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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.

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 $250, Non-Member $300

Instructor details are provided when you select a date.

 

 

 

 

 

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Thu, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Date(s): Mon, Nov. 12, 19, 26, Dec. 3, 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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 $250 Non-Member $300

Instructor: details provided when you select a date.

 

 

 

 

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Date(s): Thu, Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Date(s): Wed, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec. 12, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I- Onsite

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Tue, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II- Online with On-site Component

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

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

Fee: Member $305, Non-Member $405

Date(s): Fri-Sat, Nov 16-17, 9a.m.-2:30p.m.

*All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 18, 2018*

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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.

 

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Aug. 3-5, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Thu, Aug. 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Oct. 26-28, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Cafe 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.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Aug. 24-26, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Nov. 9-11, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Color Mixing- Onsite

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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Mon, July 16, 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Date(s): Tue, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 1-4 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: $250 member, $300 non-member.

 

Date(s): Thu, July 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri-Sun, Sept. 14-16, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Date(s): Mon, Nov. 5, 12, 19, 26, Dec. 3, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Drawing on Tradition: Ernst Haeckel and the Art Forms in Nature

Drawing on Tradition: Ernst Haeckel and the Art Forms in Nature

In the late 19th century, German evolutionary scientist, naturalist, philosopher and artist Ernst Haeckel worked to promote the Darwin’s theory of evolution in Europe. He discovered numerous new species, documenting his findings in more than a hundred elaborate etchings. Scientists admire Haeckel’s precise and accurate renderings of plants, animals and microscopic organisms that eloquently describe the relationships of all living things. Artists, designers and architects continue to be inspired by his complex compositions, use of expressive line and expert use of value and color. Learn about Haeckel’s story and study his compelling decorative style. Create your own comprehensive design using multiple images and elements of your selected subject in the medium of your choice.

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

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Thu, Nov. 8, 15, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Feathers and Eggs

Feathers and Eggs

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds. —Aesop

Fine feathers make fine illustrations as well! Mixed media is the perfect medium to focus on iridescent colors, soft textures, unique patterns and other fine details found in feathers and on smooth, rounded eggs with lovely colors and patterns. Start with careful observation and learn about the function of different feathers and a variety of eggs. Work from specimens provided by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science as you learn to create a compelling composition and tackle the challenges of a complex subject. Complete a natural science illustration with timeless appeal.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Wed, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec. 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Himmeli- Geometric Straw Craft

Himmeli – Geometric Straw Craft

Himmeli originated in western parts of Europe. The name means “heaven” or “sky” in Swedish and German. Himmeli are mobiles you hang from the ceiling. They slowly move in the air and have been known for generations as the traditional Finnish ornament. Though simple, Himmeli structure is impressive and mystical, and it’s admired around the world. These extremely ornate mobiles are composed of geometric polygons. Typically, they are suspended above the dinner table during the holiday season in Finland. You’ll learn the structures and make your own himmeli using the original material for the purpose: rye straw, which is very glossy and yellow—peasant’s gold.

Open to everybody with no prerequisites.

Fee: $125 member, $175 non-member (including all supplies).

 

Date(s): Fri, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s):Tue, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

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.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Fee: Member $250 Non-Member $300

Instructor details are provided when you select a date.

 

 

 

Open Studio

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.

 

Fee: $30/session member, $40/session non-member.

 

Pre-registration required.

 

Mon, Jan. 22, 9 a.m.-noon (Constance Sayas)

Mon, Feb. 5, 9 a.m.-noon (Susan Rubin)

Mon, Feb. 26, 9 a.m.-noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, March 12, 9 a.m.- noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, April 9, 9 a.m.-noon (Randy Raak)

Mon, April 23, 9 a.m.-noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, May 21, 9 a.m.- noon (Randy Raak)

Mon, June 4, 9 a.m.-noon (Marjorie Leggitt)

Mon, July 9, 9 A.m.-noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, July 23, 9 a.m. – noon (Randy Raak)

Mon, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan Rubin)

Mon, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – noon (Marjorie Leggitt)

Mon, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. – noon (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, Oct. 29, 9 a.m. – noon (Constance Sayas)

Mon, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan DiMarchi)

 

Perfecting Perspective

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 your drawings from this class forward.

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Thu, July 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Date(s): Mon, Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Dec. 14-16, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Practical Botanicals: Leaf Design in Mixed Media

Practical Botanicals: Leaf Designs in Mixed Media

Celebrate the structure and form of leaves and create a layered design incorporating every element of a leaf. From margins to veins, build detail and design with multiple layers of depth. Colored pencil, graphite, paint, ink, collage and more can help you make a solid statement about leaves. Create a repeating pattern that is perfect for printing on fabric or paper. Scarves? Stationery? Place mats? Let your imagination run wild and see where your leafy creation takes you.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

Fee: $250 member, $300 non-member.

Date(s): Wed, Nov. 7, 14, 28, Dec.5, 12, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Sacred Doorways – Byzantine Iconography- Beginner

 

More than a decorative element, 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 and learn the language of light, color, image and symbol. Iconic symbolism is explained alongside the technical instruction. Note: The sessions are independent from each other and you can skip a session, however it takes several sessions to finish an icon.

 

 

Pre-registration required. Open to both experienced and amateur students. No artistic experience is required from the beginning student.

 

Fee: $55/session member, $70/session non-member.

 

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

Mon, Jan. 29, 9 a.m.-noon

Mon, March 5, 9 a.m.-noon

Mon, April 16, 9 a.m.-noon

Mon, June 11, 9 a.m.-noon

Mon, Sept. 10, 9 a.m. – noon

Mon, Oct. 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Mon, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. – noon

 

Laurence Pierson has over 25 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.

Sacred Doorways- Byzantine Iconography- Advanced Students Only

 

More than a decorative element, 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). Use natural materials: wood panels gessoed with naturally ground, genuine gold leaf and egg tempera made from natural pigments.

 

Prerequisite: One or two previous iconography glasses.

 

 

Fee: $55/session member, $70/session non-member.

 

 

Sacred Doorways – Byzantine Iconography – Advanced Students Only

Fee: $55/session member, $70/session non-member. Prerequisite: One or two previous iconography classes.

 

Mon, Sept. 24, 9 a.m. – noon

Mon, Nov. 26, 9 a.m. – noon

Mon, Dec.10, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

Laurence Pierson has over 25 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.

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