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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. 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

 

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 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

 

 

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.

 

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

 

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: $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

 

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: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

 

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

 

 

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: 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

 

 

 

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: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Oct. 21-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Nov. 23, 2016.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

•Thu, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 1-4 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: $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. Fee: $5.

 

 

Carbon Dust I

 

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. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II or Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

 

•Tue, Nov. 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

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. 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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Drawing on Tradition: The Magical Style of Arthur Rackham

This advanced expressive ink course focuses on Arthur Rackham’s luxurious style. Arthur Rackham was born in 1867 and has been called the leading decorative illustrator of the Edwardian period. He is perhaps the most well-known artist who illustrated books during what was dubbed the Golden Age of Illustration, which spanned the years 1870-1930. He illustrated numerous books such as “Aesop’s Fables,” “Mother Goose,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Night Before Christmas.” He also illustrated the children’s classics “Wind in the Willows” and “Peter Pan.” Learn how to create a sophisticated composition by using pen and ink and washes combined with the color of your choice. Look beyond the ordinary and create a painting that will inspire the imagination and parallel the humor and imaginary worlds of this most influential Illustrator. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Expressive Ink.

 

• Wed, Oct. 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

From a Herbarium Specimen to a Finished Plate

 

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.

 

Introduction to Botanical Illustration

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

 

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: $240 member, $295. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

 

 

• 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

 

Miniatures in 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. Select a plant to tell a pictorial story of growth and change. Create a series of several miniatures in colored pencil that illustrates your understanding of how to make analogous color enhance all of your color work. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

• Tue, Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

Nature Observed

Nature Observed is a series of workshops that covers the basics of field sketching and documentation. It introduces the process of quickly capturing accurate renderings of any object. Individual help and group critique guide you to see and record correctly while simplifying complex subject matter. You will most likely work with graphite and/or water-soluble pencils and water brush. No matter what media you use, your personal sketchbook will be filled with pages of valuable information for future remembrance and record. Fee: $50/session member, $65/session non-member. Open to everybody, with no prerequisites.

• Thu, July 21, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

• Thu, July 28, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

• Thu, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Zoo, entry included in the class fee)

• Thu, Aug. 11, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Zoo, entry included in the class fee)

• Thu, Aug. 18, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science, collections)

• Thu, Sep. 29, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

• Thu, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

• Thu, Oct. 13, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Zoo, entry included in the class fee)

• Thu, Oct. 20, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Zoo, entry included in the class fee)

• Thu, Oct. 27, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Museum of Nature and Science, collections)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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, Aug. 8, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, Aug. 22, 9 a.m. – noon (Constance Sayas)

Mon, Sep. 19, 9 a.m. – noon (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, Oct. 3, 9 a.m. – noon (Laurence Pierson)

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

Mon, Oct. 31, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan Rubin)

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

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

 

 

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