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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.

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Please use your username and password to test your member login. If you login successfully, the registration option 'class adult' for $0 will appear and your login works. If you don't see it, email the registrar at registrar@botanicgardens.org or call 720 865 3580, leave your info and we'll send you a new password and username.

Please keep in mind if you've just renewed or purchased a membership it takes at least 48 hours to process.

Amaryllis in Transparent Acrylics

Registration opens June 12, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

The awe-inspiring beauty of this native South African plant offers a perfect opportunity to explore acrylic as a transparent medium. Although transparent acrylic looks similar to watercolor, the damp-on-damp technique offers a more controlled and slower application process. The result: gorgeous, luminous washes! Step-by-step instruction, demos, and exercises will give you the necessary skills to build smooth washes, variegated patterns, soft textures, intricate details and a final amaryllis illustration. Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member (includes one blooming South African amaryllis or Hippeastrum from South America, depending on supply). Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

• Mon, Dec. 1, 8, 15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Autumn Leaves in Watercolor

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

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¬l experiment with dabbing, splattering and charging. Sound like fun? That³ the idea. Play with watercolor and develop new techniques to enhance your illustrations. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

`Tue, Sep. 30, Oct. 7, 21, 28, Nov 4, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

 

• Wed, July 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Mon, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

BI in Pen and Ink I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I; Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended.

 

• Thu, Aug. 14, 21, 28, Sept. 4, 18, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Tue, Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

BI in Pen and Ink II

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

 

 

• Tue, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

BI in Pencil I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Mon - – Thu, July 14-17, 1 -– 5 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Tue, Aug. 26, Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Fri - Sun, Oct. 17-19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Thu, Nov. 6, 13, 20, Dec. 4, 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri -– Sun, Nov. 21-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

BI in Pencil II

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

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• Tue, Sept. 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Mon, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

BI in Watercolor I

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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 Watercolor II. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

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• Tue, Aug. 26, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Tue, Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

BI in Watercolor II

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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 Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.

 

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

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

•  In-class sessions: Fri - Sat, Aug. 8-9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than September 19, 2014

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member.

• Thu, Oct 2, 9, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botanical Zentangle®

Registration will begin June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

 

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: $90 member, $125 non-member. Open to everybody, with no prerequisites.

 

• Sun, Sep. 28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Annie Reiser, CZT

 

 

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

`Fri - Sun, July 25-27, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

`Wed, Sep. 24, Oct. 8, 15, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

`Fri - Sun, Dec. 12-14, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Charcoal on Colored Background (Other Than Black)

Registration will begin June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

This class is for you if you have advanced drawing skills. You’ll be introduced to white and black charcoal pencils, and you’ll work on colored background, primarily on the mid tones. Demonstrations and guided exercises will train you to draw in incredible detail. Individual attention and instructor demonstrations will boost your confidence and improve your work so you can produce a complete botanical plate from a live specimen. Fee: $155 member, $195 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

 

• Thu, Nov. 13, 20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Color Layering for Colored Pencil

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri - Sun, Oct. 3-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri - Sun, Dec. 5-7, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Color Mixing for Artists

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

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

•  In-class sessions: Fri - Sat, Sep. 19-20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.mp.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than October 20, 2014

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, Oct 2, 9, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

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. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri - Sun, Sep. 26-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

•Wed, Nov. 12, 19, 26, Dec. 3, 10, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Creative Color Mixing with Ann Swan

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

During this advanced techniques class you’ll study in depth at the artist's color wheel and how color theory has been applied to art. You learn the language of color explaining color terminology and attributes with examples from artists work and how the use of complementary, analogous and triadic color combinations can create vibrant, harmonious and balanced compositions. Learn how pigments are sourced and how the use of color theory differs from paint to colored pencil. You will see how colors affect each other when layered by using acetate overlays, and experiment with these to improve our color layering skills.

 

We will look at the psychology of color, the way the brain perceives colors and the tricks our eyes and brains can play which make it more difficult for the artist to truly evaluate colors, and again, using visual aids students will be shown how to overcome these potential pitfalls in color evaluation. Throughout the course you will do a series of color studies to enhance your understanding and perception of color, learn new techniques to achieve your particular style.

 

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member. Prerequisites: Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from Denver Botanic Gardens or completed certificate in botanical art and illustration, scientific illustration, nature illustration or equivalent from another institution.

No refunds for registration cancellations after September 5, 2014 unless your seat can be filled.

Note: Because the space is limited you can only register for one Ann Swan workshop.

 

• Fri -– Sun, Oct. 10-12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (18 hours)

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 quickly produce work of quality.

 

Ann began exhibiting in 1990 and now shows her work worldwide. Exhibitions include the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh. She has won four gold medals from the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) and several awards form UKCPS (Coloured Pencil Society of the United Kingdom) and SBA (Society of Botanical Artists). She is a member of the RHS Picture Advisory Committee. Her work is represented in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection and features in many private collections around the world. Ann's book “Botanical Painting with Colored Pencils” is already in its second print run and has been very well received worldwide. Ann loves teaching and now runs regular workshops for the RHS at Wisley Gardens. She also teaches at her studio in Wiltshire and in Andalucia, Spain, Umbria, Italy and Duras, France. Several of her students have won awards, are members of the SBA, have RHS medals or are teaching either in U.K. or other countries.

 

 

Crossed Structure Bindings

Registration begins June 10, 2014 at 9am. Classes appear sold out until then.

 

Learn simple, elegant and functional techniques in bookbinding and in just few hours create your own archival art journal. Crossed structure binding originates during the Italian Renaissance and our models are based on the design of Spanish-born bookbinder and conservationist Carmencho Arregui. Learn three different variations of this well-designed technique, from a basic eight-signature journal in which the parts are asymmetrical but complementary to a travel journal where the binding structure allows for later expansion. All structures open perfectly flat, making them suitable for sketchbooks and log books. One of them is also useful to bind series of periodic publications, and another one could protect valuable old books. Fee: $230 member, $ 285 non-member (including materials). Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic bookbinding techniques.

 

• Mon, Oct. 13, 20, 27, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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. The medium also allows for meticulous, fine, linear detailing, making it an ideal paint for botanical illustration. In this comprehensive workshop you will learn all aspects of the medium: egg tempera³ rich history, the characteristics of powdered pigments, how to mix fresh egg tempera paint from scratch, dozens of ways to apply the paint (including decorative patterning and faux finishing effects) and how to finish an egg tempera painting (including oil glazing over tempera). Fee: $265 member, $320 non-member (including gessoed panel and pigments needed for the course) . Prerequisites: Pencil I, Watercolor I, Light on Form, or Certificate in Botanical Illustration, or previous documented work with egg tempera.

`Mon, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m.  noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

 

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