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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

 

Anatomy for Illustrators

Anatomy for Illustrators

Anatomical illustration has informed science throughout the centuries, and it is one of the most traditional art forms for mastering drawing and painting. Improve your anatomy skills in this three-day workshop that helps you understand the human body and draw accurate proportions, especially for hands, feet and head. You will study and correct common errors of proportion and location of different anatomic parts. You will learn about the skeleton, joints and muscles and how to depict them correctly. Finally, you will learn about movement, foreshortening and form. If time allows, the class will also briefly touch the animal anatomy (horses, bovids, cats and dogs).

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

Fee: $365 member, $415 non-member.

Date(s): Fri-Sun, May 15-17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: David Clarke, Fairfax, VA

 

David Clarke’s work has ranged from children’s books to storyboarding for advertising agencies. Nowadays, he spends his days creating illustrations and animation for online classrooms at the University of Maryland and his night hours drawing the darker corners of his imagination. He is also working on “Off the Map,” a graphic novel about James Cook, Joseph Banks and their trip to explore the South Pacific.

 

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

 

Birds in Graphite and Color

Birds in Graphite and Color

This class teaches common approaches to illustrating birds and how to overcome the challenging proportions and perspective of bird illustration. Start with a how-to session on bird photography and learn how to effectively use photographic references in artwork. The second session takes place at the Denver Zoo, where you will study a moving subject while sketching and photographing it at rest and in flight. Learn bird anatomy and physical characteristics through group instruction and individual attention. Using provided props, reference sketches and/or photos, you will create a sophisticated bird portrait ready to be framed, submitted to an exhibit or included in a portfolio.

Prerequisite: Entry-level color media.

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

Date(s):

Tue, May 19, 26 (Denver Zoo), June 2, 9, 16, 23, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

 

Blockprint: Birds and Plants with Hilary Lorenz

Celebrating the Month of Printing 2020:

Blockprint: Birds and Plants with Hilary Lorenz

Linoleum block printmaking offers an engaging process to make unique and editioned prints of your illustrations. Learn how to transfer your drawing onto the block, carve and print on the press using a variety of papers and techniques. You will learn how to create textures, mix color and use the collage technique of chine-collé.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $370 member, $410 non-member.

Date(s): Fri-Sun, March 20-22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Hilary Lorenz, Brooklyn, NY and Abiquiu, NM

 

Hilary Lorenz is a Brooklyn-based artist who makes large-scale printed and cut paper installations to explore her relationship with the natural world. Lorenz is the founder of the Moth Migration Project. She is currently artist-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center, Governors Island, NY. Lorenz holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and is a professor at Long Island University - Brooklyn.

 

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 Fantasy Footwear

Botanical Fantasy Footwear

"A shoe has so much more to offer than just to walk." —Christian Louboutin

 

A cobbler has tools to create a shoe; we have nature's botanical beauty to help create an illustration of the ultimate whimsical footwear! Imagine stretching your sensory vision to fashion a framework of Earth's bounty. You can add shoelace vines, chunky heels of moss and bark, and textural ornaments using fruits, vegetables, leaves and flowers. Embark on a historical journey about footwear: how early man’s crude coverings progressed to become a paramount fashion statement emphasizing exquisite style over comfort. First, we will create a mock-up using live botanical specimens arranged on a provided mannequin foot form. Your final three-dimensional botanical shoe will serve as a model to draw from. Your whimsical mixed media illustration will be the envy of many a shoe collector!

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II.

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

Date(s):

Tue, March 31, April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 1-4 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 Colored Pencil II

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, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

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 Pen and Ink I- Online with On-Site Component

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I- Online with On-site Component

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.

 

**ONLINE WITH ON-SITE COMPONENT**

Prerequisites: Light on Form.

Fee: $310 member, $405 non-member

In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, May 18-19, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

**All assignments are to be completed no later than July 20, 2020.**

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

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 Pen and Ink II

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):

Thu, March 26, April 2, 9, 23, 30, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Pencil II- Online with Onsite Component

Botanical Illustration in Pencil II- Online with On-site 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, April 17-18, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 

**All assignments are to be completed no later than May 15, 2020.**

 

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 I

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’ll 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

 

Tue, April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II

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: $265 member, $315 non-member.

 

Date(s):

Wed, March 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas

 

Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II- Online with On-site Component

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: Member $310, Non-Member $405

Date(s): Fri-Sat, June 26-27, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

*All assignments are to be completed no later than July 27, 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.

 

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

 

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