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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

Austrian painter Gustav Klimt created his most iconic painting, “The Kiss,” between 1907 and 1908. After studying Klimt's painting in detail, we 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 blend to create pattern-rich works sure to enchant.

 

Prerequisite: Entry-level color media.

 

Fee: $280 member, $330 non-member. Includes fee for supplies provided (specified in the materials list).

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Dec. 13-15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

2019 October SMA Tour: So Much Art and Heritage

In addition to the workshops, immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of San Miguel de Allende (a detailed tour program will be provided by request and at the registration).

For more detailed information and registration, please contact 720-865-3653 or mervihj@botanicgardens.org.

WORKSHOPS:

Wild Flowers of El Charco with Isik Güner

Cosmos and dahlia, abutilon and passiflora are among the several hundred wildflowers that can be found in early October after the rain season on the grounds of El Charco del Ingenio.

We explore the unique and unspoiled El Charco landscape together with a specialist, learn about the native plants and find samples to work with later on paper. Isik demonstrates different techniques and approaches that achieve life-like paintings. Learn the skills to portray delicate petals, leaves and detail in watercolor. The class helps you to combine the scientific accuracy with an aesthetic vision to create beautiful botanical painting of El Charco’s wild flowers. Prerequisite: Intermediate skills in watercolor.

Date(s): Thu-Sat, Mon, October 3-5, 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (El Charco and Posada Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)

Instructor: Isik Güner, Turkey

 

Isik Güner, our talented 2017 artist-in-resident will be joining us there to teach a workshop: Wild Flowers in Watercolor. Isik comes from Turkey but is also one of the core teachers of the Royal Botanic Garden's certificate program in Edinburg, Scotland. She is also the editor and lead illustrator for Illustrated Flora of Turkey Project with 28 volumes, 2000 watercolor plates and 9000 line drawings which will be completed in 2023. Isik has received several gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society's botanical art exhibitions.

 

Plant portraits with Siligraphy-technique

This printmaking technique is based on the repellence of ink and silicone also called waterless lithography. After the plant image is drawn or painted on glass or Plexiglas the surface is coated with silicone. After the ink is rolled onto the plate, the image can be printed and you get a striking image portraying the flowers in season from El Charco. No prerequisites.

Date(s): Mon-Tue, October 7-8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Posada Corazon, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico)

Instructor: Rocio Rios, San Miguel De Allende

 

Accomodation:

Nueva Aldama - Posada Corazon, the whole facility is reserved for our use for the duration of this immersion week.

This historic Mexican house comes with a family atmosphere and quiet, surrounding large gardens buffered from the busy life outside. The unique property has an exquisite location is in the very heart of town and only few hundred meters from the cathedral. Breakfast included with organic products grown on the property. Daily cleaning service in room included. Wake-up call by roosters between 3:30-4 a.m.!

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I- Online with On-Site Component

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: $310 member, $375 non-member.

 

 

 

 

**ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT**

 

 In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 22-23, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 

**All assignments are to be completed no later than December 20, 2019.**

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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.

 

Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II

Take your colored pencil skills to the next level and become proficient in this fun, versatile medium. Work through a step-by-step process to create a preparatory layered drawing. Learn techniques to create texture, detail and depth to enhance your subject. Experiment with different surfaces and solvents for blending and shading. Add depth with atmospheric perspective and learn finishing techniques that will make your drawings pop. Individual attention will guide you to create a finished botanical plate.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

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

 

Date(s):

Wed, Nov. 6, 13, 27, Dec. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil I

Learn to draw! Begin 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.

Prerequisites: None

Fee: Member $285 Non-Member $335

Date(s):

Thu, Aug. 8, 15, 22, 29, Sep. 5, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Thu, Sep. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Fri-Sun, Oct. 18-20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fri-Sun, Dec. 6-8, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

 

 

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: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Thu, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil II- Online with Onsite Component

 **On Sale June 11, 9 a.m.**

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.

 

**Online with On-Site Component**

 

Prerequisites: Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Perfecting Perspective.

 

Fee: $305 member, $400 non-member

In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Oct. 4-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 

**All assignments are to be completed no later than November 8, 2019.**

 

 

Instructor: Charlotte Ricker

 

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.

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II

Watercolor basics got you started; now develop your confidence as you work toward completing a finished plate from a live specimen in this most traditional of botanical media. The emphasis here is on bringing it all together. Learn and refine additional techniques through instruction, demonstration and practice, with special attention given to layering, shading and building form. Discover brush techniques and colors that enhance perspective and depth. Follow painting steps through completion, from broad washes to final detail. Learn how to fix mistakes and understand why watercolor is a forgiving medium.

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

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

Date(s):

Wed, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

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: $280 member, $330 non-member. Includes fee for supplies provided (specified in the materials list).

 

Date(s): Wed, July 17, 24, Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Nov. 8-10, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, June 28-30, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Botany Fresh-Up

Refresh your memory about flower structure, aestivation, leaf venation, bracts and stipules. During this one-day fresh-up, we dissect flowers, examine plant details closely and get more botanically prepared for the coming classes.

Prerequisite: Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

Fee: $10 member (supplies only), $15 non-member (supplies only).

Date(s):

Thu, Sep. 19, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

 

Tue, Nov. 19, 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

Bracts and Bromeliads: Perspective Lover's Dream Come True!

Bromeliads, a family of more than 3,300 species, provide the most amazing collection of foliage colors and patterns found in the plant world. The foliage takes many different shapes, from needle thin to broad and flat, symmetrical to bizarre, soft to spiky. Bromeliads provide a habitat for many thousands of species of other plants, as well as reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, insects and other creatures. The relationship is often symbiotic, with the plant supplying water and shelter and the other organism providing protein or nutrients. These fascinating ornamental plants offer an exciting challenge in perspective, pattern and value and an outstanding opportunity to take your pen and ink skills to a new level of sophistication.

Begin the class by practicing and refining perspective skills as you work in pencil to construct a botanically correct “linear scaffold” and value map. Next, using ink, discover advanced techniques that turn stipple patterns into color and mimic variegated leaf markings. Learn how to layer and manipulate lines and stipples to develop a full range of values and atmospheric perspective. Go one step further and add a surprise inhabitant! Build a new appreciation for what can be achieved using black and white as you develop an elaborate final pen and ink plate.

 

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective.

 

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

 

Date(s): Tue, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

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.

 

 

Carbon Dust

Push your drawing skills into a new realm. Carbon dust has been a mainstay medium for medical and scientific illustrators for more than 75 years. Using a combination of pencil lines and dust washes applied with brushes, this medium produces rich tonal renderings with the value range of charcoal and the precision of watercolor. Get introduced to the various tools associated with carbon dust, including carbon pencils, dust, brushes, blenders and fixative. Choose a subject well-suited to the technique and learn to use methodical layering to create a flawless continuous tone. Complete the finer details with pencil for a finished carbon-dust rendering.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

 

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

 

Date(s):

Tue, Nov. 19, 26, Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

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, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

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: $260 member, $310 non-member.

 

Date(s): Mon, Sep. 16, 23, 30, Oct. 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Oct. 25-27, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

Drawing on Tradition: In the Footsteps of Margaret Mee

Margaret Mee began her painting expeditions in the Amazon in the 1950s. Her beautiful botanicals are her legacy to rainforest education and conservation. Learn about her remarkable story and work as you direct your painting skills to bromeliads. Focus on leaves for composition, form, color, pattern and shine. Refine your skills at washes, as they will form the foundation for your finished botanical plate that follows in the footsteps of Margaret Mee.

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

 

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

 

Date(s): Mon, Oct. 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 6-9 p.m.

 

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Drawing on Tradition: The Sketchbook of Isabel Adams

Botanical artist Harriet Isabel Adams (1863-1952), member of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, fellow of the Linnean Society and a graduate of the Birmingham School of Art, produced and published a full and expressive body of botanical art. Isabel’s drawings and illustrations were developed out of the Arts and Crafts movement, including distinctive lettering for labeling. Learn about the artist’s working style and practice her techniques. Plan to sketch throughout the Gardens and finish with a botanical plate drawn in graphite and enhanced with color.

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

 

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I.

 

Date(s): Wed, Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20, 6-9 p.m.

 

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

Illustrated Recipe

Apple pie? Borscht? Herbed muffins? Choose a favorite recipe and create an illustration as the perfect companion. See how other artists have illustrated recipes in cookbooks old and new. Composition is key as you arrange fruits, vegetables, herbs and cooking tools to enhance the text. Working in the color medium of your choice, create a piece that would be a delicious holiday gift or card.

 

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

 

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

 

 

Date(s): Tue, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 9 a.m. – noon

 

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

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: $260 member, $310 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

 

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: Member $260 Non-Member $310

Date(s):

Thu, July 25, Aug. 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Fri-Sun, Aug. 23-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

 

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

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Mon, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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