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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.

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):

Wed, Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

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

 

 

 

 

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):

Wed, Oct 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

The Magic of Moths in Ink and Color

William H. Lizars (1788-1859) of Edinburgh was an established portrait and genre painter who went to work in the book trade and created plates for “British Butterflies” and J.J. Audubon's “The Birds of America.” Lizars experimented with new techniques and is perhaps best known for his colored insect and bird illustrations on monochromatic habitat backgrounds. During this class we concentrate on moths. Moths are masters of disguise. They can camouflage to hide from predators, and, because of their large numbers, moths are a significant source of food to other species in the ecosystem. These nocturnal insects are as beautiful as butterflies but are hidden from us in the dark. Working in ink and your choice of color media, design a final plate in the scientific style of Lizars.

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

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

Date(s):

Mon, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

The Skin of Trees: Expressive Ink Textures in Bark on Mylar

We often overlook bark, the structured and always important part of the plant, and only focus on leaves and flowers. You will discover the diversity of tree bark while stepping away from tradition to try new techniques and learn about this essential protective element of the tree. Trade your technical pen for a quill and brush and learn to express ink lines in a relaxed and painterly fashion. Begin with a look at how other artists have used ink expressively. Demonstration and practice with the new tools and colored inks prepares you to start your own drawing. Choose a botanical subject and experiment with techniques for successfully depicting line, form and texture. Make a mistake? No problem! You can erase ink from Mylar and try again. Complete a botanical study and enjoy a fresh, fun way to approach this time-honored medium.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

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

Date(s):

Thu, Nov. 5, 12, 19, Dec. 3, 10, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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