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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.

"The Kiss": Klimt's Masterpiece

*New dates on sale December 10th, 9 a.m.*

“The Kiss”: Klimt’s Masterpiece (Back by request!)

Austrian painter Gustav Klimt created his most iconic painting, “The Kiss,” between 1907 and 1908. After studying Klimt's painting in detail, we will design, paint and embellish our own work in his style. Linear elements from Vienna art nouveau, organic forms from the arts and crafts movement, metallic components and textural embellishments will blend to create pattern-rich works sure to enchant.

Prerequisite: Entry-level color media.

Fee: $285 member, $335 non-member.

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Beauty in the Details: Winter Twigs and Dormant Buds II

Beauty in the Details: Winter Twigs and Dormant Buds II

In this class, we will continue identifying the dormant deciduous trees along the Colorado Front Range. Dormant twigs are bursting with beautiful energy, textures, colors and details that can help provide complete information about trees even before their leaves appear. Learn how to use a dichotomous key to identify trees using the process of elimination. Add your new knowledge to your artistic interpretation as you develop a mixed media field guide illustration to capture the dormant beauty of a specimen in ink and colored pencil.

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

Fee: $320 member, $380 non-member (includes “Identification of Trees and Shrubs in Winter Using Buds and Twigs” by Bernd Schulz).

Date(s):

Wed, Jan. 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Beyond Ordinary

Beyond Ordinary

Beauty is in the details, and sometimes in the unexpected! Investigate the less glamorous side of botany: the dead parts, buried parts, dull parts, backs and bottoms. Practice composition, scale and view to find and portray beautiful botanical elements in a finished watercolor painting. Use all your watercolor skills and learn a few new techniques to enhance your work. The results will excite and surprise, and you’ll grow with your new point of view.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

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

Date(s):

Tue, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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 Pen and Ink- I

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: Light on Form.

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

Date(s):

Thu, Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Mon, March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Learn to draw! Begin with 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.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $285 member, $335 non-member.

Date(s):

Tue, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Thu, March 26, April 2, 9, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Fri-Sun, May 8-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Wed, May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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 Pencil I

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I

This class will explore the versatility of watercolor pencils. We’ll begin with color studies to explore the qualities of watercolor pencils as they translate from pencil into liquid color. You will experiment with graphite, ink and colored pencil as complementary media. You’ll use these new skills to create a finished botanical plate in this fresh and fluid medium.

Prerequisites: Light on Form, Color Mixing, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.

Fee: $265 member, $310 non-member.

Date(s):

Thu, Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

 

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 Layering for Colored Pencil

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, radiant reds 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.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $370 member, $420 non-member. Fee includes supplies (specified in the supply list).

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Fri-Sun, June 5-7, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (105)

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

 

Color Mixing- Online with Onsite Component

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: $310 member, $405 non-member.

In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

*All assignments are to be completed no later than March 6, 2020.*

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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.

Composition for Botanical Illustration

Composition for Botanical Illustration

The arrangement of line, shape and color in artwork is itself an art form. 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 your future illustrations.

No prerequisites.

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

Date(s):

Mon, Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 10, 17, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

Fri-Sun, April 10-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

 

 

Light on Form

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: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Tue, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Thu, March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fri-Sun, June 12-14, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. - 105

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

Tue, June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 9a.m. – noon - 105

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make an Art Portfolio Case

Make an Art Portfolio Case

This workshop is geared toward graduate candidates but is open to everyone. Students will produce an attractive archival case for portfolio pieces or other art, papers or ephemera. It will be bound in quarter cloth with paper covers and ribbon ties. Three flaps inside the case protect the contents.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $175 member, $190 non-member.

Fee includes supply kit for the 12” x 16” portfolio case produced during the class. There is an additional fee if a larger portfolio case is made.

Date(s):

Sat, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Miniature Masterpieces in Mixed Media

Miniature Masterpieces in Mixed Media

Bring your big ideas and learn to scale them to a small format. Learn about the place of miniatures in the history of art. Discover the delights and challenges of working in diminutive dimensions. See how composition, line, form and precision are crucial to conveying a tiny, precise work of art. Each week you’ll learn a different technique that will inspire you to complete several focused, fabulous botanical works in miniature.

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

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

Date(s):

Wed, Jan. 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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

 

Perfecting Perspective

Perfecting Perspective

Do you shy away from complicated plants? Even experienced illustrators sometimes struggle with foreshortening and simplify their subjects to eliminate difficult elements. Work with botanical subjects that demonstrate each aspect of perspective and learn techniques for seeing and depicting perspective accurately. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all art media. Gain confidence in your drafting skills and improve your drawings from this class forward.

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

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

Date(s):

Mon, Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 10, 17, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Fri-Sun, May 22-24, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (105)

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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