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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.

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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 Botanical Zentangle®

 

This class is a continuation of Botanical Zentangle® that aims to polish “botangle” skills by translating plant forms and textures into Zentangle-like patterns. Skills include drawing fluid lines, a better understanding and control of light on form using line and shading, and developing botanical Zentangles with a step-out method. The class will explore “tanglations” (variations of existing tangles) and use tangles within other tangles to create new ones. Students will share new designs with classmates and create a small portfolio of 12 completed tangles, incorporating new designs into familiar ones. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Zentangle®

 

.• Fri-Sun, Oct. 30-31, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser, CZT

 

 

Aquascapes: Liquid Landscapes in Mixed Media

Dive into the stunning world of the underwater garden! Aquascaping is the art of creating unique aquatic landscapes that mimic natural landscapes or abstract paintings, using freshwater aquatic plants, stones and wood. Numerous annual competitions attract exquisite entries from all over the world. With careful guidance, construct your own miniature aquascape for reference using plants, natural objects and other materials available at the first class. Learn techniques for depicting water, still and in motion, and objects as they appear under water. Finish with drawn or painted fish to add action to your aquascape. Work in your choice of colored pencil, watercolor, ink or mixed media to complete a dynamic underwater landscape that will stay fresh forever! Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, entry-level course in another media of your choice or Certificate in Botanical Illustration.

 

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Autumn Leaves in Watercolor

 

Expand your watercolor repertoire. Colorful autumn leaves are your playground as you explore new techniques and materials to create artistic leaf studies. With a focus on painterly effects, you¬l experiment with dabbing, splattering and charging. Sound like fun? That³ the idea. Play with watercolor and develop new techniques to enhance your illustrations. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

• Thu, Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

BI 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: $230 member, $285 non-member

 

  Mon, Sep. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 9 a.m.   noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

BI 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.

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

•Tue, July 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

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

All assignments are to be completed no later than Nov. 20, 2015.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

BI 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.

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, July 30, Aug. 6, 20, 27, Sep. 3, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 20-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 22, 2015.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

BI 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.

 

• Tue, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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

 

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Mon, June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

•Tue, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Tue, Nov. 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 8, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri-Sun, Nov. 13-15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

BI 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.

 

•Wed, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 11-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Jan. 22, 2016.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

BI 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.

• Mon, Aug. 17, 24, 31, Sep. 14, 21, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Mon, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

 

BI 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: $230 member, $285 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. 16-17, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Nov. 23, 2015.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member.

• Tue, Nov. 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 8, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Blackwork

Blackwork is an embroidery technique whose history can be traced back some 500 years. Its height of popularity was in the time of King Henry VIII, when Catherine of Aragon brought blackwork-adorned garments with her from Spain. The technique involves using intricate patterns stitched in black thread on a white ground. Dramatic effects can be created when you start to shade these patterns, and it is this you will learn from instructor Sarah Homfray. You will work on a botanical rose design using traditional blackwork stitches and some modern shading techniques. Sarah will lead you step by step through the process, showing you first how to work the patterns and then how to shade them to create your own beautiful piece of botanical-inspired blackwork embroidery. Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member. Prerequisites: No prerequisites, although some experience of basic hand embroidery (dressmaking, needlepoint, cross-stitch or similar) would be beneficial.

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after August 14, 2015, unless your seat can be filled.

 

•Mon-Wed, Sep. 14-16, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Sarah Homfray, U.K.

 

 

Sarah Homfray learned traditional hand embroidery during a prestigious Royal School of Needlework (RSN) three-year apprenticeship. She graduated in 2006 and went on to teach for the RSN in certificated, diploma, seasonal and day courses in several locations across England and in the United States.

She continued her training, gaining a certificate in education from the University of Greenwich, a BTEC in botanical painting and drawing from Richmond upon Thames College and a diploma in fine art from the Cyprus College of Art. She is the author of “The Royal School of Needlework: Essential Stitch Guide to Silk Shading” and was privileged to be part of the team of embroiderers who worked the embroidery on the wedding dress of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Sarah now runs a mail-order shop and teaches from her studio in Nottinghamshire. She is currently working on a new distance-learning course venture.

 

Botanical Zentangle®

 

 

Based on the worldwide doodling craze called Zentangle® started by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, we will learn and practice repetitive strokes that form intricate decorative botanical patterns. Learn to relax and focus as you express your style through complex ornamental drawings that are simple to render but look amazing and complicated. We will practice strokes consciously and deliberately, observe botanicals and mock their natural designs to make our own “botangles,” or repetitive strokes based on plants. Using keen observation and contour drawing techniques combined with the ability to translate plant forms and textures into patterns, you will create your own special botangle. Fee: $90 member, $125 non-member. Open to everybody, with no prerequisites.

• Sun, Aug. 9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser, CZT

 

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

 

• Fri-Sun, Sep. 25-27, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Tue, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Botany II: Fungi

Fungi are essential to the survival of many groups of organisms and are considered to be the threads that keep ecosystems together. Over 90 percent of plants in nature have mycorrhizae, associations of their roots with fungi, which help to scavenge essential minerals from nutrient-poor soils. Molecular methods have dramatically increased our knowledge of the kingdom Fungi. Fungal organisms are estimated to outnumber plants at least six to one; the recent estimates suggest that as many as 5.1 million fungal species may exist. During this workshop you’ll learn the essentials about this fascinating, extremely diverse kingdom. It is specifically recommended to those who are taking the Colorado Mushrooms workshop. Fee: $90 member, $125 non-member. Prerequisite: Botany for the Botanical Illustrator strongly recommended.

 

• Wed, July 22, 9 a.m. – 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. Suggested donation $5.

 

 

Carbon Dust

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

• Mon, Nov.2, 9, 16, 23, Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

 

Chinese Flower Painting

The Chinese flowering chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and longevity. It blooms when most flowers wither under the onslaught of frost and icy winds. Bamboo exemplifies integrity, for it bends in a storm but does not break. In addition, its straight exterior and hollow culm symbolize humility and fidelity. In this class you will learn to paint chrysanthemum and bamboo the Chinese way. You will also explore a number of Chinese characters that make up interesting sayings to go with the bamboo and chrysanthemum paintings. Writing Chinese characters not only gives insight into Chinese culture but can also be a relaxing and meditative practice for people of all ages. Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after September 1, 2015, unless your seat can be filled.

 

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

Instructor: Sally Yu Leung, San Francisco, CA

 

Sally Yu Leung is an independent lecturer, author and curator of Chinese decorative art. Since 2001, she has also assumed the role of Chinese culture and calligraphy instructor for Pixar Animation Studios. In 2005 she was the recipient of the Woman Warrior Award in the Arts. From 1999-2009, she served as a commissioner for the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. In June 2012 she was listed in the Chinese Ministry of Culture’s Hall of Fame among those who contribute to the protection and preservation of Chinese cultural heritage.

 

 

Classic Leather Journal

You’ll carry it with you always to record your daily events, your accomplishments, your ideas. No matter the subject, collect and cherish your drawings and writings in a timeless leather journal you make yourself. The classic 4.5” x 6” writing journal will include 160 pages and a pen holder. It closes with either snaps or magnets when not in use. You can choose your favorite color for the leather casing. Fee: $270 member, $325 non-member (including materials). Prerequisite: Knowledge of basic bookbinding techniques.

 

• Tue, Sep. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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