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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.

Acorns and Oak Leaves

Beautiful artwork is created with value and detail. Working in pencil and brush, you’ll develop pigment-free values and master seamless gradations from lightest light to darkest dark without the usual graphite sheen. Concentrate on acorns and their intricate caps, and learn to draw the complex detail without losing the overall form. You’ll also learn how to achieve the correct form for flat oak leaves. All the skills that you learn in this class can be transferred to any other medium, improving your overall confidence in your artistic skills. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Light on Form.

 

• Thu, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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 Watercolor I

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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

 

 

 

Color Mixing

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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

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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

 

 

 

Colored Pencil Textures on Mylar

Beauty is in the details. Fuzzy, thorny, rough and smooth: It’s all form on a small scale. Learn to see textures in a new way that allows you to recreate them realistically using a variety of colored pencil techniques specific to Mylar film. Mylar’s texture and translucence allow for a whole new way to work. We’ll explore pencil application and layering techniques using the back of the surface to enhance the front. Through guided exercise and practice, you will become comfortable with this forgiving surface and assemble a collection of texture technique studies to expand your colored pencil toolbox.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

Fee: $150 member, $180 non-member

• Wed, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 9 a.m. - Noon

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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

 

 

 

Discover the Amazing World of Lichens Through Colored Pencils

The Focus of this three-day workshop will be practicing illumination techniques with colored pencils using lichen-covered twigs as the subject matter. There will be demonstrations and discussions of underpainting with watercolor pencils, layering with colored pencils, and ways to blend and develop rich depths of color. The goal is to inspire observation and new drawing skills. The instructor will bring lichen-covered twigs from his state of Indiana for the participants to draw.

 

Prerequisites: Intermediate to advanced skills in colored pencil.

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• Fri-Sun, Aug. 4-6, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: David Morrison, IN

David Morrison is a professor of art at the Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He has shown in over 250 international and national exhibitions and has received over 60 awards. He has had two solo shows in New York City at Garvey|Simon Art Access, in 2013 and 2015. He is a member of FACET (Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching, Indiana University). He received a Lilly Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship for 2002 and 2012. In 1995 and 1992, David received a master fellowship from the Indiana Arts Commission, and in 1994, he received an Arts Midwest Fellowship. His work is included in numerous public and private collections. He has been a visiting lecturer and guest artist at a number of universities.

Drawing on Tradition: The Sketchbook of Isabel Adams

Botanical artist Harriet Isabel Adams (1863-1952), member of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, fellow of the Linnean Society and a graduate of the Birmingham School of Art, produced and published a full and expressive body of botanical art. Isabel’s drawings and illustrations were developed out of the Arts and Crafts movement, including distinctive lettering for labeling. Learn about the artist’s working style and practice her techniques. Plan to sketch throughout the Gardens and finish with a botanical plate drawn in graphite and enhanced with color.

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

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I. • Mon, July 24, 31, Aug. 14, 21, 28, 1-4 p.m. Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

Matting and Floating Artwork

Preparing your work can be fun and affordable if you know the tricks and techniques. This one-day workshop covers mat-cutting and inexpensive framing options. Start with an overview of equipment, materials and measuring. Learn to float your artwork for an inexpensive alternative to matting. Demonstrations and handouts show you how to measure and cut your own single, double, and multi-opening mats. You’ll go home with two matted pieces ready to be framed. Fee: $55 member, $85 non-member. Open to everybody with no prerequisites.

• Tue, Aug. 15, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

Open Studio

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

Open Studio is for anyone who wants to experience a creative and supportive environment without attending a structured workshop. You can work on your own projects during open hours, at your own pace. A tutor is available for help and advice (10 a.m. – noon) but there will be no formal teaching. The tutor will help you get started on a project or advise how to add the finishing touches. Attending the Open Studio is ideal for anyone who wants to advance his/her personal projects (or ideas) or needs to refresh his/her knowledge of any media.

 

No prerequisites.

Pre-registration is required.

Fee: $25/session member, $30/session non-member

• Mon, May 22, 9 a.m. – Noon

Tutor: Randy Raak

 

• Mon, June 12, 9 a.m. – Noon

Tutor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Summer/Fall Dates

• Mon, July 24, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Charlotte Ricker

 

• Mon, July 31, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Marjorie Leggit

 

• Mon, Aug. 7, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Mon, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Mon, Oct. 9, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Mon, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Susan Rubin

 

• Mon, Nov. 6, 9 a.m. - Noon

Tutor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

Perfecting Perspective

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

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.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Tue, July 25, Aug. 1, 8, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Sacred Doorways – Byzantine Iconography

Tickets Available for Summer/Fall Classes - June 6, 2017

More than decorative elements, color plays a very important role in Byzantine iconography, which is one of the oldest art forms to survive unchanged for the past 2,000 years. Students are introduced to both the practical and the theoretical part of the iconographic tradition (iconology). You’ll use natural materials: wood panels gessoed with naturally ground, genuine gold leaf and egg tempera made from natural pigments. You’ll learn the language of light, color, image and symbol, with the iconic symbolism explained alongside the technical instruction.

 

Pre-registration is required.

No prerequisites.

Open to both experienced and amateur students. No artistic experience is required from the beginning student.

Fee: $55/session member, $70/session non-member

• Mon, June 5, 9 a.m. – noon

 

• Mon, June 19, 9 a.m. – noon

 

• Mon, June 26, 9 a.m. - noon

 

• Mon, July 3, 9 a.m. - noon

 

Summer/Fall Dates

• Mon, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. - Noon

 

• Mon, Aug. 28, 9 a.m. - Noon

Note: Advanced students only, no beginners for this date.

 

• Mon, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. - Noon

 

• Mon, Sept. 18, 9 a.m. - Noon

Note: Advanced students only, no beginners for this date.

 

• Mon, Oct. 2, 9 a.m. - Noon

 

• Mon, Oct. 16, 9 a.m. - Noon

 

• Mon, Oct. 30, 9 a.m. - Noon

Note: Advanced students only, no beginners for this date.

 

• Mon, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. - Noon

Note: Advanced students only, no beginners for this date.

 

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

Laurence Pierson has over 20 years of experience in icon painting. She studied iconography at the Louvre, Paris, under a Lebanese master. Later, she studied with a Greek and a Chilean iconographer, and thus was exposed to different schools and different techniques while refining her own approach. Laurence has taught in France and Ireland, and since 2010, in Denver.

 

 

Sunflowers in Watercolor

 

Girasole, tournesol, girasol, solros: In any language, the sunflower is an iconic image in botanical art. Break away from tiny, delicate plants and experiment with composition of the big and bold. Study the masters to see how other artists have portrayed the subject. Examine the structure to understand sunflower anatomy. Learn the skills to accurately depict ellipses in perspective and diagram seed patterns in the Fibonacci sequence. Practice mixing challenging yellow hues. From wet-on-wet for the large surfaces to drybrush detail down to the tiny fuzz on the sepals, you’ll explore a variety of watercolor techniques. Create a finished plate that shows your bold side, and a set of new skills. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

• Wed, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Whimsy after Midnight: The Secret Life of Your Garden

Ever wonder what goes on in your garden after the moon rises and your spade and garden gloves lie undisturbed on the back steps? It’s time to have some fun in the botanical realm! Let your imagination reign and create a storybook illustration that prompts plants to transform into characters and props. Does that tomato look like your great-aunt Edie? Might that zucchini really be a blimp? Let the produce pivot you into a story line that blends realism and whimsy suitable for submission to the Fall Whimsical Exhibit at the Gardens. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

 

• Thu, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

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