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Botanical Illustration

Denver Botanic Gardens' School of Botanical Art and Illustration program is designed to offer a comprehensive series of classes in botanical illustration, providing participants the drawing and painting skills required to render accurate and useful depictions of the plant world with a focus on detail. This program is for the dedicated illustrator, as well as the devoted amateur. It culminates in a portfolio and certificate for some students and offers an ongoing program of botanical illustration classes for others.

 

Attendance is required at the first class for all required courses. Please contact the program manager for the attendance policy on elective courses.

 

Please make sure that you have completed all the pre-requisites for this class by the time of the first session. Materials list for each course is attached to your registration confirmation.

 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations more than one week prior to a class are subject to a 15% cancellation fee. Cancellations with less than one weeks notice are non-refundable; please consider your payment a donation to the Gardens.

Bind Your Own Sketchbook

Learn a simple, elegant and functional crossed structure binding an create your own archival leather covered art journal in one day.

 

Fee: $95 member, $130 non member.

 

Sat, July 16, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

 

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I

 

You’ve learned to layer colored pencil, now learn techniques to draw effectively in this medium. Apply your drawing skills and learn new methods specific to colored pencils. Techniques include layering, building and burnishing in color. This versatile, portable medium is perfect for sketching on location as well as producing studio pieces. Learn through instruction, demonstration and practice on small studies of botanical subjects. You’ll be ready to produce a finished plate in Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

 

• Wed, Aug. 24, 31, Sep. 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 4-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 16, 2016.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II

Take your colored pencil skills to the next level and become proficient in this fun, versatile medium. Work through a step-by-step process to create a preparatory layered drawing. Learn techniques to create texture, detail and depth to enhance your subject. Experiment with different surfaces and solvents for blending and shading. Add depth with atmospheric perspective and learn finishing techniques that will make your drawings pop. Individual attention will guide you to create a finished botanical plate. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Color Layering for Colored Pencil, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Sep. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Oct. 14, 2016.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

•Mon, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I

Pen and ink is at the heart of botanical illustration. Expand your drawing repertoire as you learn techniques to create line, form and texture in black and white. “Expressive line” and “stipple” become part of your artistic vocabulary as you practice this traditional medium with modern and versatile technical pens. Step-by-step instruction, demonstration and practice will give you the foundation you need to draw any botanical subject accurately and skillfully. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I; Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Aug. 5-6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Sep. 9, 2016.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II

 

Take your pen and ink skills to a new level of sophistication. Explore the Gardens’ limitless world of color, texture and complex botany and incorporate this information into black-and-white illustrations. Working with both technical pen and traditional quill, learn advanced techniques to make strokes mimic the fuzz on a fern, the down in a milkweed pod or the mottled colors of a variegated begonia. Learn how to layer and manipulate lines and stipples to develop a full range of value, texture and atmospheric perspective. Pen techniques take on new meaning as you flesh out the final inked illustration of a plant of your choice. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Aug. 23, 30, Sep. 6, 13, 20, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

 

Learn to draw! Begin with a brief history and an overview of the specific elements of botanical illustration. Learn the skills of careful observation and realistic drawing in graphite pencil, including line drawing, shading and perspective. Step by step, added techniques help you render accurate perspective, texture and detail. This is the entry course for every program student and a prerequisite for all required courses to follow. You’ll emerge from this class with the tools you need to draw anything. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri-Sun, May 27-29, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Fri-Sun, July 22-24, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Fri-Sun, Sep. 23-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Tue, Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil II

 

Simple and classic, pencil drawing is a timeless art form. Expand on the drawing skills you learned in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I as you reinforce and refine your knowledge of graphite pencil. Learn additional techniques for shading, texture, perspective, depth and composition. A good drawing is the basis of botanical illustration in any medium. Group instruction and individual attention are tailored to help you complete a botanical plate in this subtle and striking medium. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

•Tue, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Jan. 27, 2017.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I

 

Become part of the watercolor botanical tradition. Combine drawing skills and your knowledge of color mixing as you discover the delight of putting brush to paper to learn the specific techniques of transparent watercolor. Instruction, demonstration and practical exercises will guide you through a variety of watercolor techniques: flat and graded washes, highlights and drybrush detail. Learn to build washes for depth of tone and shading, and how to create soft and hard edges. With these foundational skills you’ll be ready to create a finished plate in Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, May 20-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than June 24, 2016.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Wed, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Thu, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II

 

Watercolor basics got you started; now develop your confidence as you work toward completing a finished plate from a live specimen in this most traditional of botanical media. The emphasis here is on bringing it all together. Learn and refine additional techniques through instruction, demonstration and practice, with special attention given to layering, shading and building form. Discover brush techniques and colors that enhance perspective and depth. Follow painting steps through completion, from broad washes to final detail. Learn how to fix mistakes and understand why watercolor is a forgiving medium. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Oct. 21-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Nov. 23, 2016.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

•Thu, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

 

What is the difference between a carpel and a pistil? Where can I find the stamen? The science of the subjects you draw determines what you see! Put away your pencils for this enlightening lab class designed specifically for students of botanical illustration. Take a close look at plant anatomy and learn to recognize botanical details that will make your drawings more accurate and realistic. Learn plant morphology through detailed instruction and supporting visuals. All of your botanical art will improve when you understand the subjects. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri-Sun, Aug. 19-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Wed, Nov. 9, 16, 30, Dec. 7, 14, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

 

Café Botanique

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program and is open to Botanical Art and Illustration students, Gardens' members, the general public, academia and artists. The 30-40 minute talk starts at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by a discussion. This lecture offers one elective credit hour in the BI-program. Fee: $5.

 

 

Carbon Dust I

 

Push your drawing skills into a new realm. Carbon dust has been a mainstay medium for medical and scientific illustrators for more than 75 years. Using a combination of pencil lines and dust “washes” applied with brushes, this medium produces rich tonal renderings with the value range of charcoal and the precision of watercolor. You’ll be introduced to the various tools associated with carbon dust, including carbon pencils, dust, brushes, blenders and fixative. Choose a subject well suited to the technique and learn to use methodical layering to create a flawless continuous tone. Complete the finer details with pencil for a finished carbon-dust rendering. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II or Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

•Tue, Nov. 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Chrysanthemum, the Queen of Fall Flowers

Cultivated chrysanthemums originated in China, where the plant has been in cultivation for 500 years. In this class, learn how to tackle these challenging composites, which have blooms in a stunning diversity of colors, shapes and sizes. Start with step-by-step exercises that unravel the complex perspective. Build value “maps” to capture the spherical dimensions of the flower head and its bold color patterns. Then, using contemporary approaches to design, develop your own sizzling color botanical plate. In-class guided exercises, demonstrations and lots of individual attention will direct you toward a finished work as lush and spectacular as these amazing fall dazzlers! Prerequisites: Perfecting Perspective and entry-level color media of choice, or Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT at United States Botanic Gardens – Washington, D.C.

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

In-class sessions: Sat-Sun, Sep. 24-25, 9 a.m. – 4p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

All assignments are to be completed no later than Oct. 21, 2016.

NOTE: This class is being offered in conjunction with the United States Botanic Gardens – Washington, D.C., and the non-credit on-site component can be taken by registering through their website.

 

Color Layering for Colored Pencil

Colored pencil presents a special challenge: mixing color directly on your drawing! Learn to use a simple color-mixing method adapted to the application of colored pencils. Two-, three- and four-color mixing will get you to the gorgeous greens and luscious lilacs you’ve been missing. Learn to determine shadow colors for vibrant results. Practice color matching with a variety of plant material as you create your own extensive color workbook to speed color selection and application for all future colored pencil drawings. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri-Sun, Aug. 26-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, Dec. 2-4, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

Color Mixing

The first step to watercolor painting is mixing colors. Learn a system for combining colors consistently to eliminate frustrating trial and error. Exercises, demonstrations and discussion will show you how to achieve the broadest possible spectrum. Learn about paint properties and important information about choosing pigments. Practice mixing colors to match a variety of plant material. You’ll gain confidence and skills to improve all of your color work. No prerequisites.

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member.

• Tue, May 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

• Mon, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Mon, Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

Color Palettes That Inspire the World

Look at those colors! Who painted that masterpiece? Artists are often recognized by the color palette they use in their paintings—van Gogh’s bold blue-violets, greens and yellows; Matisse’s crisp primaries and secondaries; Picasso’s moody blues. Although the world is awash in color, painters usually limit their selection of pigments for a particular painting. In this class, discover why and how color is at the core of successful paintings. Glean a color scheme from a favorite piece of art, and learn how to develop your own three-dimensional color “tree” based, in part, on the Munsell Color System. Then use this chart to choose botanical subjects for your final watercolor piece. Demonstrations and exercises teach you how to construct a strong composition and use a limited palette to create a harmonious painting infused with artistic expression. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Composition for Botanical Illustration, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

•Wed, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, Sep. 7, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

The arrangement of line, shape and color in artwork is an art form in itself. The difference between a pleasant picture and amazing artwork is often found in composition. This course begins with a study of recognized masters and contemporary illustrators. Learn how to use compositional elements and principles in your botanical illustration. Create your own thumbnail compositions and develop insight and expertise to enhance all of your future illustrations. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Tue, April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Wed, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri-Sat, Nov. 18-19, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sun, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

 

 

Cornucopia in Complementary Colors

Magic or mud? If your complements are not getting compliments, it is time to delve into the effective use of color wheel opposites. See how adjacent complements create brilliance and layered complements create dullness and shadow. Learn to discern hidden complements and put them to work for you. Create a finished piece that celebrates fall’s bounty and shows off your mastery of complementary color. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

• Tue, Sep. 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Crystal, Glass, Shiny and Transparent Objects in Watermedia

Glass objects are among the most challenging things to paint in a realistic manner because both the solidity and the transparency of the objects need to be captured. Drawing glass objects can be a very technically difficult process. You will be working with watermedia and will learn to train your brain to see everything as nothing more than patterns of light, dark and colors. This workshop will make you confident in painting anything transparent or shiny. Fee: $280 member, $360 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

• Thu, Sep. 8, 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

Documenting and Collecting Across Cultures

From the Paleolithic to Leonardo da Vinci, and from the great Temple of Thutmose to the modern galleries and studios of London or New York, images have been carved or engraved in bones, stone or wood. Later, they were painted on walls, papyrus, velum or paper. As soon as books and manuscripts about plants began to be produced, illustrations became desirable and essential. During this workshop, you will learn about the long history of botanical illustration and its importance within medicine, botany and other scientific fields. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Wed, Sep. 14, 21, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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