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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.

Bind Your Own Sketchbook

Teen Workshop

Learn a simple, elegant and functional retchoso binding and create your own archival art journal in one day.

 

Fee: $95 member, $130 non member.

 

Sat, July 8, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

 

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I

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: $245 member, $295 non-member

 

• Tue, Jan. 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Wed, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 5, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II

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. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $300 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 30 – July 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 30, 2017.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration 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.

 

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member

 

• Wed, March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Thu, June 8, 15, 22, July 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

Botanical Illustration 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: $245 member, $295 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

 

  Fri-Sun, Jan. 20-22, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

  Thu, Feb. 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 9 a.m.   noon

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

  Fri-Sun, April 7-9, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

  Mon, May 1, 8, 15, 22, June 5, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

  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 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. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

 

Registration begins December 13, 2016 at 9am. Classes go on sale then.

 

• Tue, March 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

• Thu, May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

Botanical Illustration 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: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.

• Mon, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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: $245 member, $295 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Wed, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 6-9 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. Fee: $5.

 

 

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: $245 member, $295 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Fri-Sun, Dec. 2-4, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

  Fri-Sun, Jan. 27-29, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

  Fri-Sun, March 3-5, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.
Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

  Fri-Sun, June 16-18, 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. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. No prerequisites.

  

• Thu, March 23, 30, April 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 15, 2017.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

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: $245 member, $295 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Wed, Jan. 11, 18, 25, Feb. 8, 15, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri-Sun, May 19-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

 

Embossed Design: Alphabets and Flowers

 

 

Embossing is an art form used to raise a shape from the surface of paper. The embossed shape casts a delicate shadow and when combined with color creates an elegant effect. We provide decorative letter and flower patterns, and you will learn how to design, cut a stencil and choose the best paper surfaces for embossed subjects. Finish your project with ink or colored pencil accents, and you will leave the class with an elegantly embossed design. Fee: $95 member, $130 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Tue, May 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

Explore the Pollinator’s Journey

 

 

The natural world provides us with countless stories of rejuvenation, birth, reproduction, death and decomposition. The relationship between a squirrel and an oak, a pollinator’s journey or seed dispersal can all be shared as narratives. In this class, you will learn to tell a story in a comic format using your skills as an illustrator and botanist. Students are not expected to have any experience reading, writing or illustrating comics, as instruction will be provided for each of these three disciplines. “The Last of the Sandwalkers” by Jay Hosler (included in the course fee) will serve as a mentor text to demonstrate how scientific illustration can be used in the comic medium. Students will learn how to expand their skills with pencil, shading, inks, composition and color layering throughout this process. Group and individualized instruction will be provided throughout the comic creation process, culminating in a 2-3 page botanical-based comic story. Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member. Prerequisites: Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Color Layering for Colored Pencil, Perfecting Perspective, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I.

• Wed, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Jay Peteranetz

 

Jay Peteranetz works closely with Denver Comic Con and the Pop Culture Classroom to make sure the core values of education and learning use nontraditional resources to promote education through entertainment. He holds an MFA in sequential art from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He teaches students ages 8-65 at the Art Institute of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and in conjunction with the Pop Culture Classroom.

 

From Seed to Plant

We are fascinated by process, so let’s start at the beginning and illustrate the seed first. Learn how to sprout a bean seed for observation and document its development week by week as the sprout adds roots and foliage. The process begins with a talk by a Gardens expert on seed selection and development as well as directions for scientific observation. In weekly color illustrations, you’ll note changes as the plant begins to grow. In the meantime, you’ll have another mature plant to illustrate in graphite as a backdrop for your weekly botanical snapshots. Learn how to integrate two compositions in different media for an effective presentation. Over the course of five weeks, you’ll see your plant change from seed to shoot to seedling, and you’ll gain a better understanding of germination and growth to share through your own botanical plate in colored pencil and graphite. Fee: $245 member, $295 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

• Tue, May 2, 9, 16, 23, June 6, 9 a.m. – noon.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Iris in Watercolor – Chatfield Farms Historic Collection

The historic 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 to Chatfield Farms to get a presentation of the collection, select your specimen and document it. You’ll get a cutting to take with you to the classroom to finish your piece in watercolor during the following five weeks. Fee: $295 member, $345 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Perfecting Perspective.

• Tue, May 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Chatfield), June 6, 13, 20, 27, July 11, 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. Fee: $245 member, $295. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

• Wed, Feb. 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, June 2-4, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Mosses in Microscope

 

 

Bryophytes are small herbaceous, nonvascular, seedless plants. They are among the simplest terrestrial plants and include mosses, liverworts and hornworts. Mosses grow in a variety of shapes, colors and textures, and are the perfect subject to observe under the microscope. While mosses are found throughout the world in a variety of habitats, most people are not aware of the diversity of these plants. In this class, you’ll learn about their general features, reproduction and form while exploring your specimen. Use the medium of your choice to create your own botanical plate depicting beautiful, magical moss at its finest! Class limited to eight seats. 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, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

• Fri-Sun, May 12-14, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Observe – Collect – Document

 

 

Have you ever had to draw a summer plant in the middle of January? Or how about a rare species that is only documented in a few snapshots? This is your chance to learn how to work from “roadkill”-flattened specimens! Discover the full process of documentation, from collecting and pressing to reconstruction and completing a final pen and ink plate. Beginning with an all-day field trip to Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, you will have time to sketch, observe and make notes. You’ll learn how to select and collect a representative specimen for documentation. Using the 18”x 12” plant press included in your course fee, you’ll prepare and press your selections.

Back at the Gardens, learn how to mount the dried plant sample permanently on paper and work from those flat, dry specimens. It’s not as hard as it looks! Step-by-step instruction provides guidance using special techniques that will make your dried plant come to life on paper. Using existing and newly learned pen and ink skills, you’ll artistically create a beautiful botanical plate. Gain confidence with new illustration skills and expand your knowledge of the Gardens’ resources as you work with the library and herbarium. Fee: $295 member, $345 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II.

• Wed, May 3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., May 10, 17, 24, 31, June 7, 1-4 p.m.

Instructors: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Open Studio

 

Open Studio is for everyone 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. Fee: $20/session member, $25/session non-member. Pre-registration required.

Mon, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. – noon (Constance Sayas)

Mon, Nov. 28, 9 a.m. – noon (Randy Raak)

Registration begins December 13, 2016 at 9am. Classes go on sale then.

Mon, Jan. 23, 9 a.m. – noon (Marjorie Leggitt)

Mon, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan Rubin)

Mon, Feb. 27, 9 a.m. – noon (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, March 13, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, April 10, 9 a.m. – noon (Constance Sayas)

Mon, April 24, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, May 8, 9 a.m. – noon (Charlotte Ricker)

Mon, May 22, 9 a.m. – noon (Randy Raak)

Mon, June 12, 9 a.m. – noon (Charlotte Ricker)

 

 

 

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