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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.

A test for your registration login

Please use your username and password to test your member login. If you login successfully, the registration option 'class adult' for $0 will appear and your login works. If you don't see it, email the registrar at registrar@botanicgardens.org or call 720 865 3580, leave your info and we'll send you a new password and username.

Please keep in mind if you've just renewed or purchased a membership it takes at least 48 hours to process.

Advanced Pen and Ink Techniques: Preparing for Publication

Registration begins December 9, 2014 at 9am. Class will appear sold out until then.

Here we will create a plant study that clearly shows all aspects of the plant, including details of vegetative and floral/fruiting structures. We will focus on measured drawing, scale (enlargement and reduction), showing clear details (including dissections), design and composition, and suitability for reduction. The final piece should be ready for publication and contain a figure legend including either scale bars or magnification. Students are welcome to bring along their previous work for critique. Suitable for more advanced students. Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Perfecting Perspective, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II, entry-level course in any color media, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Denver Botanic Gardens or completed certificate in botanical art and illustration, scientific illustration, nature illustration or equivalent from another institution.

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after January 12, 2015, unless your seat can be filled.

 

• Fri-Sun, March 6-8, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Lucy Smith, Kew Gardens, U.K.

 

Lucy T. Smith been producing pen and ink and color illustrations for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1999. She has completed 200 plates for the upcoming “Palms of New Guinea” monograph, as well as hundreds of other illustrations for various other plant families. Her work is reproduced in many journals, including Kew Bulletin, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. In 2001, she spent six weeks on the Endeavour replica, following in the footsteps of Sydney Parkinson, the artist on Cook’s voyage of 1768-1771, for a BBC documentary called “The Ship.” She has received many awards for her work, including two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration and the Jill Smythies Award from the Linnean Society of London. She teaches botanical illustration at Kew Gardens, the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Chelsea School of Botanical Art, all in London.

Amaryllis in Transparent Acrylics

Registration opens June 12, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

The awe-inspiring beauty of this native South African plant offers a perfect opportunity to explore acrylic as a transparent medium. Although transparent acrylic looks similar to watercolor, the damp-on-damp technique offers a more controlled and slower application process. The result: gorgeous, luminous washes! Step-by-step instruction, demos, and exercises will give you the necessary skills to build smooth washes, variegated patterns, soft textures, intricate details and a final amaryllis illustration. Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member (includes one blooming South African amaryllis or Hippeastrum from South America, depending on supply). Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

• Mon, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

 

• Wed, July 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Mon, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

BI in Pen and Ink I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I; Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended.

 

• Thu, Aug. 14, 21, 28, Sept. 4, 18, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Tue, Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

BI in Pen and Ink II

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

 

 

• Tue, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

BI in Pencil I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Mon - – Thu, July 14-17, 1 -– 5 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri - Sun, Aug. 15-17, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Tue, Aug. 26, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Fri - Sun, Oct. 17-19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Thu, Nov. 6, 13, 20, Dec. 4, 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri -– Sun, Nov. 21-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

BI in Watercolor I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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 Watercolor II. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

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• Tue, Aug. 26, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Tue, Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

`Fri - Sun, July 25-27, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

`Wed, Sep. 24, Oct. 8, 15, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

`Fri - Sun, Dec. 12-14, 9 a.m.  2:30 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. Suggested donation $5.

 

 

 

 

Charcoal on Colored Background (Other Than Black)

Registration will begin June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

This class is for you if you have advanced drawing skills. You’ll be introduced to white and black charcoal pencils, and you’ll work on colored background, primarily on the mid tones. Demonstrations and guided exercises will train you to draw in incredible detail. Individual attention and instructor demonstrations will boost your confidence and improve your work so you can produce a complete botanical plate from a live specimen. Fee: $155 member, $195 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

 

• Thu, Nov. 13, 20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Color Layering for Colored Pencil

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri - Sun, Oct. 3-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri - Sun, Dec. 5-7, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

•Wed, Nov. 12, 19, 26, Dec. 3, 10, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Light on Form

 

 

Take your drawings from flat to fabulous. The secret to portraying light and shadow on your subjects lies in understanding the scientific method of lighting as it applies to different forms. Beginning with basic geometric shapes, refine your skills in showing light and volume on any subject. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all other media. As you progress from fruits and vegetables, to leaves and flowers, to entire plants with complex shapes, you will overcome the obstacles in creating three-dimensional drawings. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

• Wed, July 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Wed, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 29, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – noon.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Wed, Nov.5, 12, 19, Dec. 3, 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

Mastering Pen and Ink

Registration opens December 9, 2014. Class will appear sold out until then.

In this course we will study different pen and ink techniques, allowing you to find the technique that best suits your style. Beginning with the basis of good measured drawing of plant material, we will then work on bringing finesse to your pen and ink work, focusing on drawing smooth lines and creating even tonal shading. Students are welcome to bring along their previous work for critique. Suitable for students who have medium to advanced skills. Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Perfecting Perspective, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator recommended, or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Denver Botanic Gardens or completed certificate in botanical art and illustration, scientific illustration, nature illustration or equivalent from another institution.

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after January 12, 2015, unless your seat can be filled.

 

• Mon-Wed, March 2-4, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Lucy Smith, Kew Gardens, U.K.

Lucy T. Smith been producing pen and ink and color illustrations for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew since 1999. She has completed 200 plates for the upcoming “Palms of New Guinea” monograph, as well as hundreds of other illustrations for various other plant families. Her work is reproduced in many journals, including Kew Bulletin, Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. In 2001, she spent six weeks on the Endeavour replica, following in the footsteps of Sydney Parkinson, the artist on Cook’s voyage of 1768-1771, for a BBC documentary called “The Ship.” She has received many awards for her work, including two gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration and the Jill Smythies Award from the Linnean Society of London. She teaches botanical illustration at Kew Gardens, the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Chelsea School of Botanical Art, all in London.

Perfecting Perspective

Do you shy away from complicated plants? Even experienced illustrators sometimes struggle with foreshortening and simplify their subjects to eliminate difficult elements. Work with botanical subjects that demonstrate each aspect of perspective and learn techniques for seeing and depicting perspective accurately. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all art media. Gain confidence in your drafting skills and improve all of your drawings from this class forward. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

• Thu, Aug. 14, 21, 28, Sept. 4, 18, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri - Sun, Nov. 14-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Pop-Up the Vegetables and Critters!

 

 

Explore the exciting structure of a cauliflower. See the drama in a potato. Discover a lively way to give wing to a dragonfly. Vegetable gardens invite us to focus on all parts of edible plants, and also the various bugs that help or hinder the gardener's efforts. In this workshop you will build a series of increasingly-complex pop-ups in greeting card form, handy for display or gifts. Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member. Beginners are welcome; experienced participants will explore new ways of applying fundamental mechanics to plant (and bug) forms.

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after October 5, 2014, unless your seat can be filled.

 

• Fri -– Sun, Nov. 7-9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Shawn Sheehy, Chicago, IL

 

Shawn Sheehy's interest in paper engineering is a result of study in sculpture, graphic design and book arts. His interest in the natural world stems from his years living in rural Indiana and teaching environmental studies. Shawn creates limited-edition pop-up books, contributes on the occasional commercial pop-up project and teaches paper engineering workshops. If he's not in the studio, you can find him in the garden.

 

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