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Introduction to Watercolor

Introduction to painting botanical subjects with watercolor. This class will meet once a week for four weeks. Explore the medium of watercolor to observe and record botanical subjects with color. Paint simple forms (leaf) by matching colors, developing continuous tone and building layers of smooth local color to show shape, contour and highlights. Learn to use a controlled brush to create crisp edges. Students will learn about painting materials (papers and brushes), practice watercolor painting skills and complete exercises demonstrating core techniques. The class will work with botanical subjects appropriate to the season, provided by the Garden. Instructors: Hazel Buys and Patrice Hobbs.

Our Garden continues to follow CDC recommendations and state guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Properly worn masks are strongly encouraged for indoor class participants regardless of vaccination status. The Garden reserves the right to implement additional safety measures. Any updates will be communicated prior to class, if possible.

All programs are subject to change.

Register Member $261

Register Non-Member $313

Saturday, May 27, 2023 - Saturday, June 17, 2023
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Event Details

Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical IllustrationGES: BI, 20, required*

This class is a required part of the Botanical Illustration Certificate Curriculum.  Introduction, Intermediate Drawing, and Color Mixing for Botanical Illustration are pre-requisites for taking this class.

*This class provides 20 hours of required credit for the Garden Education Series: Botanical Illustration Certificate. This course is only open to certificate students. To join the certificate program, please find more information here.

This course takes place over 4 Saturdays:

  • May 27
  • June 3
  • June 10
  • June 17

Click here to view and print the course materials list.

Please note that students are responsible for supplying some of their own materials for this course.


Hazel Buys has a certificate in Botanical Illustration from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and is lead instructor in the certificate program at the Garden. Her work is included in collections in Europe and in the United States.

Patrice Hobbs retired after 40 years working as an electron microscopist at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, with a focus on fish pathology and harmful algal bloom species. She has been a life-long artist, studying art in high school and as an undergrad at Virginia Tech while earning a B.S. in Biology. She has done scientific illustrations for the Virginia Sea Grant, The Beach Book: Science of the Shore written by her husband, Dr. Carl Hobbs, and illustrated multiple children’s historical fiction books written by Emilee Mason. An intense interest in the diversity in plant structure led to enrollment in the Botanical Illustration certificate of competence program at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which she completed in November of 2021. She is currently a member of the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region and the American Society of Botanical Artists. She plans to focus her work on indigenous plants.