contribution to Science and to botany in particular.

There still is no better way to capture the essence of a living plant or animal then by drawing or painting. Despite the great techniques of modern photography only with an illustration a reconstruction of a damaged plant or dried herbarium material is possible for example.

Also this form of art captures the beauty of plants and it is a powerful way to connect people with their environment and its plant life. So by exhibiting internationally, giving workshops, lectures and demonstrations, I believe that the awareness of scientific illustration and botanical art will grow and in this way underline the importance of studying nature.”