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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.

Foliage: Diverse in Shape, Texture and Color

Focus on foliage! The greens of summer are just as beautiful as the blooms. Start with a study of nuanced shades of green and other leaf colors, and then add techniques and tricks for rendering margins, surface texture and venation. Tackle the tough ones, including variegated, highly textured and translucent leaves. Create a composite study to use as your own leaf-drawing guide. Your improved skills at depicting leaf form and color will improve all your future illustrations.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.


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


Date(s): Tue, July 16, 23, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 9 a.m. – noon


Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

Wonderful Wetland Wildflowers in Watercolor

Take a walk on the wild side! Both delicate and hardy, delightful varieties of wetland wildflowers present challenges in composition, spatial relationship and perspective. Start the class with an orientation to the subject by experts specializing in wetland and riparian ecosystems. Select your favorite plant to illustrate from a list, and focus on planning your painting and watercolor techniques, including loose wet-on-wet and controlled drybrush, to capture every detail. Preferably work from a live specimen to create a lovely, lasting portrait of a wildflower from Colorado’s wetlands.


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


Fee: $300 member, $340 non-member (includes “Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants” by Denise Culver).


Date(s): Tue, July 16, 23, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 1-4 p.m.


Instructor: Constance Sayas

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