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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.

Cosmic Cosmos Session Four - ONLINE

Immerse yourself in a creative flow and create a vibrant cosmos flower collage. You will be playing with flowing paint to create star-filled watercolor galaxies. After cutting up these paintings you¬l compose cosmos flower collages. You will be guided carefully through the process. The class culminates in a colorful piece that might provide a cosmic inspiration for your next art project.

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session.

Fee: $30/session member, $40/session non-member

No Prerequisites

Dates:

1. Thu, June 11, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

2. Thu, June 18, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

3. Thu, July 9, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

4. Thu, July 16, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Cosmic Cosmos Session One - ONLINE

Immerse yourself in a creative flow and create a vibrant cosmos flower collage. You will be playing with flowing paint to create star-filled watercolor galaxies. After cutting up these paintings you’ll compose cosmos flower collages. You will be guided carefully through the process. The class culminates in a colorful piece that might provide a cosmic inspiration for your next art project.

 

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session.

Fee: $30/session member, $40/session non-member

No Prerequisites

 

Dates:

1. Thu, June 11, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

2. Thu, June 18, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

3. Thu, July 9, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

4. Thu, July 16, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

 

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Cosmic Cosmos Session Three - ONLINE

Immerse yourself in a creative flow and create a vibrant cosmos flower collage. You will be playing with flowing paint to create star-filled watercolor galaxies. After cutting up these paintings you'll compose cosmos flower collages. You will be guided carefully through the process. The class culminates in a colorful piece that might provide a cosmic inspiration for your next art project.

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session.

Fee: $30/session member, $40/session non-member

No Prerequisites

Dates:

1. Thu, June 11, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

2. Thu, June 18, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

3. Thu, July 9, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

4. Thu, July 16, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Cosmic Cosmos Session Two - ONLINE

Immerse yourself in a creative flow and create a vibrant cosmos flower collage. You will be playing with flowing paint to create star-filled watercolor galaxies. After cutting up these paintings you¬l compose cosmos flower collages. You will be guided carefully through the process. The class culminates in a colorful piece that might provide a cosmic inspiration for your next art project.

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session

Fee: $30/session member, $40/session non-member

No Prerequisites

Dates:

1. Thu, June 11, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

2. Thu, June 18, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

3. Thu, July 9, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

4. Thu, July 16, 11a.m.-Noon MDT

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Creative Oxygen Bubbles: Explore the Color Yellow - ONLINE

Yellow color is present in some of the oldest paintings and it is often seen as a warm color, however some of its symbols are the opposite.

Learn about the history and symbolism of yellow color and then, with wet-on-wet watercolor technique, explore the nuances and variations of this primary color.

Fee $25/session member, $35/session non-member

No Prerequisites

 

Creative Oxygen Bubbles: My Perspectives for the Time After this Crisis - ONLINE

Be spontaneous and let yourself be surprised! Trust your intuition, and have fun at the same time as you take care of yourself and find meaning in the current situation. You get the assignment prior to the class and will then be guided through the task through demonstrations, a group discussion and sharing to receive some feedback and suggestions. These exercises are inspired by the Creative Journal method, developed by Anne- Marie Jobin. You are not required any artistic skills and you  need only few supplies for each Zoom session.

Each of the 45-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list includes the assignment for each session (attached to your registration confirmation).

Fee: $25/session member, $35/session non-member

No Prerequisites

 

1. Tue, April 28, 1 p.m.: My Family

2. Tue, May  5, 1 p.m.: Awakening of Nature

3. Tue, May 19, 1 p.m.: The Break and What I would Need Right Now

4. Tue, May 26, 1 p.m.: The Solidarity

5. Tue, June 2, 1 p.m.: My Perspectives for the Time After this Crisis

 Exploring the Color:

1. Tue, May 12, 1 p.m.: Explore the Color Blue 

2. Thu, May 14, 1 p.m.: Explore the Color Blue

 

 

Embossed Botanicals

Embossing is an art form used to raise a shape from the surface of paper. The embossed shape casts a delicate shadow and, when combined with color, creates an elegant effect. We provide decorative letter and flower patterns, and you learn how to design, cut a stencil and choose the best paper surfaces for embossed subjects. Finish your project with ink or colored pencil accents and leave the class with an elegantly embossed design.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $$290 member, $$340 non-member.

Date(s):

Wed, April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

Ferns Uncovered

Ferns predate most other plant species on Earth, and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory is home to specimens of many varieties that continue to thrive today. Their delicate structures and textures are fascinating to study and a pleasure to illustrate—in fact, ferns have been illustrated for more than 1,500 years! Working in pencil and brush, you’ll develop pigment-free values and master seamless gradations from lightest light to darkest dark without the usual graphite sheen. Concentrate on the stem-like rhizomes, leafy fronds and sporangia underneath the leaves. Learn to draw complex detail without losing overall form. All the skills that you learn in this class can be transferred to any other medium, improving your overall confidence in your artistic skills.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

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

Date(s):

Tue, March 24, 31, April 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Field of Flowers Session One - ONLINE

Create four watercolor postcards guided only by color and motion of the brush! With mindful creativity and Loving Kindness meditative strategies, we will effortlessly paint expressive fields of flowers to mail to loved ones. No watercolor experience is necessary to join us in a relaxing yet invigorating hour to quiet our minds through fun and loose artistry.

 

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session. Fee: $25/session member, $35/session non-member

No Prerequisites

Dates:

1. Thu, June 25, 11a.m. MDT

2. Thu, July 2, 11a.m. MDT

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Field of Flowers Session Two - ONLINE

Create four watercolor postcards guided only by color and motion of the brush! With mindful creativity and Loving Kindness meditative strategies, we will effortlessly paint expressive fields of flowers to mail to loved ones. No watercolor experience is necessary to join us in a relaxing yet invigorating hour to quiet our minds through fun and loose artistry.

 

Each of the 60-minute sessions is separate and requires its own registration. Note: Your supply list for each session is attached to your registration confirmation and includes the information how to join the Zoom session. Fee: $25/session member, $35/session non-member

No Prerequisites

Dates:

1. Thu, June 25, 11a.m. MDT

2. Thu, July 2, 11a.m. MDT

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

Forgotten Legacy: Colorado's Lost Apples II

We continue the documentation of Colorado’s heritage apple varieties and devote this session to flowers. In Forgotten Legacy: Colorado’s Lost Apples, you visited the site of your variety during the blooming season and observed the structure of the flower in detail, including the color. During this one-day session, you’ll receive guidance on how to add the finishing touches.

Prerequisite: Forgotten Legacy: Colorado³ Lost Apples.

Fee: $85 member, $105 non-member.

Date(s):

Tue, June 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Improve Your Handwriting

Handwriting is becoming a lost art since email and text messaging are now our primary written communication methods. Researchers suggest that developing writing skills will aid in the visual identification of graphic shapes. This workshop will teach you how to develop and improve your handwriting skills using simple methods. With practice, you will be able to make neater writing a habit.

No prerequisites.

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

Date(s):

Mon, April 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intensive Foundational Certificate Block I

Fee: $1,800, including materials listed in the supply lists.

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I -Mon-Tue, July 6-7, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

Light on Form- Wed-Thu, July 8-9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

Instructor: Randy Raak

Foundations for Botanical Rendering (Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I)- Fri-Sat, July 10-11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

Color Layering for Colored Pencil- Mon-Tue, July 13-14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

Color Mixing- Wed-Thu, July 15-16, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

Deep-Dive Day- Fri, July 17, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

 

 

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

 

Tue, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Thu, Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fri-Sun, Dec. 4-6, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m.

Instructor: TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old and Original: Focus on Jurassic Flora

The Jurassic period began over 200 million years ago. When you think of the Jurassic, you might think of plant-eating brachiosaurs and diplodocus ... most people do. But these massive plant-eating dinosaurs could not have survived without a food source. In this class, learn about the flora that covered the subtropical Earth during this period, then select and illustrate one of its modern relatives. Whether defining the fine detail of ginkgo leaves or the complexity of cycads and yews, combine line techniques acquired in Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I and II with newly mastered quill pen finesse to create a pen and ink illustration you’re sure to frame.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II.

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

Date(s):

Mon, March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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, Sep. 25-27, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Roses in Reality

Native to the Northern Hemisphere, roses evolved millions of years ago, before North America separated from Eurasia. Of the estimated 159 species of wild roses, more than half are endemic to China. Ever since the Greek and Roman Empires, no flower has captured the human imagination in quite the same way. Start by studying rose paintings from masters of the past such as Alfred Parsons and Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Learn how to draw the complex petal configurations, contrasting luminous and velvety petal textures, prickles and thorns. Practice techniques from wet-on-wet to drybrush and learn how to use them appropriately. You will leave this class with a finished, exquisite rose painting!

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

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

Date(s):

Wed, Nov. 11, 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

 

Scratching the Surface

Discover the potential and excitement of scratchboard, where contrasts in textures and values produce dramatic, luminous effects. Unlike any other medium, ink is correctible and, by using a blade, you can combine black-and-white lines and dots, which are the basis of ink textures. Students will add color as an accent to highlight areas of specific botanical interest or to create a compositional element. Demonstrations and examples show you how to create a vast range of textures to portray subjects with detail and accuracy. Choose favorite subjects from nature to create a composition, then sketch, transfer and render them in ink or pencil on white scratchboard using techniques to convey form, shading, textures and spatial placement. Students will work toward completing at least one final illustration.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, entry-level color media.

Fee: $280 member, $330 non-member.

Date(s):

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

Spines and Shadows: The Magic is in Perspective

Cacti are botanical subjects that present all kinds of fun perspective challenges! In this class, discover how cacti conform to basic geometric forms. Practice building a realistic linear model using the three-step perspective method. Learn about the principles of cast shadows through observing the effects of light falling on spines. Experiment with combining watercolor, graphite and hints of colored pencil to create a colorful composition of a cactus of your choice.

Prerequisites: Color Layering for Colored Pencil, Color Mixing, Perfecting Perspective.

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

Date(s):

Tue, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Spring Bouquet with Graphite and Watercolor

Challenge your drawing skills and merge them with your watercolor expertise. Your favorite flowers and botanical subjects will be analyzed for the best approach to drawing strategies. Focus on developing a delicate hand with a smooth graphite tone. You will start with a pale pencil underdrawing, or grisaille, which will allow you to tackle a watercolor painting with confidence. You’ll achieve continuous tone both in your graphite and watercolor washes. Demonstrations and individual help will guide you toward a finished work as you discover a set of new skills and tricks ready for use in your future illustrations.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I.

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

Date(s):

Thu, May 7, 14, 21, 28, June 4, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

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