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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.

Lone Pine: A Study of Rozashi Patterns with Margaret Kinsey

The pine tree (matsu) is a much-revered symbol in Japanese culture. In this class, make a pine tree sampler using the basic stitches of Rozashi, a traditional form of Japanese embroidery. The stitches you learn and employ are ichi dan and ni dan straight stitch, irregular stitch (similar to long and short embroidery) and a step stitch as the background stitch. Incorporate Rozashi silk threads and gold thread into your sampler for a beautiful result. The ro, or linen fabric, comes attached to a frame, ready for you to begin stitching. The sampler kit, included in the price of the class, is complete with a needle and supplies for finishing after stitching.

No prerequisites

Fee: $300 member, $340 non-member

Date(s): Fri-Sun, Sep. 20-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Margaret Kinsey, Deltona, FL


Margaret Kinsey is certified by the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA) to teach silk and metal thread techniques. She is also certified to teach traditional Japanese embroidery. Margaret is the designated U.S. teacher for the Kunimitsu Rozashi Studio and studies with Fumiko Ozaki. She has taught and lectured in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. She chaired the EGA 2018 International Embroidery Conference and is the coordinator for its silk and metal thread embroidery master craftsman program.


Winged Victory: Insects and Plants in Watercolor

Pollination is the preeminent association between flowering plants and insects. There is, however, many other important plant-insect interactions, both beneficial and harmful. Knowledge of these relationships can help us better comprehend the forces of ecological balance. During this workshop, learn more about both beneficial and harmful relationships between local insects and plants. Learn about insect anatomy and use this knowledge to create an illustration of a combination of a host plant and the insect. Work with watercolor and develop the fine details and texture using a nib with the water media. Your plate will tell an interpretative story from your neighborhood.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member

Date(s): Fri, Sep 20, 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25, 3-6 p.m.

Instructor: Alifie Rojas, Mexico

Alifie Rojas is a Mexican illustrator visiting Denver Botanic Gardens to study and illustrate Colorado’s regional insects. She began practicing watercolor techniques in the early 1990s and by 1999, began specializing in scientific illustration. Her work has been presented in individual and collective exhibitions, and has been published in Mexico and the U.S. She also illustrated the book “Medicinal Plants” by Rosita Arvigo.


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