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, courses are structured for students pursuing the Garden Education Certificate in Botanical Illustration. Courses must be taken in sequence as listed in the curriculum, and courses in the series after the introductory drawing courses are open only to certificate students. Pre-requisites are listed under individual course descriptions.

Our certificate curriculum is currently being revitalized. New certificate enrollments are on hold during the Winter/Spring season, through at least April 2024 to allow time for this revitalization process. To place your name on the certificate interest list, please email [email protected] and you will receive an email when enrollments resume.  

Looking for other media including ceramics, pressed flower art and other drawing/painting 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.

Class Schedule January – April 2024

Botany for Botanical Illustration | January 6, 13, 20, 27 IN-PERSON 

Botanical illustrators need to be well versed in the intricacies of plant form. Morning sessions help you learn to understand the structure of flowering plants and to study and draw a diversity of plant parts under the guidance of a botanist, John Hayden. In the afternoons, students will practice close observation of the plant specimen provided and produce a different graphite drawing to be included in each students’ portfolio with Judith Towers and Sheila Hayden. 

Pre-Requisite: Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration 


Explore various drawing techniques through virtual workshops with award-winner, scientific illustrator and artist Rogério Lupo, who will teach from Brazil. Each course includes drawing demonstrations of the various skills discussed. Students enrolled in the Garden’s Botanical Illustration certificate program will earn elective credit, but courses are open to anyone. 

NEW! Honoring the Light: Drawing Demo with International Artist Rogério Lupo | January 10, 17 VIRTUAL 

This virtual course led by renowned international artist Rogério Lupo aims to explore the observation of light and shade, focusing on how you can ultimately “honor the light” in your own work. You will enhance your ability to observe and capture different luminosities of light, learn to make your drawings more dynamic by adding depth, volume and dimension, and much more. 

NEW! Fundamentals of Graphite Shading with International Artist Rogério Lupo | April 10, 17, 24, May 1 VIRTUAL 

This virtual course led by renowned international artist Rogério Lupo aims to provide all the theoretical and practical tools necessary for beginners to initiate their practice and for intermediate students to improve their skills in graphite shading. You will learn about the different types and qualities of graphite, and how and when to use them; explore the different results that can be achieved according to the techniques and materials used; and much more. This course is limited to 15 students to provide the opportunity for individualized feedback. 


One-day sessions enable artists enrolled in the Botanical Illustration certificate program to enhance their botanical artworks under the guidance of one (or more) of our skilled instructor(s). With each session, artists will gain a deeper understanding of the creative process specific to botanical illustration. 

NEW! Tips & Techniques Studio – February | February 3 IN-PERSON

NEW! Tips & Techniques Studio – April | April 20 IN-PERSON

Every Tips & Techniques Studio session will explore a different theme across a variety of mediums and will include a demo, lecture or live interview session as well as ample time for studio work. Participants will be able to ask questions and receive feedback on how to complete current work in any medium, improve a work in progress or begin something new altogether. Studio sessions will provide an opportunity to meet peers and collaborate in a relaxed environment. 

Pre-Requisite: Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Composition for Botanical Illustration | February 24, March 2, 9, 16 VIRTUAL

Composition plays a fundamental role in the final result of an artwork. This virtual course led by renowned international artist Rogério Lupo will address the main principles of composition and design that can turn even apparently uninteresting subjects into enticing elements with great artistic and aesthetic attributes. In this process, we will understand why we need to avoid symmetrical forms, as well as coincident lines and circumscribed shapes that lead to optical illusions or confusing visual information.

Pre-Requisite for Certificate Students: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Not a certificate student? This course is open to all. Please follow this link to register (it is a different link than the one for certificate students).

NEW! Cultivating the Creative Process of Botanical Art | April 13, 27 IN-PERSON

This course teaches students about the various tools, resources and creative processes visual artists have traditionally and contemporarily adopted to create botanical art. This is a unique opportunity for students to explore what they learn through their sketchbooks by engaging in a variety of creative processes and experiencing them firsthand. Students can expect their own creative process to be influenced by what they learn and to find inspiration in the journey of studying the natural world through an artist’s eyes.

Pre-Requisite: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

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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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