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 April – August 2023

Botany for Botanical Illustration | April 29, May 6, 13, 20 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. Students keep an illustrated study journal. Scientific names in botanical illustration are discussed and used. Afternoons are devoted to graphite illustrations of plants related to the morning’s discussion. Emphasis is placed on observation, accurate representation of details, and labeling.  Instructors: Sheila Hayden and Tom Case

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Color Mixing for Botanical Illustration | In-Person May 3, 4, 24 & Independent Virtual May 5-23 HYBRID

It can seem watercolor painting needs only water + watercolor paint. Mix them together, apply to paper with a brush and voila! It’s not quite that simple. It helps when you can identify the physical properties of paints and pigments plus understand how to read paint labels. Learn why all these characteristics–and more–matter to creating a successful botanical painting. The goal is to 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.

Pre-requisite: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical Illustration | May 27, June 3, 10, 17 IN-PERSON

Introduction to painting botanical subjects with watercolor. This class will meet once a week for four weeks. Explore the medium of watercolor to observe and record botanical subjects with color. Paint simple forms (leaf) by matching colors, developing continuous tone and building layers of smooth local color to show shape, contour and highlights. Learn to use a controlled brush to create crisp edges. Students will learn about painting materials (papers and brushes), practice watercolor painting skills and complete exercises demonstrating core techniques. The class will work with botanical subjects appropriate to the season, provided by the Garden. Instructors: Hazel Buys and Patrice Hobbs.

Pre-requisite: Color Mixing for Botanical Illustration

NEW! Botanical Illustration Sampler Course: Orchids | July 8, 15, 22, 29 IN-PERSON

Learn from multiple instructors as you study the botany and illustration techniques for depicting an orchid. At the first class meeting, taught by Dr. John and Sheila Hayden, learn the botany of orchids and complete a clean line drawing(s) including an accurate tracing with Micron pen on Canson (transparent) vellum. At the second class meeting transfer this line drawing to suitable support for working in watercolor, taught by Patrice Hobbs. At the third class meeting transfer the SAME line drawing to suitable support and work in Pen & Ink, taught by Tom Case. Wrap up with work in the fourth class meeting in metal point (SAME line drawing transferred to suitable support), instructed by Hazel Buys. THIS IS A SINGLE COURSE OF FOUR CLASS MEETINGS.

Pre-requisite: Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical Illustration

NEW! Intermediate/Advanced Graphite Techniques: Summer Blooms | August 5, 12, 19, 26 IN-PERSON

This is a 4-day course., 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Students will study and draw a summer flower (supplied for student). The flower selected for this course is a lily. Emphasis will be on accurate depiction of the flower, stem and leaves using scientific knowledge (botany) in order to complete a successful drawing in graphite. Instructors: Hazel Buys and Claudette Baker. Guest lecturer: Tom Case.

Pre-requisite: Intermediate Drawing for Botanical Illustration

Intermediate Watercolor for Botanical Illustration | September 9, 16, 23, 30 IN-PERSON

Proper lighting reveals structure, form, and texture. Complete three detailed paintings of individual leaves on watercolor paper, and a final painting of multiple leaves on a vine. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Watercolor for Botanical Illustration. Instructors: Hazel Buys and Patrice Mason Hobbs.

Pre-requisite: Introduction to 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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