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.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content.  Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.  Please note Covid-19 related requirements for in-person classes.  All guidelines are subject to change.

Class Schedule August – December 2021

Perspective Pop Up | August 7 IN-PERSON

This class covers the material in the third class of “Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration.” For more detail on class content, students can consult their Intermediate Drawing Student Notebook, class #3.  Instructor: Hazel Buys


Composition for Botanical Illustrators | August 14, 16, 21, 23 IN-PERSON

This class explores different compositional principles students can use to create harmony and balance in botanical paintings. Become better at analyzing your work, developing your eye for design and the possibilities in putting together line, mass and color. Instructor: Christine Drake.  Note: The first session of the composition course is designed for students whose Intermediate Drawing course was cut short by the COVID19 closure. First session instructor: Hazel Buys


Color Mixing for Botanical Illustration | September 15, September 16 – October 5 24/7, October 6 HYBRID

Decode the basics of color theory and mixing watercolor paint with hands-on exercises. Stephey Baker guides you through the process step-by-step. Hone your color mixing skills in a relaxed and inspired environment through creative discussion and testing/evaluating of watercolor paints. Color matching accuracy, artistic expression and establishing a personal creative process are emphasized.


Botany for Botanical Artists | October 9, 23, 30, November 6 IN-PERSON

Botanical illustrators need to be well versed in the intricacies of plant forms. Morning sessions help you 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. Afternoons are devoted to graphite illustrations of plants related to the morning’s discussion. Instructors: Sheila Hayden and Judith Towers


Advanced Watercolor Workshop | October 13, 18, 20, 25 IN-PERSON

Williamsburg-based botanical artist Juliet Kirby leads this four-day watercolor workshop for advanced botanical artists and certificate students working on their final portfolio.  This course continues to emphasize composition, accuracy, and direction of light.


Botanical Illustration Sunday Studios IN-PERSON

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

August Sunday Studio | August 8

September Sunday Studio | September 12

October Sunday Studio | October 10

November Sunday Studio | November 14

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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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