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 media like ceramics 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 2022

Graphite Techniques: Sunflowers | August 13, 20, 27 IN-PERSON

Students study and draw a single sunflower (supplied). Emphasis will be on accurate depiction of the flower, stem and leaves using scientific knowledge (botany) of the sunflower in order to complete a successful drawing in graphite. Guest lecturer in botany: Tom Case.  Instructors: Hazel Buys and Claudette Baker

Prerequisite: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Botany for Botanical Illustration | September 10, 17, 24, October 1 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 Tom Case

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Intermediate Watercolor for Botanical Illustration | September 27, 29, October 4, 6 IN-PERSON

Proper lighting reveals structure, form, and texture. Color cards (from the Color Mixing course) help to identify leaf colors. Complete three detailed paintings of individual leaves on watercolor paper, and a final painting of multiple leaves on a vine. Instructors: Hazel Buys and Patrice Mason Hobbs.

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical Illustration

Biology for Botanical Artists: Fungi | October 8, 15, 29 (skips October 22) IN-PERSON

Although no longer considered formally to be members of the plant kingdom, fungi make fascinating subjects for botanical illustrators. Morning sessions help you learn to understand the structure of these distinctive organisms through lecture and observation under the guidance of botanist Dr. John Hayden.   Afternoons are devoted to drawing under the guidance of Tom Case.

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration 

Composition for Botanical Illustration | November 5, 12, 19, December 3 (skips November 26) IN-PERSON

The success of any work of art depends not only on the artist’s skill at drawing or painting, but more importantly on their ability to communicate ideas effectively. This course presents a variety of design strategies that are foundational to botanical illustration by exploring basic concepts of design and composition and examining a variety of approaches to composition that are specific to botanical illustration. Instructor: Tom Case

Pre-requisite: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Sepia: Intermediate to Advanced Watercolor | November 8, 10, 15, 17 IN-PERSON

Sepia allows for the creation of a detailed painting, focusing on structure and form, without the challenge of color matching. Students will continue to hone watercolor techniques and brush skills using sepia to develop form by observing and painting light and shadow while continuing to build experience in watercolor brush techniques such as wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, and dry brush.  Instructor: Patrice Hobbs

Pre-requisite: Intermediate Watercolor 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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