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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.

Advanced Scratchboard

Registration begins December 8, 2015

You will continue exploring the potential of scratchboard in this class. As with no other medium, on scratchboard ink is correctible and can be used with a blade to combine black-and-white lines and dots, which are the basis of ink textures. Using colored ink, watercolor or gouache, you will add the color as an accent to highlight areas of specific botanical interest, or you’ll use the color as a compositional element. Demonstrations and examples will show how to create a vast range of textures to portray subjects with detail and accuracy. You’ll select favorite subjects from nature to create a composition, and you’ll work toward completing at least one final illustration. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Scratchboard I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I if working with watercolor or gouache.

• Thu, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member

 

• Wed, Aug. 24, 31, Sep. 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 4-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 16, 2016.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

BI in Colored Pencil II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Sep. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Oct. 14, 2016.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

•Mon, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

BI in Pen and Ink I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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, Aug. 5-6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Sep. 9, 2016.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

BI in Pen and Ink II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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.

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Aug. 23, 30, Sep. 6, 13, 20, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

BI in Pencil I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Tue, Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

BI in Pencil II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member

•Tue, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Jan. 27, 2017.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

BI in Watercolor I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.

 

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, May 20-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than June 24, 2016.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Wed, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

• Thu, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

 

Bind Your Own Sketchbook

Learn a simple, elegant and functional crossed structure binding an create your own archival leather covered art journal in one day.

 

Fee: $95 member, $130 non member.

 

Sat, July 16, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

 

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

• Wed, Nov. 9, 16, 30, Dec. 7, 14, 1-4 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

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

 

Color Mixing

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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.

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member.

• Tue, May 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

• Mon, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

• Mon, Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

Composition for Botanical Illustration

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Tue, April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Wed, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Fri-Sat, Nov. 18-19, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sun, Nov. 20, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

 

Elegant Lines

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. All students are welcome, with no prerequisites.

 

• Mon, May 9, 16, 23, June 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

 

From a Herbarium Specimen to a Finished Plate

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

A plethora of plant material is waiting to be drawn in the Herbarium. Learn how to work from flattened specimens; gain confidence using new composition and illustration skills; create movement and interest in your subject; convey form and texture with line and stipple. This workshop helps you to refine your ink work and create a lasting plate. Fee: $150 member, $190 non-member. Prerequisites: Intermediate to advanced skills in botanical illustration.

 

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

Instructor: Lauren Bassing, Lebanon. NH

 

Lauren Bassing is a natural science illustrator who has recently achieved a graduate certificate in science illustration from California State University, Monterey Bay. She has a BFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s degree in education. Lauren works in the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, illustrating both botanical and entomological subjects for publication.

 

How to Capture Fine Details and Textures with Watercolor

The key to beautiful botanicals is in the details. Learn secrets of the time-tested techniques for accurately depicting specific details in watercolor. Improve your brush-handling skills and develop increased control with guided exercises. Practice paint-layering techniques to create vibrant color surfaces and sharp, clear details. New skills build confidence and can make your next watercolor project work for you. Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II or intermediate to advanced skills in watercolor.

• Wed-Thu, May 4-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Christabel King, Kew, U.K.

No refunds for registration cancellations after April 4, 2016, unless your seat can be filled.

Christabel King has been working as an illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for 40 years and is one of their foremost illustrators. After having graduated with a degree in botany and studying scientific illustration, she began painting for their prestigious Curtis’s Botanical Magazine in 1975. Christabel King’s work is an outstanding combination of beauty and scientific accuracy. She runs successful workshops and courses at Kew and is highly skilled and acclaimed for her work.

Intricacies of Fine Detail (Watercolor Master Class)

Registration begins June 7, 2016 at 9am.

In this workshop, you will learn the intricacies of achieving fine detail with watercolor masking fluid and NEEF ¼ Comb, invaluable tools for contemporary botanical artists. As a result, your paintings will be brought to a new level of realism and detail. Students should have skills in drawing and watercolor. During these three days, John will assist you with painting the chosen class subject. Fee: $150 member, $190 non-member. Prerequisites: Intermediate to advanced skills in watercolor.

 

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

Instructor: John Pastoriza-Piñol, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 

John Pastoriza-Piñol’s artistic practice operates somewhere between the centuries-old tradition of botanical illustration and contemporary art. He goes beyond the purely representational while remaining true to the fundamental principle of objective observation of the natural world, creating tension between the beauty of the specimen and the symbolism with which it is infused.

John studied botany at both Monash and Melbourne Universities, and completed a doctorate course at the Universidade de Vigo, in northwest Spain. Also, he studied illustration under Jenny Phillips. Among the numerous public and private collections around the world where John’s work is held are the Hunt Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne; RMIT University and the collection of Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton. John has been teaching intermediate and advanced classes at the Geelong Botanic Gardens since 2005 and has expanded his teaching circuit to include interstate and international master classes that share his unique approach to the art form.

 

Introduction to Botanical Illustration

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

Start at the beginning. Whether you’ve had no experience with drawing or have forgotten what you learned way back when, this is the class for you. Learn drawing basics step by step in this gently paced course. Carefully explained demonstrations, simple exercises and helpful critiques will show you how to draw what you see. Build your drawing skills to enter the School of Botanical Art and Illustration with confidence. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites. Note: If you have had some drawing experience, please go directly to Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

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

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

• Fri-Sun, Nov. 11-13, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

 

Light on Form

Registration for summer classes begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $230 member, $285

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Schissler Academy of Fine Arts - Loveland

• Fri-Sun, May 20-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

• Fri-Sun, June 24-26, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

• Tue, Aug. 23, 30, Sep. 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

• Thu, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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