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 2019

Certificate Courses

Botanical Illustration Sunday Studios | August 11, September 8, October 13, November 17
(There is no Sunday Studio in December)

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

Introduction to Pen and Ink for Scientific Illustration | August 10, 17, 24, 31

Primarily associated with scientific illustration because of its ease for reproduction in books and scientific journals, pen and ink is a valuable tool for the botanical artist.  This course builds and expands on students’ previous experiences with drawing and rendering in graphite.  Instructor: Lorraine Brevig

Botany for Botanical Illustration | September 14, 21, 28, October 5

Botanical illustrators need to be well versed in the intricacies of plant forms. 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, then complete graphite illustrations of plants related to class discussion.  Instructors: Sheila Hayden and Judith Towers

Master Studio and Portfolio Development with Juliet Kirby | September 17, 19, 24, 26

Williamsburg-based botanical artist Juliet Kirby leads this four-day watercolor workshop for advanced botanical artists and certificate students working on their final portfolio.

Biology for Botanical Artists: Fungi | September 20, 27, October 4

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 are devoted to creating line drawings and composing one scientific botanical plate under the guidance of Christine Drake.

Color Mixing for Botanical Illustration | November 2, 9, 16, 23

Stephey Baker guides you through the process of color mixing 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.

Composition for Botanical Illustrators | December 7, 8, 14, 15

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.

Introduction to Drawing for Botanical Illustration | January 18, 25, February 1, 8

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. The class works with botanical subjects appropriate to the season.  Instructor: Hazel Buys

Guest Artist Advanced Workshop

Drawing Botanicals in Silverpoint with Kathie Miranda | October 25, 26, 27

Silverpoint, a drawing medium used by the old masters, is enjoying a revival by artists today. Styluses containing a sharpened sterling silver wire produce delicate pale lines that tarnish over time to golden browns. Drawings have a lovely glow due to thin layers of silver reflecting light. Learn traditional ways to apply silverpoint to a simple ground prepared in class and to add color to silverpoint drawings to enhance the design.


The winter/spring 2020 season of classes will publish on November 28, 2019.

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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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