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
August-December 2018

NOTE: Online registration opens Wednesday, August 1 at 7 am

Botanical Illustration Sunday Studios | August 12, September 9, October 14, November 4, December 9

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

Painting White Flowers | August 2, 4, 7, 9

Work with Instructors Hazel Buys and Judith Towers on class days 1 and 2 to plan your composition and complete a value study with graphite. Study with Advanced Watercolor Instructor Juliet Kirby during classes 3 and 4 in order to perfect techniques for capturing radiant whites with a light touch of the brush.

Botany and Journaling with Lara Call Gastinger | September 12, October 17, November 14

Explore botany and art together. Join botanical artist Lara Call Gastinger to learn how to use a sketchbook to observe the ways plants change each month. Explore strategies to condense the natural world within the pages of your sketchbook. NEW: sign up for the second two sessions for $120.

Color Theory for Botanical Illustration | September 29, 30, October 6, 7

The basics of color theory are explored including the color wheel and how color temperature, hues, tints and shades affect the decisions an artist can make.  Instructor: Lorraine Brevig. This course has required pre-requisites. See the description for details.

Botany for Botanical Artists | October 13, 20, 27, November 3

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. This course has required pre-requisites. See the description for details.

Watercolor Studio with Juliet Kirby | October 16, 18, 23, 25

Williamsburg-based botanical artist Juliet Kirby leads this four-day watercolor workshop for advanced botanical artists. Participants bring a plant of their own choosing. Focus is on composition, accuracy, and direction of light.

Biology for Botanical Artists: Fungi | October 19, 26, November 2

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 John Hayden.  Afternoons led by Judith Towers are devoted to graphite illustrations of fungi related to the morning’s discussion. This course has required pre-requisites. See the description for detail.

Composition for Botanical Illustration | November 10, 11, 17, 18

The basics of composition are discussed as it relates to botanical illustration. Concepts such as negative space, the rule of thirds, placement, movement and quality of line are explored.  Instructor: Lorraine Brevig. This course has required pre-requisites. See the description for details.

Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration | January 19, 26, February 2, 9

This class explores drawing materials (papers and pencils), line quality and expressiveness as well as basic aids to drawing (types of rulers, compass and stencils). Students study the basics of proportion, perspective and composition in addition to simple approaches to rendering form with tone.  Instructor: Hazel Buys


The Winter/Spring 2019 season of classes will publish on November 28, 2018.

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

Explore our Botanical Illustration Certificate Program.

Learn More