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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.

Art Materials for the Botanical Illustrator

 

 

This information-packed class will provide detailed information about all of the art materials used throughout the botanical illustration program. From papers to pencils, inks to pens, brushes to paints, students will learn where and how to find all the right materials and how they are used. Save time and money by shopping expertly the first time. Fee: $55 member, $85 non-member. Open to everybody with no prerequisites.

 

• Wed, Feb. 18, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Wed, May 6, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Beyond Pretty Pictures: Taking Composition Further

What makes a piece of art stand out above the rest? Why does a piece of art inspire? The answer most often lies in the composition. In this class, you address design from the very beginning. Starting with Notan (the light-dark principle), line, and shape arrangements, challenge yourself to go beyond direct imitation of what you see by initiating a drawing through thumbnails that define tonal relationships and harmony Through exercises and practice you will develop a complete, strong botanical composition and final plate, either in graphite or watercolor. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Calored Pencil I, Pen and Ink I or Watercolor I, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

• Wed, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Wed, May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

BI 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: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Mon, Feb. 16, 23, March 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Feb. 27-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than March 31, 2014.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

BI 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. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Color Layering for Colored Pencil, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Tue, March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

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

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 27, 2014.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

BI 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.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, March 27-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than April 27, 2015.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, May 7, 14, 21, June 4, 11, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

BI in Pen and Ink II

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 Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, April 24-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than May 27, 2015.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, June 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

 

• Fri-Sun, Feb. 6-8, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

• Tue, Feb. 17, 24, March 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Tue, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Mon, June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

BI 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. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Wed, March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 5-6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 10, 2015.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

BI in Watercolor I

 

 

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: Botanical Illustration in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

 

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, April 10-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than May 11, 2014.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Mon, May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

 

• Tue, Feb. 17, 24, March 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Wed, June 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

• Fri-Sun, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Tue, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Fri-Sun, July 10-12, 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.

 

 

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

 

• Fri-Sun, Jan. 23-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, March 13-15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Color Layering II: Analogous Colors

Neighbors on the color wheel, analogous colors provide a pleasing palette for botanical illustrations. Learn about the various effects of layered and adjacent analogous colors and how to create interest with harmonious blends. Create a collection of small works in colored pencil that show off your new understanding of how to make analogous color enhance all of your color work. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

• Tue, April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

 

 

 

Color Layering II: Complementary Colors

Magic or mud? If your complements are not getting compliments, it is time to delve into the effective use of color wheel opposites. See how adjacent complements create brilliance and layered complements dull and shade. Learn to discern hidden complements and put them to work for you. Create a finished piece that shows off your mastery of complementary color and earns plenty of compliments! Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

• Thu, Jan. 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Thu, April 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

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

 

• Wed, Feb. 18, 25, March 11, 18, 25, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Dance of the Pen

Learn copperplate or round hand lettering, the traditional style for labeling early botanical plates. Popular in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, this elegant lettering complements botanicals beautifully. Start with an introduction to the oblique pen and flexible quill nibs. Practice basic pen strokes and learn to form each letter in this classic style. Learn label placement and lettering size to complete your plates with a special flourish. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

• Wed, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Drawing on Tradition: Reflective Surfaces in the Style of M.C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic artist known for his predominately black-and-white explorations in printmaking and drawing. His work included mathematically inspired lithographs, woodcuts and mezzotints that featured impossible constructions, exploration of infinity, architecture and tessellations. Using quill, brush and black ink, explore Escher’s technique of integrating reflective mirror images for a three-dimensional effect that pops off the page! Learn to use the quill to create even line and value. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II, Expressive ink.

 

• Wed, May. 13, 20, June 3, 10, 17, 9a.m.-noon.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Embossed Design: Alphabets and Flowers

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

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: $90 member, $125 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

• Fri, May 15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

Enduring Perfection

Botanical illustration in the traditional Indian style will bring your images to life with the unique characteristics of tempera, the oldest painting technique in India. Historically, natural pigments were prepared by the artist, but today tempera paints are commercially prepared and sold in tubes and pots. These paints require only the addition of water.

 

Tempera has unsurpassed luminosity created by a process of glazing. The medium also allows for meticulous, fine linear detailing, making it ideal for botanical illustrations. You will learn how to block colors and finalize the perfect outline with a squirrel-hair brush using a neutral light-brown shade. Drybrush techniques will be demonstrated to show how fine details are added to the image using line work, hatching and stippling. You will learn to burnish the painted surface of the paper with an agate rock to remove all roughness from the surface, and finally, through demonstrations you will learn to achieve high contrast in your work, creating drama and a definitive three-dimensional feeling. Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator or 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.

 

• Wed-Fri, May 27-29, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Damodar Lal Gurjar, India

 

No refunds for registration cancellations after April 1, 2015, unless your seat can be filled.

 

Damodar Lal Gurjar is a freelance artist currently working in Jaipur, India. Over the years he has worked with various media, from oil, watercolor, tempera and gouache to acrylic, on a wide variety of materials, including handmade paper, marble, silk, wood, leather, vellum and canvas.

 

Damodar has had several solo exhibits at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University. His work is found in “A Passion for Plants: Contemporary Botanical Masterworks” by Shirley Sherwood; “Botanicals: Environmental Expressions in Art, The Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton Collection” by James White; “Duets,” an exhibit at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation; “Weird, Wild, and Wonderful,” an exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden; and several others. Damodar is best known for his famous work “Onions,” tempera 1998.

 

 

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