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.

2019 SMA Tour: So Much Art and Heritage

Birds of El Charco

Five days of exploratory field drawing with Dr. Sarah Simblet. Working outdoors in large sketchbooks with a range of media, (including pencils, pens, ink and a brush), Sarah will guide you in how to capture the form and grace of wild and domesticated bird species, as they feed, preen and fly through the majestic nature reserves of El Charco.

This intensive sketch book drawing course includes daily studio demonstrations focused on the practicalities of drawing, together with a guide to the essential anatomy of a bird (its bone structure and the movement of key groups of muscles and feathers) and inspirational studies of paintings and drawings to celebrate the depiction of birds in the worldwide histories of art and illustration.

Date(s):

Mon-Tue, March 18-19 and Thu-Sat, March 21-23, 2019

El Charco del Ingenio and Posada Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Simblet, Oxford, U.K.

 

Dr. Sarah Simblet is a fine artist, broadcaster, lecturer and anatomist whose works explore 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 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.

 

For more detailed information and registration, please contact 720-865-3653 (mervihj@botanicgardens.org)

 

26 Shades of Lavender: Exploring the Lavender Fields at Chatfield Farms

Inhale the romance of lavender without traveling to the south of France! The lavender fields at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms boast 26 varieties of this beloved aromatic herb.

Ancient Egyptians added lavender to mummy preparation, and people in the Middle Ages believed it could cure illness. Today, lavender is widely used to reduce stress, induce slumber and lift the spirits. Begin with a visit to the stunning Chatfield Farms lavender fields to observe, sketch and collect specimens. Back in the classroom, develop a composition that portrays the beauty of the plant and tells more about its structure and use. Your colored pencil plate will be a lasting reminder of your lovely lavender learning experience.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

 

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Wed, June 26, 1-4 p.m. (Chatfield Farms), July 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m. (Denver Botanic Gardens)

Instructor: Susan Dimarchi

 

Beauty in the Details: Winter Twigs and Dormant Buds

Identifying a dormant deciduous tree is not nearly as complicated as it might seem at first glance. Dormant twigs are bursting with beautiful energy, textures, colors and details that can help provide complete information even before leaves appear. Learn how to use a dichotomous key during the process of elimination and, with guided observation, identify your chosen specimen. Add your new knowledge to your artistic interpretation as you develop a mixed media field guide illustration to capture the dormant beauty of your specimen in ink and colored pencil.

 

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I and Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

Fee: $315 member, $375 non-member (includes “Identification of Trees and Shrubs in Winter using Buds and Twigs” by Bernd Schulz).

 

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Birds and Nests in Graphite and Color

This class teaches 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 the Denver Zoo, where you will study a moving subject while sketching and photographing it at rest and in flight. One session is spent at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s collections to study nests. 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, submitted to an exhibit or included in a portfolio.

 

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

Fee: $300 member, $360 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, March 27, 9 a.m. – noon (Hibiscus), April 3, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Zoo), April 10, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science), April 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon (Hibiscus)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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.

Prerequisite: Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

Fee: Member $260, Non-Member $310

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Mon, May 6, 13, 20, June 3, 10, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Thu, March 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Mon, June 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 1-4 p.m.

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.

Prerequisites: Light on Form.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Wed, April 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II- Online with On-Site Component

  

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 Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration.

 

 

**ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT**

Fee: $310 member, $405 non-member

In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, March 1-2, 9 a.m.   2:30 p.m.

**All assignments are to be completed no later than April 2, 2019.**

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

The Off-Site Learning Approach

Following the two-day concentrated classroom instruction, three internet sessions cover the remaining course elements. The successful completion of final artwork (a plate) one month (30 days) after the conclusion of the on-site session is the culmination of each of the distance learning courses.

 

Students must use a scanner or digital camera to record their weekly achievements and email the high-resolution image to the instructor and the school manager. All student questions, as well as instructor answers, recommendations and suggestions are handled by email. The student must send a scan of the final plate to the instructor and the school manager in order to receive credit for the course.

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II- Onsite

 

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 Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration.

 

Fee: $275 member, $325 non-member.

 

 

Wed, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Learn to draw! Begin 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.

Prerequisites: None

Fee: Member $280 Non-Member $330

Date(s):

Thu, Jan. 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fri-Sun, Feb. 22-24, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Tue, March 26, April 2, 16, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Fri-Sun, May 3-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Wed, May 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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.

Prerequisites: Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Wed, Feb. 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Wed, May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Botanical Illustration 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: Light on Form, Color Mixing.

 

Fee: $280 member, $330 non-member.

 

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Thu, June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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.

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

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, March 20, 27, April 3, 17, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

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. Your botanical art will improve when you understand the subjects.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $280 member, $330 non-member.

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Jan. 25-27, 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Thu, March 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9 a.m.- noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, June 28-30, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Carbon Dust

Push your drawing skills into a new realm. Carbon dust has been a mainstay medium for medical and scientific illustrators for more than 75 years. Using a combination of pencil lines and dust washes applied with brushes, this medium produces rich tonal renderings with the value range of charcoal and the precision of watercolor. You’ll be introduced to the various tools associated with carbon dust, including carbon pencils, dust, brushes, blenders and fixative. Choose a subject well-suited to the technique and learn to use methodical layering to create a flawless continuous tone. Complete the finer details with pencil for a finished carbon-dust rendering.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Case Bind a Miniature Book

Case binding is the most common type of bookbinding for hardcover books. It is the ultimate choice for books with a long shelf-life or heavy usage. In case binding, the pages of the book are arranged in groups called signatures and sewn together using the Coptic technique. Then, hard covers are attached to the book using pasted-on endpapers. In this workshop, learn step by step how to bind a traditional hardcover blank book. The only difference between your book and a normal journal is that your book will be only 2” x 1.5”. Miniature books are tedious to make and require high-precision measurements. We’ll make at least two different miniature books ready for little notes or to be used as holiday ornaments.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $210 member, $250 non-member. Fee includes supply kit for two miniature books.

 

Date(s):

Wed, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Celebrating Shofu-En Garden in Scratchboard

Shofu-en Japanese Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens is celebrating its 40th anniversary in June 2019. During this class you will focus on the beautifully aged pines and other signature species in the “garden of pines and wind.” You’ll discover the potential and excitement of scratchboard and learn to use contrasts in textures and values for dramatic, luminous effects. After a walk through the Japanese Garden with its curator, you’ll select a subject and maybe incorporate some of the garden’s symbolic objects, waterways or monzonite stones into your composition. You’ll add color as an accent to highlight areas of specific botanical interest or use it as a compositional element. Demonstrations and examples show how to create a vast range of textures to portray subjects with detail and accuracy. Sketch, transfer and render in ink or pencil on white scratchboard by using techniques to convey form, shading, textures and spatial placement. You’ll work toward completing at least one final illustration.

 

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I and entry-level color media.

 

Fee: $275 member, $325 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Tue, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Fri-Sun, April 19-21, 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 your color work.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.

Date(s): 

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Tue, June 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

The arrangement of line, shape and color in artwork is itself an art form. 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 your future illustrations.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $260 member, $310non-member.

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Jan. 18-20, 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Date(s): Thu, May 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Online Sales powered by Vantix Systems Inc