Botanical Illustration Classes

Courses are designed to provide a thorough foundation in the classical approaches and disciplines of botanical illustration.   Arranged in a series format, classes are structured for students pursuing the Garden Education Certificate in Botanical Illustration. Students may enroll in the certificate program only after taking “Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration” and “Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration.” Courses must be taken in sequence as listed in the curriculum, and classes in the series after the basic drawing classes  are open only to certificate students.  Pre-requisites are listed under individual course descriptions.

Looking for other media, including fiber arts and other drawing styles?  Check out Art in the Garden.

Use the class title to navigate to a detailed description or search for classes in our Active Network registration site.  Online registration can be accessed through either link.

Class Schedule
April-August 2019

Guest Artist Advanced Workshops

Rogério Lupo

Graphite Techniques for Botanical Illustration | April 18, 19, 20

Working in pencil, develop values and master seamless gradations from the lightest lights to the darkest darks without the usual graphite sheen. A simple exercise trains each student to draw incredible detail using practical rendering of textures and different colors of objects represented as shades of gray; to recognize luminosities, reflections and contrasts; and to execute useful and fast forms to render hairs and thorns.

Lecture/Demo: Pen Nib and Ink Techniques | April 25

Biologist and illustrator Rogerio Lupo demonstrates his technique for creating texture and form with pen nib and Ink.

Pen Nib and Ink: Refined Hatching Technique for Scientific Illustration | April 26, 27, 28

Study different pen and ink techniques; the primary focus is on the method of hatching and its refinement. Explore how to render various shapes and forms in nature by using hatching and discover the existing technical choices available to render pen nib shading, with some previous graphite shading experience as your basis. Learn new skills through demonstrations, practical exercises and step-by-step individual instruction to finish an elegant final plate.

Heeyoung Kim

Advanced Botanical Watercolor Techniques | June 18, 19, 20

A good botanical watercolor should show mastery of the medium, aesthetic quality and accurate scientific information about the subject. To achieve this goal, artists should not only be able to use watercolor skillfully, but also to make decisions about what parts of the plant/s are to be depicted and how to do it. In this workshop, Heeyoung Kim shares her know-how by focusing on challenges that are common, but critical to improve the quality of botanical art.

Certificate Classes

Botanical Illustration Sunday Studios | April 14, May 19, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8

Mentors and students work on certificate projects together in an informal setting.  Open to Botanical Illustration certificate candidates only.

Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical Illustration | April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20

Students learn about painting materials (papers and brushes), practice watercolor painting skills and complete exercises demonstrating core techniques. Complete one or more painting(s) of a simple botanical subject (e.g., leaf, nut, simple flower) of your choice, practicing the painting skills taught in the class. Instructor: Hazel Buys.

Intermediate Watercolor for Botanical Illustration | June 1, 8, 15, 22

See how light falling on leaves reveals structure, form, and texture. Use the paints in your palette to make nature’s colors. Explore warm and cool colors to find just the right mix. Make four small, detailed leaf paintings on watercolor paper.  Instructors: Hazel Buys and Judith Towers

Master Studio/Portfolio Development with Juliet Kirby | July 23, 25, 30, August 1

Williamsburg-based botanical artist Juliet Kirby leads this four-day watercolor workshop for advanced botanical artists and certificate students working on their final portfolio.

Introduction to Pen and Ink for Scientific Illustration | August 10, 17, 24, 31

Primarily associated with scientific illustration because of its ease for reproduction in books and scientific journals, pen and ink is a valuable tool for the botanical artist.  This course builds and expands on students’ previous experiences with drawing and rendering in graphite.  Instructor: Lorraine Brevig

Botany for Botanical Illustration | September 14, 21, 28, October 5

Botanical illustrators need to be well versed in the intricacies of plant forms. Learn to understand the structure of flowering plants and conifers and to study and draw a diversity of plant parts under the guidance of a botanist, then complete graphite illustrations of plants related to class discussion.  Instructors: Sheila Hayden and Judith Towers


The summer/fall 2019 season of classes will publish on July 31, 2019.

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Interested in gaining a thorough foundation in the art of botanical illustration?

Explore our Botanical Illustration Certificate Program.

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