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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.

Bold and Beautiful: Illustrating the Flora in the Conservatory on Mylar

Bold and Beautiful: Illustrating the Flora in the Conservatory on Mylar

When it’s cold outside, winter blooms in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory! Expand your options in colored pencil. Mylar film provides a perfect surface for smooth, brilliant colored pencil work. Learn the skills specific to this surface, including pencil application and layering techniques, how to make the back of the surface enhance the front, and how to erase colored pencil from Mylar for quick corrections and special effects. See how layering your drawing over other surfaces expands the possibilities for your finished work. Beautiful winter blooms provide the inspiration for lush plant portraits and fresh techniques.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

Fee: $310 member, $360 non-member.

Date(s):

Mon, Feb. 17, 24, March 2, 9, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I

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: Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Thu, Feb. 20, 27, March 5, 12, 19, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Wed, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3, 1-4 p.m. (106)

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil II

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: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, Feb. 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I

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: $285 member, $335 non-member.

Date(s):

Fri-Sun, Feb. 21-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Tue, April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, 9 a.m. – noon

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: $315 member, $370 non-member (18 hours).

Date(s):

Wed, Feb. 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Fri-Sun, March 6-8, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Thu, May 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 9, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Color Mixing

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, Feb. 18, 25, March 3, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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.

No prerequisites. Note: If you have had some drawing experience, please go directly to Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Mon, Sep. 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct. 14, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Date(s):

Thu, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Nature Illuminated

Nature Illuminated

Use your illustration skills to create and work with traditional media as you develop an illuminated illustration on skin vellum, applying 23-karat patent gold, a limited gouache palette and ink. Create a stylized border to frame your painted impression of nature, whether it is a botanical, animal, bird, insect or a combination. This class will explore composition, materials and traditional media.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Color Mixing.

Fee: $280 member, $335 non-member.

Date(s):

Tue, Feb. 18, 25, March 3, 10, 17, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Rosemaling in the Os Style

Rosemaling in the Os Style

Although folk art flourished throughout Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, it achieved its highest level of creativeness in the remote valleys of Norway from 1750 on. From its origins in the Telemark and Hallingdal, regional styles developed as generations of itinerant painters spread their trade westward to the fjord districts. Latest to develop was folk art in the area south of Bergen known as Os. This style features bright, colorful flowers painted on cupboards, trunks, beds and smaller traditional baskets and boxes. During this class you will create an Os design on a small box using typical flower motifs and a colorful palette. These designs are especially attractive to the modern eye. You will also learn about the traditional Norwegian rosemaling styles and how interest in this vigorous art form continues to the modern era.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I or equivalent.

Fee: $295 member, $355 non-member (Box and paints included).

Date(s): Thu, Feb. 20, 27, March 5, 12, 19, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Louise Bath, Colorado

 

Louise Bath has been studying the Norwegian art form of rosemaling for 30 years. In 2017, she was awarded a Gold Medal in Rosemaling from Vesterheim, the Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. That same year she graduated with a certificate in botanical art and illustration from the Denver Botanic Gardens program. She now teaches rosemaling in Colorado and across the United States. Three trips to Norway in 2013, 2016 and 2018 have given her a wealth of rosemaling knowledge and ideas.

 

Spirals in Nature

Spirals in Nature

Discover the beauty of mathematics—the golden ratio, phyllotaxy and the Fibonacci sequence—in botanical subject matter. Leaves, petals, seeds and other plant organs are not arranged randomly; rather, they follow well-defined rules. After learning about and observing these patterns, hands-on instruction provides the tools for illustrating inherent botanical patterns. You will focus on unusual viewpoints, perspective and composition. Start with a skeleton drawing from a live specimen and then flesh it out to generate an accurate final plate. Individual instruction helps you enhance full-value ink techniques that are applicable to future illustrations created in any other media.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, Feb. 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

The Essentials of Paper

Jaclyn Mednicov, Artist Educator for Strathmore Artist Papers™, will present The Essentials of Paper, a 90-minute hands-on presentation on Strathmore Drawing and Watercolor Papers. The presentation will focus on how understanding a paper’s fiber, weight, texture, surface, grade and permanency affect an artist’s choice and usage of fine art paper. Attendees participate in hands-on exercises, using a selection of papers and drawing materials. The goal of the presentation is to provide information to help artists select the right papers for their medium and techniques.

Time: February 21, 10 a.m.-noon

Location: Gates Hall

Fee: Free- registrating is required and space is limited.

 

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