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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.

Advanced Scratchboard

Registration begins December 8, 2015

You will continue exploring the potential of scratchboard in this class. As with no other medium, on scratchboard ink is correctible and can be used with a blade to combine black-and-white lines and dots, which are the basis of ink textures. Using colored ink, watercolor or gouache, you will add the color as an accent to highlight areas of specific botanical interest, or you’ll use the color as a compositional element. Demonstrations and examples will show how to create a vast range of textures to portray subjects with detail and accuracy. You’ll select favorite subjects from nature to create a composition, and you’ll work toward completing at least one final illustration. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Scratchboard I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I if working with watercolor or gouache.

• Thu, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins December 8, 2015

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

 

• Tue, Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Wed, April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

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

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 28, 2016.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

BI in Colored Pencil II

Registration begins December 8, 2015

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.

 

• Tue, Feb. 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Tue, April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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

Spring semester registration starts December 8, 2015

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Wed, Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3, 10, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Thu, March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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.

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, March 18-19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than March 28, 2016.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Thu, April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Fri-Sun, Jan. 29-31, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Tue, Feb. 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 9 a.m.-noon.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Schissler Academy of Fine Arts – Loveland

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Mon, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

BI in Pencil I in Crystal City (Arlington, VA)

Learn to draw! Begin with 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: $400 member and non-member. Materials Fee: $25 (including pencils, paper for final plate and specimens). No prerequisites.

Gallery Underground, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA

• Fri, Feb. 19, 4-9:30 p.m., Sat-Sun, Feb. 20-21, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

 

Spring semester registration available December 8, 2015

 

• Wed, March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Wed, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

 

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. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

 

• Tue, Feb. 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

 

 

 

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: $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.

 

• Wed, Feb. 17, 24, March 2, 9, 16, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Wed, April 13, 20, 27, May 11, 18, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

Birds in Graphite

This class teaches common approaches to illustrating birds and how to overcome the challenging proportions and perspective of bird illustration. Start with a specific how-to session on bird photography and learn how to effectively use photographic references in artwork. The second session takes place at the Denver Zoo, where you will study a moving subject while sketching and photographing it at rest and in flight. Learn bird anatomy and physical characteristics through group instruction and individual attention. Using provided props, students will reference sketches and/or photos to create a sophisticated bird portrait ready to be framed, submitted to an exhibit or included in a portfolio. Fee: $310 member, $370 non-member (includes the entrance fee to the zoo on March 24). Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

• Thu, March 17, 24 (off site), 31, April, 7, 14, 21, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Botanical Zentangle®

 

 

In this class, 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: $95 member, $130 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Sat, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser

 

• Sun, April 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser

 

Botanicals in Egg Tempera

Dating to ancient Egypt and most famous during the Renaissance, egg tempera painting is becoming increasingly popular with artists today. Tempera has unsurpassed luminosity, and dozens of glazes and scumbles can be applied in a day since it dries quickly. The medium also allows for meticulous, fine linear detailing, making it an ideal paint for botanical illustration. You will learn all aspects of the medium: egg tempera’s rich history, the characteristics of powdered pigments, how to mix fresh egg tempera paint from scratch, different ways to apply the paint and how to finish an egg tempera botanical painting. Fee: $275 member, $330 non-member (includes gessoed panel and pigments needed for the course). Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration or previous documented work with egg tempera.

• Mon, March 28, April 4, 18, 25, May 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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, Feb. 5-7, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Wed, March 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Schissler Academy of Fine Arts – Loveland

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

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Brilliant Butterflies

 

 

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.” —R. H. Heinlein

The beauty of the butterfly extends to its relationship with the botanical realm. This class will explore the life cycle of the butterfly as well as its habitats, feeding habits and anatomy. Demonstrations will guide students in how to accurately draw a butterfly and apply iridescence to its colorful wings. The butterfly will be placed in context using modern mixed media such as watercolor, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, or pen and ink to create a traditional illumination of a beautiful butterfly. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Light on Form, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Watercolor Pencil I, or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

• Thu, March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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 Advanced

This class will push your drawing skills in carbon dust to an advanced level. Using a combination of carbon 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. Various tools associated with carbon dust, including carbon pencils, dust, brushes, blenders and fixative, will be introduced. Plants and vegetables are well suited as subjects with the technique. Use methodical layering to create a flawless continuous tone from soft gray tones to dark, deep values. Complete the finer details with pencil for a finished carbon-dust rendering. Black-and-white techniques take on a new meaning as you develop a final illustration well suited to the coming food plant related exhibit. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Carbon Dust I.

• Wed, April 20, 27, May 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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, Feb. 19-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, April 22-24, 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.

• Mon, Jan. 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

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

All assignments are to be completed no later than April 11, 2016.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

Color Mixing in Crystal City (Arlington, VA)

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. Fee: $400 member and non-member. Materials Fee: $10 (includes a workbook and specimens). No prerequisites.

Gallery Underground, 2100 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA

• Fri, March 18, 4-9:30 p.m., Sat-Sun, March 19-20, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Fischer

 

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