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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

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, November 13-15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Meredith Feniak

 

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):

Wed, Sep. 9, 16, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Thu, Aug. 13, 20, 27, Sep. 3, 10, 1-4 p.m. (106)

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

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: $265 member, $315 non-member.

Date(s):

Tue, March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Mon, Oct. 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II

Take your pen and ink skills to a new level of sophistication. Explore the Gardens’ limitless world of color, texture and complex botany and incorporate this information into black-and-white illustrations. Working with both technical pen and traditional quill, learn advanced techniques to make strokes mimic the fuzz on a fern, the down in a milkweed pod or the mottled colors of a variegated begonia. Learn how to layer and manipulate lines and stipples to develop a full range of value, texture and atmospheric perspective. Pen techniques take on new meaning as you flesh out the final inked illustration of a plant of your choice.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Composition for Botanical Illustration.

Fee: $275 member, $325 non-member.

Date(s):

Mon, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Illustration in Pencil II- Online with Onsite Component

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: $310 member, $405 non-member
In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 20-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

**All assignments are to be completed no later than December 22, 2020.**

Instructor: TBA

 

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 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 will 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

 

Thu, Sep. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Botany for the Botanical Illustrator - ONLINE

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):

Tue, Oct. 13, 20, 27 Nov. 3, 10, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Jennifer Ackerfield

 

Color Layering for Colored Pencil - ONLINE

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 have 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. ONLINE Zoom-session

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, July 24-26, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. - ONLINE

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

Fri-Sun, Sep. 25-27, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m. - ONLINE

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

 

 

Color Layering for Colored Pencil Session Two- ONLINE

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 have 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.

ONLINE Zoom-session

No prerequisites.

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

Date(s):

 

Fri-Sun, Sep. 25-27, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m. - ONLINE

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi

Composition for Botanical Illustration - ONLINE

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):

Friday-Sunday, September 25, 26, 27 - ONLINE

 

Improve Your Handwriting- ONLINE

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, Nov. 16, 23, 30, Dec.7, 14, 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: $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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Spines and Shadows: The Magic is in Perspective - ONLINE

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 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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