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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.

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

 

Art at 75 MPH

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

 

Grab your pencils and buckle up! Take a break from the usual slower tempo of botanical illustration as you learn to capture the gist of a subject or scene at a fun, fast pace. Learn to trust your intuition, see in new ways and develop a personal language of pencil strokes. Train your eye to capture shape and movement on the fly and quickly translate the information onto paper. You’ll be surprised to see how this method of integrating art into your daily life improves all of your drawings as you learn to visually “cut to the chase.”“ Simple materials make this skill a natural for travel! Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Open to everybody with, no prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Libby Kyer

 

Art Materials for the Botanical Illustrator

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

 

This information-packed class will provide detailed information about all of the art materials used throughout the botanical illustration program. From papers to pencils, inks to pens, brushes to paints, students will learn where and how to find all the right materials and how they are used. Save time and money by shopping expertly the first time. Fee: $55 member, $85 non-member. Open to everybody with no prerequisites.

 

• Mon, Aug. 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) 1. Colored Pencil on Black Background

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

 

Artist trading cards are small, 2.5” x 3.5” originals or small editions that are designed to be traded with other artists. Originally this was a way to collect artwork without cost. The project was initiated in 1997 by Zurich artist Vanci Stirnemann. These tiny treasures are now often sold as art card editions and originals (ACEOs). Since “the trade is the thing” with ATC, this aspect of the original project aims to encourage not only the trade of art (the noncommercial aspect) but also to build community through the trading network. Fee: $120/session member, $150/session non-member (includes four blank cards).

1. Colored Pencil on Black Background

Start with fine art paper cards in black and learn the basic techniques needed to create vibrant work in a reverse-lighting style. Compose your botanical subjects to fit the small format, and produce several beautiful botanicals that fit in the palm of your hand. Pre-requisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

• Fri, Aug. 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) 2. Graphite and Water-Soluble Pencil

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

 

Artist trading cards are small, 2.5” x 3.5” originals or small editions that are designed to be traded with other artists. Originally this was a way to collect artwork without cost. The project was initiated in 1997 by Zurich artist Vanci Stirnemann. These tiny treasures are now often sold as art card editions and originals (ACEOs). Since “the trade is the thing” with ATC, this aspect of the original project aims to encourage not only the trade of art (the noncommercial aspect) but also to build community through the trading network. Fee: $120/session member, $150/session non-member (includes four blank cards).

 

2. Graphite and Water-Soluble Pencil

Create miniature works of art with graphite and add color as an accent to highlight areas of specific interest, or use the color as a compositional element.

Pre-requisites: Experience in drawing and any color media recommended.

 

• Sat, Aug. 2, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) 3. Zentangle® with Ink and Color

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

 

Artist trading cards are small, 2.5” x 3.5” originals or small editions that are designed to be traded with other artists. Originally this was a way to collect artwork without cost. The project was initiated in 1997 by Zurich artist Vanci Stirnemann. These tiny treasures are now often sold as art card editions and originals (ACEOs). Since “the trade is the thing” with ATC, this aspect of the original project aims to encourage not only the trade of art (the noncommercial aspect) but also to build community through the trading network. Fee: $120/session member, $150/session non-member (includes four blank cards).

 

3. Zentangle® with Ink and Color

Create miniature vignettes of the Gardens through the repetitive strokes of Zentangle®. You’ll focus on simple composition and enhance the forms with colored inks.

Pre-requisites: Entry level Zentangle® recommended.

 

• Sun, Aug. 3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Autumn Leaves in Watercolor

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

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.

`Tue, Sep. 30, Oct. 7, 21, 28, Nov 4, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

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 Colored Pencil II

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

 

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

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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 Pencil II

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

 

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

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• Tue, Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Mon, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

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

 

BI in Watercolor II

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

 

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. 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, Aug. 8-9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than September 19, 2014

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

• Thu, Oct 2, 9, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botanical Zentangle®

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

 

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, Sep. 28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser, CZT

 

 

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

 

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