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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.

Art Master Class: A Giant World of Tiny Details

During these three days, you will explore the drama that can be created by depicting the large-scale contrasts seen in nature. We will look at the structure of large subjects and the maze of wonderful details seen in repeating shapes in the crinkles and textures of leaves, the colors of flowers and seeds.

 

Prerequisite: Intermediate to advanced skills in watercolor.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Fri-Sun, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Isik Güner

Isik Güner studied environmental engineering at Marmara University in Istanbul. During her undergraduate years, she also began studying botanical illustration, attending courses by Christabel King. Immediately after she graduated from university in 2006, she began working full time as a botanical artist.

Isik is involved with several projects and is currently organizing botanical illustration courses in various countries including Spain, Chile, Turkey and Scotland. She has received several gold medals at the Royal Horticultural Society's botanical art exhibitions.

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’ll experiment with dabbing, splattering and charging. Sound like fun? That’s the idea. Play with watercolor and develop new techniques to enhance your illustrations. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

• Tue, Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

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: Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Tue, Aug. 29, Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Wed, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

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ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 1-2, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than January 15, 2018

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 Colored Pencil I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Thu, Sept. 14, 21, 28, Oct. 5, 12, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Wed, Nov. 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 9 a.m. - Noon

Instructor: Susan Rubin

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SOLD OUT

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 30 – July 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than July 30, 2017.

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: Light on Form

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Thu, June 8, 15, 22, July 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

• Mon, Oct. 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

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ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Aug. 25-26, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than October 2, 2017

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

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 Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Tue, July 25, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

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ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 3-4, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All Assignments are to be completed no later than December 16, 2017

Instructor: Marjorie Leggit

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Learn to draw! Begin 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.

 

No prerequisites.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Fri-Sun, Aug. 11-13, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

• Wed, Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Fri-Sun, Oct. 20-22, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri-Sun, Nov. 10-12, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

SOLD OUT DATES

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Tue, June 6, 13, 20, 27, July 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

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: Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Wed, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 9 a.m. - Noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

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ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 17-18, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than December 18, 2017

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

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: Light on Form, Color Mixing.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Tue, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

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ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, July 28-30, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than Aug. 31, 2017

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

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.

 

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Mon, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 6-9 p.m.

 

• Mon, Sept. 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

______________________________________________

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Oct. 27-28, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than November 30, 2017

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

No prerequisites.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

 

`Fri-Sun, June 16-18, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, Aug. 18-20, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, Oct. 6-8, 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: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Wed, Aug. 9, 16, 23, 30, Sept. 6, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Tue, Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

______________________________________________

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

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

Note: All assignments are to be completed no later than July 15, 2017.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

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.

 

No prerequisites.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Tue, July 25, Aug. 1, 8, 22, 29, 9 a.m. - Noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggit

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggit

 

SOLD OUT

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

 

Contrast and Cones: Scratchboard for Fine Details

 

Pen and ink on scratchboard surface is one of the most adaptable and forgiving combinations of pigment medium and surface. All fear of using ink is gone! Discover the excitement of scratchboard, where contrasts in textures and values produce dramatic and luminous effects. Choose your favorite subject matter, either a conifer cone or another subject with plenty of details, and create a stunning composition. Learn the techniques to convey form, shading, textures and spatial perspective in your composition. Work toward completing one or several final illustrations.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective.

 

• Thu, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

 

Dance of the Pen II: The Beautiful Hand of Spencerian Script

 

Spencerian script is a pen-written, vintage form of ornamental penmanship. Botanical prints from antiquity are graced with beautiful labels in the Spencerian hand. This extraordinary and legible lettering was popular in 19th- and early 20th-century America, and it became a major force for the instruction of handwriting in both public and private schools. Learn the Spencerian alphabet and write elegant letterforms with writing tools designed to aid penmen, calligraphers and writers of correspondence.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with drawing using quill and ink, Spencerian or copperplate lettering.

 

• Mon, Nov. 20, 27, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

Diversity of Life: The Magic of Our Planet

 

Biodiversity is the life-support system for our planet, and native species’ richness is linked to the health of our ecosystems. During this class, you’ll focus on the different Colorado ecosystems and the diverse critical associations between plants and animals. Your class starts with a presentation from a professional representing one of the many conservation programs in Colorado for habitat or species management. You will then select your plant species from a provided list and research its connection to wildlife. During the second session, you will study your animal subject matter, whether it is a bird, butterfly, insect or a mammal, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Back in the classroom, you will concentrate on composition, accuracy and clarity. Individual instruction and step-by-step demonstrations will guide you through the technical process. Working in the medium of your choice, you will create an informative educational presentation focusing on your plant specimen and its intimate association to the animals in one of Colorado ecosystems.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I or Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Composition for Botanical Illustration.

 

• Tue, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens), Nov. 21, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science), Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Drawing from Photos – a Love Story

The romance of using photos is such an easy trap to fall into! Once you fall in love, it’s hard to break away. Discover when and where to use photos. Learn how to locate reliable resources, develop composites from multiple images, alter visual information creatively yet accurately, and come up with a fresh illustration without infringing copyrights. Using a botanical subject of your choice, produces a palette in any medium using the techniques and information you learn.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Perfecting Perspective.

 

• Wed, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Drawing on Tradition: Botanical Wall Charts

 

Large-scale wall charts were fundamental tools of classroom instruction throughout Europe in the mid-19th and 20th centuries. Printed, they became more and more popular and were seen as valuable tools at the intersection of education, science and art. Elegant and beautiful, these illustrated charts offered vibrant colors, rich details and educational teaching. Among the best-known artists of these charts are Gottlieb von Koch, Carl Bollmann and Ebba Masalin. Today, the fascination for the aesthetic, scientific and pedagogical value of these illustrated wall charts continues to grow way beyond the borders of the academic world. From school walls to our homes, they are not only seen as practical but also artistic. During this class you’ll dissect your specimen, carefully document the morphological details and then compose a scientifically reliable plate. You’ll paint in the water medium of your choice, mimicking historic wall charts and telling the story of education from the past.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II or confidence in egg tempera.

 

• Thu, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

Drawing on Tradition: Illuminating the High and Dry Plants of the West

 

The western garden is a playground for hardy, drought-tolerant plants. Increase your knowledge of native plants, their life cycles and important pollinators that assist in their resiliency in dry and often extreme high and low temperatures. Discover how these hardy families miraculously thrive as you bring to life their portraits painted on skin vellum. Learn how to prepare the vellum to receive paint and illuminate the subjects’ story with accents gilded in gold. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

• Tue, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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