Welcome to Denver Botanic Gardens' online registration and ticket purchasing site

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.

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

 

 

 

Create a Garden Flag

 

Nothing welcomes spring and adds early color to your garden like a floral flag fluttering in the breeze. Create your own unique flag, working in colored pencil on paper or Pastel Board. Learn to create an image that sings spring. Then, using your own art, you ll design your flag. Once digitized, your design will be printed on fabric.

 

No Prerequisites.

 

 Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member (fee includes printing, shipping and the flagpole).

 

Fri-Sun, Feb. 2-4, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Libby Kyer

 

Creative Compositions with Spring Flowers in Colored Pencils with Ann Swan

 

Create a colorful contemporary composition with guidance from Ann to give your design  "wow"  factor. Focus on planning your approach, when and in what order you use techniques such as resist, embossing, underpainting and blending. Learn how to select and layer colors to produce luscious, rich and accurate color mixes and then choose effective shade colors to give your work depth without dulling the impact of your color.

Ann will also demonstrate some specific techniques for roots, veins, hairs, stamens, tendrils, water droplets, highlights, lowlights and bloom; all those fascinating, fine details that can add so much interest to your work. New techniques will be included!

 

Prerequisites: Intermediate skills in Colored Pencils

 

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member.

 

**No refunds for registration cancellations after April 5, 2018, unless your seat can be filled.**

 

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

 

Instructor: Ann Swan, U.K.

 

 

 

Ann Swan works primarily in graphite and colored pencil and is well known for her exquisitely fine detail, vibrant colors and strong contemporary style. She champions the underdog in the plant world, drawing our attention to Brussels sprouts or beetroots, feeling they are just as beautiful as the iris or tulip. She is passionate about colored pencils, believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can quite quickly produce work of quality. She runs regular workshops at her studio in Wiltshire and around the world including Spain, Italy, France, South Africa and the USA. Ann also teaches for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley Gardens and for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. She began to exhibit in 1990 and now shows her work worldwide. Her work is represented in Shirley Sherwood Collection, RHS  Lindley Library and features in many private collections around the world

 

Creative Compositions with Spring Flowers in Graphite with Ann Swan

 

Understanding, observing and depicting accurate tonal values is fundamental to produce the perception of form that underpins all botanical work in any medium. Explore the rich range of textures and tones that can be created with graphite pencils. Ann will demonstrate a variety of techniques, tips and tricks to produce tactile textures that will add another dimension to your graphite work.

 

Prerequisites: Intermediate skills in graphite and colored pencils.

 

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member.

 

 

**No refunds for registration cancellations after April 5, 2018, unless your seat can be filled.**

 

Mon-Wed, May 7-9, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Ann Swan, U.K.

 

Ann Swan works primarily in graphite and colored pencil and is well known for her exquisitely fine detail, vibrant colors and strong contemporary style. She champions the underdog in the plant world, drawing our attention to Brussels sprouts or beetroots, feeling they are just as beautiful as the iris or tulip. She is passionate about colored pencils, believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can quite quickly produce work of quality. She runs regular workshops at her studio in Wiltshire and around the world including Spain, Italy, France, South Africa and the USA. Ann also teaches for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) at Wisley Gardens and for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. She began to exhibit in 1990 and now shows her work worldwide. Her work is represented in Shirley Sherwood Collection, RHS  Lindley Library and features in many private collections around the world.

 

Drawing on Tradition: Butterflies and Bees of William H. Lizars

 

William H. Lizars (1788-1859) of Edinburgh was an established portrait and genre painter who went to work in the book trade and created plates for British Butterflies and J.J. Audubon's "The Birds of America." Lizars experimented with new techniques and is perhaps best known for his colored insect and bird illustrations on monochromatic habitat backgrounds. Working in ink and your choice of color media, design a final plate in the scientific style of Lizars.

 

Prerequisite: Expressive Ink, Botanical illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Tue, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 10, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Drawing on Tradition: Ida Pemberton

 

Ida Hrubesky Pemberton (1890-1963) was born in Nebraska but lived in Colorado most of her adult life. She created 64 botanical watercolors during the 1930s and 1940s, taking inspiration from plants she grew and nurtured at her Denver home. She is revered among botanical artists who applaud her work for its beauty and painstaking detail: hairs, fibrous roots, pistils and stamens. Learn the secret depicting these specific details through the drybrush technique in the style of Ida Pemberton. A traditional watercolor method, drybrush means working with small strokes and limited use of washes. Improve your brush-handling skills and develop increased control with guided exercises. Practice paint layering techniques to create vibrant color surfaces and sharp clear details.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member

 

**The first class is offsite**

 

Tue, April 17, 10 a.m.   1 p.m. (CU Herbarium, Boulder);

Tue, April 24, May 1, 15, 22, 29, 9 a.m. - noon
Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Drawing on Tradition: Superb Natural Detail of Keith Brockie's Birds and Nature Illustration

 

 "The more you draw and paint, the more you look, and not necessarily for the usual things, but for peculiar patterns, interesting light and shade, new reflections. The subject is the key. Get hold of that and everything else opens up from it, including the sunlight"-Keith Brockies

Keith Brockies is actively involved in wildlife conservation. He has written seven books and illustrated 14, and has worked as a full-time wildlife artist for more than 20 years. His superb natural details, freshness and vitality will be the inspiration for this workshop. Learn 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 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 or submitted to an exhibit.

 

Prerequisites: Light on Form.

 

Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member

 

Wed, March 21, 9 a.m. - noon (Hibiscus), March 28, 9 a.m. - noon (Denver Zoo), April 4, 9 a.m. - noon (off-site), April 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m.   noon (Hibiscus)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Drawing on Tradition: The Double Life of Piet Mondrian

 

Piet Mondrian is considered one of the founders of the Dutch modern movement De Stijl and recognized for the purity of his abstractions. He drastically simplified the elements of his paintings to reflect what he saw creating a clear, universal aesthetic language within his canvases. His use of asymmetrical balance was crucial in the development of modern art, and his iconic abstract works remain influential in design and familiar in popular culture to this day.

Hidden away in a back hallway of Mondrian's studio were his poetic drawings and paintings of flowers; botanical specimens that, along with trees, inspired his abstract works. Analyze Mondrian's private flower studies, investigate their structural contribution to abstraction, play with exercises to help loosen up your own drawings, then apply his secretive natural and expressive style to your own flower portrait in a newly developed medium: water-soluble pigment blocks from Portugal.

 

Prerequisites: Pencil II, Color Mixing.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Thu, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Ethnobotany: Creating a Botanical Narrative

 

Explore the Gardens' Ethnobotany Collection

The ethnobotany collection in Denver Botanic Gardens' herbarium documents plants used by humans in our region, including medicinal, plants used for spiritual purposes, plants used to track the seasons, aphrodisiacs and others. Three main components make up the collection: The Market Collection (specimens purchased at Botanicas and other Native and Hispanic markets), Colorado Native Plants (species that grow in our region that are used by people) and Plants Used by Native Americans.

 

Ethnobotany: Creating a Botanical Narrative

Illustration can tell a tale with carefully curated and interwoven pictorial elements. Start with a presentation by the curator of the Gardens' collection. Research your plant choice, and its relationship with its local culture and people. Learn how to combine elements to effectively tell your story while creating a strong overall composition. Working in the medium of your choice, or mixed media, instruction will guide you to illustrate a fascinating botanical narrative that will engage a viewer in a new way.

 

Prerequisites: Colored Pencil I, Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Composition.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

 

Mon, Jan. 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Exploits in Watercolor

 

Looking for adventure? Roll up your sleeves, put on your apron and load your brushes! Dab, charge, blend and bleed; explore the properties of watercolor while painting fruit and vegetables. Expand your watercolor skills as you learn the importance of water management in watercolor painting. Students will experiment by painting on heavyweight watercolor paper with large brushes. Maybe it is time to step out of your comfort zone and advance your wet-on-wet painting skills. Then relax and drybrush your way to a refined-study painting.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member

 

Fri-Sun, Feb. 23-25, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.
Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Explore Mount Goliath's Weathered Beauty

 

Mount Goliath is the site of North America s highest constructed rock alpine garden, with some 250 species of alpine and subalpine wildflowers and a grove of 1,600-year-old-plus bristlecone pines. You'll start with a hike along the 1.5-mile M. Walter Pesman Trail with a garden specialist, where you'll have the opportunity to become familiar with the blooming wildflowers, select and sketch your specimen. The following week, we'll return to the site and do some more documentation prior to work in the classroom. You'll choose your medium and your plate might become part of the future interpretational material for the site.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

 Fee: $300 member, $345 non-member.

 

Wed, July 11, 18, 10 a.m.   1 p.m. (Mount Goliath Nature Center, transportation from Denver Botanic Gardens is arranged)

July 25, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 9 a.m.   noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Expressive Ink Essentials

 

Experience ink with a fresh flair. Step away from tradition to try new techniques. Trade your technical pen for a quill and brush, and learn to express ink lines in a relaxed and painterly fashion. Demonstration and practice prepare you to start your own drawing. Build a progressive composition as you bring seasonal seedpods, barks and grasses to life, one at a time. Experiment with techniques for effectively depicting line, form and texture. Complete a dynamic botanical study and enjoy a fresh, fun way to approach this time-honored medium.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member

 

Mon, Jan 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Focus on Foliage with Houseplants

 

Focus on foliage with houseplants and fill the need for green this winter. Here is your chance to be bold, paint glossy and produce some vibrant greens. Enhance your color mixing knowledge with the many shades of green. Start with leaf studies and learn techniques to tackle variegation, margins and shine. Your expanded painting skills for depicting leaf form and color will advance your future botanical paintings. Work to complete a finished watercolor painting that elevates the indoor plant

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

 

Wed, Jan.17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

In the Footsteps of Stephen H. Long with Pen and Ink

 

Focus on Colorado's Plant Explorers: Stephen H. Long's Expedition of 1820

 

These are the first classes in our new series focusing on scientific expeditions to Colorado, which in the early 1800s belonged partly to the Louisiana Territory and partly remained a part of the Viceroyality of New Spain. President Monroe directed Major Stephen H. Long to find the source of the Platte and Red rivers, and this expedition was the first staffed with scientists assigned to document plant and animal life, and geology between the Missouri River and Rocky Mountains. The expedition was short, taking place over 100 days during the summer of 1820. A young botanist, Dr. Edwin James, naturalist Titian Peale and zoologist Thomas Say were included in the expedition staff, along with a landscape painter and a journalist. About 700 plant species were collected 140 of which were unknown at the time. The expedition ran through present day Jefferson County (Clear Creek, Sheep Mountain), Douglas County, El Paso County (Palmer Lake, Monument Creek and on July 14th Pikes Peak). Dr. James kept an exceptional diary and the locations can be estimated for many of his collections. With very few exceptions, Dr. James  extant collections are housed in the herbarium of New York Botanical Garden. Let's start preparing to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of Long's expedition!

 

In the Footsteps of Stephen H. Long with Pen and Ink

Selecting from the botanical discoveries done during Long's expedition, work from flat, dry specimens it s not as hard as it looks! First, tour the Gardens  herbaria and library. Then, step-by-step instruction provides guidance using special techniques that make your dried plant come to life on paper. Revisit technical pen and quill techniques and learn new skills emphasizing textures, values and space. With lots of in-class practice and one-on-one guidance you ll create a beautiful pen and ink botanical plate.

 

Prerequisites: Pen and Ink II.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Wed, Feb. 21, 28, March 7, 14, 28, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

In the Footsteps of Stephen H. Long with Watercolor

 

Focus on Colorado's Plant Explorers: Stephen H. Long's Expedition of 1820

 

These are the first classes in our new series focusing on scientific expeditions to Colorado, which in the early 1800s belonged partly to the Louisiana Territory and partly remained a part of the Viceroyality of New Spain. President Monroe directed Major Stephen H. Long to find the source of the Platte and Red rivers, and this expedition was the first staffed with scientists assigned to document plant and animal life, and geology between the Missouri River and Rocky Mountains. The expedition was short, taking place over 100 days during the summer of 1820. A young botanist, Dr. Edwin James, naturalist Titian Peale and zoologist Thomas Say were included in the expedition staff, along with a landscape painter and a journalist. About 700 plant species were collected 140 of which were unknown at the time. The expedition ran through present day Jefferson County (Clear Creek, Sheep Mountain), Douglas County, El Paso County (Palmer Lake, Monument Creek and on July 14th Pikes Peak). Dr. James kept an exceptional diary and the locations can be estimated for many of his collections. With very few exceptions, Dr. James  extant collections are housed in the herbarium of New York Botanical Garden. Let's start preparing to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of Long's expedition!

 

In the Footsteps of Stephen H. Long with Watercolor

It's Colorado wildflower season. Choose a favorite Rocky Mountain wildflower from Long's expedition to explore, study and paint. Rendering wildflowers requires careful observation and planning. Learn to use perspective, overlap and value contrast to create a painting with depth and spatial clarity. Then plan your approach to painting. A transparent and fluid medium, watercolor is ideal for blending color to create luminous flowers and facilitates drybrush techniques to produce fine detail as well. Demonstrations and individual guidance will show you strategies for combining the right watercolor techniques for your subject. In the spirit of exploration and discovery, create a painting of your chosen Rocky Mountain wildflower.

 

Prerequisites: Watercolor I

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Mon, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Introduction to Botanical Illustration

 

Start at the beginning. Whether you've had no experience with drawing or have forgotten what you learned way back when, this is the class for you. Learn drawing basics step by step in this gently paced course. Carefully explained demonstrations, simple exercises and helpful critiques will show you how to draw what you see. Build your drawing skills to enter the School of Botanical Art and Illustration with confidence.

 

 No prerequisites. Note: If you have had some drawing experience, please go directly to Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member

 

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

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Iris in Watercolor – Chatfield Farms Historic Collection

 

The historical iris collection at Chatfield Farms contains more than 400 varieties of iris. The entire collection was donated in 2014 by the Lankow family from Washington State and was installed in fall 2015. The known varieties are planted in chronological order based on the year they were introduced into the nursery trade. The oldest variety dates back to 1597! Many are award-winning varieties that are held in high esteem among iris enthusiasts for their significance in the long history of iris breeding. You'll start with a full-day field trip at Chatfield Farms for a presentation of the collection and to select and document your specimen. You'll get a cutting to take with you to the classroom to finish your piece in watercolor during the following five weeks.

 

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

 

 Fee: $330 member, $395 non-member.

 

Thu, May 31, 9 a .m.   2:30 p.m. (Chatfield Farms), Thu, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas.

 

Light on Form

 

Take your drawings from flat to fabulous. The secret to portraying light and shadow on your subjects lies in understanding the scientific method of lighting as it applies to different forms. Beginning with basic geometric shapes, refine your skills in showing light and volume on any subject. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all other media. As you progress from fruits and vegetables to leaves and flowers to entire plants with complex shapes, you will overcome the obstacles in creating three-dimensional drawings.

Pricing, Prerequisite and Instructor details are provided when you select a date.

 

 

 

Make an Art Portfolio Case

 

This workshop is geared toward graduate candidates but is open to everyone. Students will produce an attractive archival case for portfolio pieces or other art, papers or ephemera. It will be covered in quarter cloth with paper sides and ribbon ties. Three flaps inside the case protect the contents.

No prerequisites

 

 Fee: $110 member, $155 non-member. Fee includes supply kit for the portfolio case (12  x 16 ) produced during the class. Additional fee if a larger portfolio case is made.

 

Wed, May 2, 9 a.m.   4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Mastering Quill with Sarah Simblet

 

 "Drawing is the mirror through which I can understand my place in the world; it shows me how I think and makes me feel excited to be alive."-Sarah Simblet

 

This course offers three intensive days of experimental drawing with artist Sarah Simblet. Through practical sessions using pencils, dip pens, ink and paper and daily illustrated talks looking at great contemporary and historical works of art, you will explore the power and importance of drawing as an expressive medium through which we can learn to see, understand and record the world of plants  

 

Prerequisites: Intermediate skills in Pen and ink including quill usage.

 

Fee: $400 member, $460 non-member (fee includes ink, nibs, and Copic sketching pens).

 

I.

Fri-Sun, March 30-31, April 1, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Sarah Simblet, U.K.

 

II.

Mon-Wed, April 2-4, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Sarah Simblet, Oxford, U.K.

 

**No refunds for registration cancellations after March 1, 2018, unless your seat can be filled.**

Dr. Sarah Simblet is a fine artist, broadcaster, lecturer and anatomist whose works explores the relationship between science, history and art. She has published three major art reference books with DK:  Anatomy for the Artist,   The Drawing Book  and  Botany for the Artist  and exhibits her drawings through her books. She also recently co-authored  The New Sylva,  a breathtaking contemporary version of John Evelyn s  Sylva  from 1664. Sarah is dedicated to sharing and encouraging visual intelligence in others through her drawings, teaching and broadcasting worldwide. She contributes to contemporary art shows, festivals and live events, and her work is held in national and private collections. She also contributes regularly to British, American and international television and radio programs about science and art, and consults on national exhibitions. She is a tutor in anatomy at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, and a lecturer at the National Gallery, London.

 

Online Sales powered by Vantix Systems Inc