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.

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.

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

 

Drawing on Tradition: Joris Hoefnagel and your favorite things

In the 16th century, the known world expanded with exploration and knowledge, and Hoefnagel’s (1542-1601) illustrations represent the eclectic energy of this creative historic period. Examine the meticulous studies of flora and fauna and use of calligraphic elements. Learn to see and depict tiny details to create a delightful panel in miniature. Bring your own special treasures and combine them with seasonal plant elements like holly, evergreens, pinecones and more to create a composition in the enchanting style of Hoefnagel.

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

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II or Expressive Ink, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

• Wed, Nov. 8, 15, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

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. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I.

 

• Thu, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

Introduction to Botanical Illustration

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

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: $245 member, $295 non-member

• Fri-Sun, Sept. 8-10, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

Light on Form

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

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.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

Fee: $245 member, $295

• Fri-Sun, Sept. 1-3, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Wed, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri-Sun, Dec. 8-10, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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

 

Practical Botanicals: Indian Textile Patterns and the Arts and Crafts Movement

The turn of the 20th century saw a revival of interest in nature and a focus on handmade objects. Alongside the Arts and Crafts movements in Britain and the United States, artists and designers in India took a similar path. John Lockwood Kipling (father of famous Rudyard) was a luminary in the arts in British India. Learn about his illustrations and designs and how the movement evolved in India, then create your own floral design with an Indian flair. Begin with small botanical motifs from your own drawings, and learn traditional and contemporary techniques for creating a repeating pattern. Apply color to your design, and learn how to have it printed as fabric, wallpaper or wrapping paper you can use again and again! Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

 

• Thu, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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.

 

 

Sewn Board Binding – Easy and Functional

Learn a simple, elegant and functional technique in bookbinding that is influenced by historic bindings. The sewn board binding uses thread and adhesive to bind the pages, create flush edges and open flat, which makes it ideal for sketchbooks, journals or artist books. We’ll make several of these during the workshop. Fee: $200 member, $255 non-member (including materials). Prerequisite: Knowledge of basic bookbinding techniques.

 

• Wed, Sep. 13, 20, 27, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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

 

The Story of Indigo

For centuries, blue has been significant to cultures around the world, and for most of that time there was only one way to produce rich blue fabrics: with the plant-based dye indigo. The most important indigo-producing plants belong to the genus Indigofera, which includes over 700 species. There are also several other genera (e.g., Persicaria, Wrightia) that provide indigo or other blue dyes. Neolithic Europeans and North Africans used woad (Isatis) to produce all shades of blue. In this class you will first learn the long, rich tradition and history surrounding indigo. Through demonstration and exercises, you will explore the nuances of blue and violet (indigo is a color that combines blue and violet). Then, equipped with a range of relevant skills, you will complete a botanical portrait with this mysterious color. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I. `Thu, Aug. 17, 24, 31, Sep. 7, 14, 9 a.m.  noon Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

Online Sales powered by Vantix Systems Inc