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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.

2019 October SMA Tour: So Much Art and Heritage

In addition to the workshops, immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of San Miguel de Allende (a detailed tour program will be provided by request and at the registration).

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

WORKSHOPS:

Wild Flowers of El Charco with Isik Güner

Cosmos and dahlia, abutilon and passiflora are among the several hundred wildflowers that can be found in early October after the rain season on the grounds of El Charco del Ingenio.

We explore the unique and unspoiled El Charco landscape together with a specialist, learn about the native plants and find samples to work with later on paper. Isik demonstrates different techniques and approaches that achieve life-like paintings. Learn the skills to portray delicate petals, leaves and detail in watercolor. The class helps you to combine the scientific accuracy with an aesthetic vision to create beautiful botanical painting of El Charco’s wild flowers. Prerequisite: Intermediate skills in watercolor.

Date(s): Thu-Sat, Mon, October 3-5, 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (El Charco and Posada Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)

Instructor: Isik Güner, Turkey

 

Isik Güner, our talented 2017 artist-in-resident will be joining us there to teach a workshop: Wild Flowers in Watercolor. Isik comes from Turkey but is also one of the core teachers of the Royal Botanic Garden's certificate program in Edinburg, Scotland. She is also the editor and lead illustrator for Illustrated Flora of Turkey Project with 28 volumes, 2000 watercolor plates and 9000 line drawings which will be completed in 2023. Isik has received several gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society's botanical art exhibitions.

 

Plant portraits with Siligraphy-technique

This printmaking technique is based on the repellence of ink and silicone also called waterless lithography. After the plant image is drawn or painted on glass or Plexiglas the surface is coated with silicone. After the ink is rolled onto the plate, the image can be printed and you get a striking image portraying the flowers in season from El Charco. No prerequisites.

Date(s): Mon-Tue, October 7-8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Posada Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)

Instructor: Rocio Rios, San Miguel De Allende

 

Accomodation:

Nueva Aldama - Posada Corazon, the whole facility is reserved for our use for the duration of this immersion week.

This historic Mexican house comes with a family atmosphere and quiet, surrounding large gardens buffered from the busy life outside. The unique property has an exquisite location is in the very heart of town and only few hundred meters from the cathedral. Breakfast included with organic products grown on the property. Daily cleaning service in room included. Wake-up call by roosters between 3:30-4 a.m.!

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

 

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):

Wed, Nov. 6, 13, 27, Dec. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

 

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 $285 Non-Member $335

Date(s):

Thu, Aug. 8, 15, 22, 29, Sep. 5, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Thu, Sep. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fri-Sun, Oct. 18-20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fri-Sun, Dec. 6-8, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

 

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

 

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. Includes fee for supplies provided (specified in the materials list).

 

Date(s): Wed, July 17, 24, Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Nov. 8-10, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, June 28-30, 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 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: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s): 

Tue, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Drawing from Your Photos- Online with On-site Component

ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT

There are times when a live specimen is simply not an option. Discover how to work from photographs to create a successful illustration long after the specimen is gone. Start with instruction on taking effective photos for reference and editing them for clarity. Learn techniques to interpret and alter composition, color and lighting that will avoid that literal “drawn from a photo” look. Create a lasting plant portrait in colored pencil from your photos.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

Fee: $310 member, $405 non-member.

 

Date(s):

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

**All assignments are to be completed no later than August 15, 2019**

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

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.

 

Exploits in Watercolor

Looking for an adventure with early summer flowers? Roll up your sleeves, put on your apron and load your brushes! Dab, charge, blend and bleed; explore the properties of watercolor while painting fruits and vegetables. Expand your watercolor skills as you learn the importance of water management in watercolor painting. Students will experiment by painting on heavyweight watercolor paper with large brushes. Maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and advance your wet-on-wet painting skills. Then relax and drybrush your way to a refined-study painting.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

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

 

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Explore Mount Goliath's Weathered Beauty

We’ll continue documenting the wildflowers on Mount Goliath for future interpretational material. Mount Goliath is North America’s highest constructed rock alpine garden, with some 250 species of alpine and subalpine wildflowers and a grove of 1,600-year-old-plus bristlecone pines. You’ll start with a garden specialist, and you’ll have the opportunity to become familiar with the blooming wildflowers before selecting and sketching your specimen. The following week, we’ll return to the site and do some more documentation prior to our work in the classroom. You’ll choose your medium and work toward a future interpretational guide for the site.

 

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

Fee: $310 member, $370 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Wed, June 19, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens), June 26, July 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Mount Goliath Nature Center), July 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon (Denver Botanic Gardens)

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Glorious Poppy Portraits in Transparent Acrylics

Poppies are some of the most loved and cherished plants in our gardens: delicate, intricate and perfect for capturing in a transparent medium. Although transparent acrylic looks like watercolor, the damp-on-damp technique offers a more controlled and methodical application process. After a guided field trip to see the blooming poppy varieties at the Gardens, select a specimen of your choice. Back in the classroom, step-by-step instructions, demonstrations and exercises provide the necessary skills for you to build washes, colors, textures and details for a final poppy portrait.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

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

 

Date(s):

Tue, June 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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 $260 Non-Member $310

Date(s):

Thu, July 25, Aug. 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Mon, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midsummer's Analogous Arrangements

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 illustrating how to make analogous color combinations enhance your color work.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

 

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

 

Date(s):

Fri-Sun, July 12-14, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin

 

North American Crop Wild Relatives: An Agricultural Family Tree

As wolves are to dogs, crop wild relatives (CWR) are to agriculture. These wild and weedy plant partners are a valuable genetic resource used to breed new crop cultivars and improve existing crops to fight crop diseases, pests and climate change challenges. Learn about these fascinating botanical ties and develop a visual “family tree” of your chosen crop wild relative and its relationship to a familiar food crop. Your research will illustrate a compelling story of the plant’s history and its challenges and benefits. Put the pieces together to create a captivating and educational botanical composition in mixed media.

 

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

 

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

 

Date(s):

Mon, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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: $35/session member, $45/session non-member.

 

Pre-registration required.

 

Date(s):

Mon, July 15, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)

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

Mon, Aug. 5, 9 a.m. – noon (instructor TBA)

Mon, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, Aug. 26, 9 a.m. – noon (Marjorie Leggitt)

 

 

Sketching with Quill

In this guided workshop, reconnect with your love of sketching while falling in love with quill and ink! Discover the freedom of adding expressive lines and marks to quickly render the specimen. Gain confidence by drawing with diluted ink and quill, using combinations of lines and marks that suggest color, values and textures. Learn to “own your marks” and progress through the timed 30-minute sessions that will help build your drawing skills and increase your comfort level using quill and ink. All materials provided.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I.

 

Fee: $300 member, $350 non-member.

Date(s):

Fri-Sun, May 31 – June 2, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

The Poetry of Flowers

Poet Emily Dickenson wrote, “‘Nature’ is what we see—The Hill—the Afternoon—Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee.” The poetry of Ms. Dickenson easily paints vivid images in the artist’s mind. Working in graphite, colored inks and watercolor pencil, develop and complete an illustration inspired by Ms. Dickenson's garden poetry. Explore compositional layouts to include type or calligraphic lettering, and work with illustration techniques inspired by artist Dugald Stermer.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I.

 

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

 

Date(s):

Fri, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 12, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Tour to The International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe

Tour includes travel, accommodation, entrance fee to the International Crafts Museum and ticket to the Saturday Art Market.

For more information or to register, call Mervi (720-865-3653)

Fee: $510

Date(s): July 11-14

 

 

White Blossoms

Do white blossoms on white paper leave you in a quandary? Don’t shy away from the challenge! See how other artists have solved this dilemma as you learn techniques to ease the execution. Begin with exercises in light, shade and composition. Demonstrations teach you how to use form and placement to your advantage. Working in your choice of watercolor or colored pencil, you’ll learn how to find the right colors for your white flowers and create a finished portrait of these most delicate petals.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

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

 

Date(s):

Tue, June 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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