This class is designed for students who wish to build upon colored pencil techniques and skills developed in the Beginning and Intermediate Colored Pencil courses. In this class, you will learn how to create intricate and detailed botanical illustrations using colored pencils.
We will cover topics such as drawing cones and other complex subjects. We will also explore complex compositions with multiple elements, which will help you develop your design skills. Finally, we will delve into the world of native moths and butterflies that have connections to native plants, which will give you a deeper understanding of the relationship between plants and insects.
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. Some principles of design–shape, proportion, value, contrast, pattern, emphasis, center of attention, movement, balance and harmony, spatial or environmental context, perspective and illumination–can conduct the observers’ view to tell them a visual or naturalistic story and magnetize their attention. 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. To embody all concepts and foster intuition, students will perform a series of practical exercises, developing minor and major projects with individual feedback from the teacher. Such projects can lead to works of art to be finished after the course. Creative process, group discussion and articulating ideas (including how to break the rules) are encouraged, all while maintaining the pillars of botanical art and illustration, scientific accuracy, aesthetics and skill.
Capture spring botanical subjects in watercolor and ink. Learn how to combine various pen and ink techniques for creating detail, texture and form and vibrant watercolor washes to create detailed botanical illustrations and studies. We will be drawing and painting from observation paying attention to botanical structures. Class time will include instruction and slide presentation, demonstrations, drawing and painting together and sharing your work and practice.
This course will be held online. Live and recorded Zoom offered.
An artist’s nature journal documents the beauty of nature in a unique and personal format. Nature journals can be filled with scientific observations, pressed leaves or imaginative drawings and notes. Students receive a set of prompts for nature walks that highlight seasonal themes and encourage intimate connection with nature. Discover what plants and animals are at work in our neighborhoods and capture the seasons by using expressive linework and a changing color palette.
Susan T. Fisher teaches you how to mix the colors you want, not the ones you end up with through trial and error. Lots of exercises, discussions, individual attention, and demonstrations with show you how to achieve the broadest possible spectrum. Receive answers to many of your questions as we discuss the various properties of paint. Familiarize yourself with the codes to quality paint and choose pigments that will endure. Learn an easy system for combining colors consistently to achieve the broadest possible spectrum for any "wet" medium including watercolor, gouache, oils, acrylics, etc. Suitable for artists at all levels, no experience required. Color mixing sheets provided.
Pen and ink is a bold and classic medium, but its monochromatic nature also presents a certain challenge: how can we capture the rich details of botanical textures and color patterns, all with black ink? Using technical pens, practice traditional inking techniques such as stipple and cross-hatching while also experimenting with less conventional marks to create vivid textures and patterns with convincing dimension.
Interested in the idea of digital painting, but intimidated by the thought of learning how to use new software? Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create beautiful digital paintings, taking advantage of the software’s awesome abilities to work in layers, experiment with color, apply blending modes and textures and more. Students must have access to Adobe Photoshop to take this class.
These talks by artists, scientists, community members and thought leaders explore a wide range of topics highlighting the junctions of art and science. Lectures are typically 30-45 minutes followed by discussion. Artist Tanya Marcuse’s large-scale photographs evoke awe and wonder for the natural world. Join us as Marcuse discusses her work from two recent projects, “Woven” and “Book of Miracles” with a special focus on the elaborate process to create her photographs. Marcuse’s work can be seen in the current exhibition Laws of Nature on view through March 31, 2024, in Kemper Gallery at the Freyer—Newman Center.
Throughout this workshop we will keep a sketchbook using
the ink pen and watercolour technique. We will collect and
sketch specimens of the local flora en plein air and in the afternoon classes we will paint the same subjects using the botanical watercolour technique.
During the course of the week we will explore various concepts to inform our illustrations and practice.
In the early spring as the snow begins to melt away, the days begin to get longer. Along the edges of the beach and in the habitat that surrounds it, buds are beginning to swell, fresh shoots are emerging, and the birds are chirping. There is an energy in the air and an excitement for warmer days ahead and the promise of spring. With Sarah Roche as your guide, record the changing seasons as you botanically beachcomb, drawing the treasures and detritus that wash up along the shoreline and the evidence of last year's flora that hints at the possibilities of this new season. Suitable for intermediate or advanced artists.
Learn how to take your sketchbook outdoors and reconnect with plants in their natural environment. In this course, students are encouraged to shed old habits and try new techniques as they travel to a variety of gardens and habitats. Through a combination of guided exercises and free experimentation, students discover new ways of seeing plants, new problem-solving skills, and a refreshing way of thinking about layout and color. Several media are used, from ballpoint pen to watercolor to pencil. No prerequisites.
Class meets on zoom, classes will be recorded.
Bring your drawings to life in color! Students learn color theory; explore watercolor; colored pencil on paper, board, film and toned paper; and are invited to include digital media. This class helps students develop advanced compositions and info-graphics. Students complete three portfolio pieces and prepare for internships/independent studies, if desired. Professional practices, handouts, tutorials, live video conferencing and email are included.
Open to students having completed Sessions I and II in the SIDP, or by permission. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Strong composition is essential to creating memorable works of art and this is particularly so in botanical art. Good composition can lift a work from the mundane to the sublime.
On this course we will be looking at what makes a good composition and ways of improving our own composition. Ann Swan will demonstrate and use exercises to help you to develop a sense of your own style and give you a framework within which to compose your work and create work with ‘wall appeal’!
Ann is happy to include all levels of ability in the group, so complete beginners through to more advanced improvers. Everyone will be encouraged to work at their own pace with support, advice, individual attention and demonstrations from Ann whenever needed.
The carbon dust technique was developed by medical illustrators in the early 20th century and is characterized by subtle and precise gradations of grey values. Using a combination of carbon pencil lines and carbon dust applied with brushes, this unique medium produces rich total renderings with the value range of charcoal and the precision of watercolor. In this 5-week online class, learn from fellow ASBA member Deborah Shaw about methodical layering and other skills to create luminous greyscale tones and values. This class is offered by the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens.
The week will begin with a walk around the grounds of Clos Mirabel, where you will source your subject. Back in the studio the work will commence investigating the plant and you will undertake a study or sketchbook style page by deconstructing the plant into the sum of its parts and identifying the important parts for inclusion.
You will learn how to arrange the plant parts on the page to make best use of space; using overlaps, separation and aerial perspective. The process will include working out colours, including underlying colour, tints and shades, and saturation, as well as the relevant watercolour techniques for the different features of the plant.
Finally, you will work on fine tuning a final composition towards the creation of a painting using your reference from the previous study page work.
By the end of the week the process from plant to painting will be clear and you will be ready to take your painting to a finished stage with confidence.
Join instructor Tara Connaughton to celebrate the early blooms of the season, focusing on the abundance of tulips growing in the Garden at Elm Bank, Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Through observation, sketching, and practicing key color mixing and painting techniques, we will capture these beautiful bulbs in our botanical sketchbooks. Suitable for all experience levels.
An explosion of colour arrives in the pastures and woodlands surrounding Clos Mirabel in late April. Fields of bee orchids, pyramid orchids and early purple orchids on the lower slopes of the Pyrenees lead to alpine plants like gentians, saxifrages and butterworts dotting the upper slopes.
During our workshop we will take time to really look at our locally sourced plant subjects. Simple observational drawing techniques will help us to explore and examine the structure and habit of our subjects.
Accurate colour mixing and matching comes with practice and experience. I will guide you through some easy exercises to help you grow in confidence in how you use and choose colour.
The nature of watercolour is that it is fluid, spontaneous and transparent. Exploring and practicing watercolour painting techniques in a simple but systematic way can be applied to painting any subject. Using controlled wet and damp techniques and finishing with dry techniques we will work in layers to create a painting that is both true to science and true to your emotional connection with your plant subject.
Capture the beauty of New England ephemeral plants in their native habitat in this 3-day class with Betsy Rogers-Knox. These special plants bloom early, before the leaf canopy shades their habitat. Starting with line drawings and a quick tonal, we’ll compose a small habitat composition using live subjects native to the area. With step-by-step instruction and demonstrations, we’ll incorporate many watercolor techniques including wet-on-wet, dry brush and everything in between!!
One of the prettiest sights of the gardening year is the show provided by spring. In the Garden at Elm Bank, at this time of year, there is plenty to draw and paint throughout, but the stars of the show are the Spring Flowering Trees. The dogwoods, viburnums and magnolias will be flowering as well as many other species. In this four-week class with Sarah Roche, celebrate the beauty of the spring as we take advantage of the garden’s splendor. We will record what we see through sketches and watercolor studies and create detailed studies of the trees’ transient flowers and emerging foliage.
In this class with Tara Connaughton, we will capture the soft greens and colors of the season through studies of deliciously scented spring herbs. Focus will be on observational drawing and mixing accurate color to render the nuances of our chosen plant subjects. Students should have completed at least one Foundations of Botanical Drawing and Painting class, or equivalent.
Hybrid class: May 9 & 23, in-person at the Garden at Elm Bank; Cheney Room, Education Center; May 16, online via Zoom
Experimental Botanical Embroidery in South West France
On this exploratory week-long course with Lora Avedian, you will begin by creating experimental hand embroidery samples with the aim of developing nature-inspired hand embroidery techniques to make a textile artwork or embellish a pre-made item of our own (such as a cushion cover or clothing).
To start the week there will be simple drawing exercises and Lora will guide you in how to best translate your drawings into stitch. Looking at a variety of classic hand embroidery and embellishment techniques, you will learn how to play with scale and materials to create different qualities of line, 3D relief and texture. You will learn how to combine this with three dimensional fabric flowers using Lora’s fabric pleater. This will be an intensive and experimental week where you can learn Lora’s trade tips and tricks to create an original and dynamic mixed-media textile design of your own.
This will be an opportunity for anyone who wants to push their hand embroidery skills in different directions, and explore what can be done with this very traditional craft. It will be a playful week where you can develop ideas, go away with samples to reference for future projects and a finished piece of work.
This week is suitable for all skill levels and designed to be flexible to enable participants to go in the direction they please with what they have learnt. Note that this is a hand embroidery workshop, there will not be any machine embroidery taught.
https://atelier.clos-mirabel.com + 33 (0) 679 590 491
The week with Úrsula Romero will begin with a walk around the enchanting grounds of Atelier Clos Mirabel, where you will source your fragrant roses and lushious leaves. Back in the studio, Úrsula will guide you through the process of how to create a large, supersized painting of your chosen flower, petal or leaf. You will learn more about the structure of flowers and how to use different paper types, brushes and paints and how to take risks with your art. As the week unfolds, Úrsula will show you how to paint black backgrounds in watercolour, how to light subjects and how to mix natural greens, browns and greys. How to create textures using dry brushes and how to layer watercolours without them turning muddy.
You’ll be left to develop your own work under Úrsula’s supervision over the course and will be guided through the technique of burnishing once finished. This course is suitable for all levels because Úrsula gives each student individual attention, guidence and instruction, which means this relaxing week away at Atelier Clos Mirabel is ideal for anyone – from beginners to masters. Úrsula also supports you while you work in your own time and encourages a sense of curiosity in trying out new techniques, so that you feel confident in finding methods that you might prefer to use when back at home. You will finish the course more relaxed, with one or two large paintings underway, a wealth of knowledge on painting, information on how to sell your art and develop your own ideas and have an enormous a sense of empowerment.
In this three-day workshop, we will explore the beauty of the longleaf pine and learn how to paint it using watercolors. We will start with a tour of the garden to get inspired and choose our own subject. During the workshop, we will focus on painting the leaves of the longleaf pine in watercolor and adding details such as cones in sepia or black pen and ink. You will also learn about cross-hatching techniques in watercolor and pen and ink through several demonstrations.
6 nights and 5 days of tuition in a class of just 6 students. For details, please visit www.podart.space.
Join Catherine Watters for one week of drawing and painting the incredibly diverse flora of Atelier Clos Mirabel, using watercolours to capture the colours and textures of the plants.
After our walk in the grounds, we will head to the studio where Catherine will introduce her 10 stages to successfully illustrate a subject. You will carefully observe, measure and draw your subject focusing on form, light and texture.
After composing your illustration, we will discuss the properties of watercolours and transparent colour mixing. You will apply several layers from the base tea wash to the dry brush finishing touches, using proper lighting to make your subject come to life.
The course will include a PowerPoint presentation on ‘The History of Botanical Art’, numerous demonstrations and an exhibition on the last day.
Catherine will also show you how to create a Botanical Journal to document your experience at Clos Mirabel. This is a lovely way to capture a special moment in a magical place.
Students will work with graphite and watercolour, however if you prefer, you can use coloured pencils. All levels of experience are welcome.
6 nights and 5 days of tuition in a class of just 6 students. Led by Sarah Simblet from the John Ruskin School of Fine Art, students will spend the week drawing trees and plants. For more details, please visit www.podart.space
Sarah Roche and Massachusetts Horticultural Society are excited to offer this seven-day painting experience based at Saint-Grégoire, Sarah's house in the Lot-et-Garonne region of south west France, close to the market town of Castillonnès. We will find our painting inspiration in Sarah's gardens and at the local markets, selecting and bringing back the fruits and vegetables of the harvest to study and paint at Saint-Grégoire. Each day you may tackle small studies of your market finds, or spend the week working on a full painting in watercolor. The small group setting (10 artists max.) means that each participant will enjoy plenty of guidance and demonstration.
In late summer, the jostling crowds are gone, but the countryside is beautiful and the harvest is at its most delicious. Each day there is a market in a different ancient local bastide village. Each one is steeped in history and their narrow winding streets are a maze of beautiful old houses with hidden gardens and courtyards. There will be time to explore the beautiful Dordogne and Lot regions of south west France, enjoy the delicious local French cuisine and sample the wines of the region, as well as explore the local towns, countryside and chateaux.
Accommodations: Haven on the Hill, Lalandusse, Lot et Garonne. Travelers will stay in a shared double room, all en suite.
Some drawing experience required.
Learn my approach to painting on vellum during this five-day workshop at the beautiful Clos Mirabel in the south of France. We will begin by doing some exercises on small bits of vellum to learn technique and to get a feel for painting on this surface. Then, we will explore the grounds of Clos Mirabel to choose painting subjects. Apples, pears, plums, figs, kiwis, and berries will be at their peak this time of the year. You might also choose to do a Hoefnagel-Inspired painting of the treasures you find in the gardens.
This class is designed for students new to vellum (learn how to successfully paint on vellum) as well as for more experienced vellum painters (learn new tricks and techniques). The workshop combines demonstrations, discussion of materials and techniques, hands-on time for developing skills, and lots of individual attention and feedback. Handouts with step-by-step instructions will be provided.
Experienced vellum painters can use this as a studio class to work on anything they like.
Join Ann Swan at Atelier Clos Mirabel for a 5 day botanical art workshop in the French Pyrenees ~ South West France. Enjoy wonderful surroundings, delightful accommodation and delicious meals.
On this course we will be looking at what makes a good composition and ways of improving our own composition. Ann will demonstrate and use exercises to help you to develop a sense of your own style and give you a framework within which to compose your work and create work with ‘wall appeal’!
“We see objects because of light and in order to create realistic images of plants we need to fully understand light and observe how it reacts with our subjects to describe their shapes.”
In this workshop Ann will show you how to interpret light and shade and to accurately capture these contrasting tonal values to create a true sense of three-dimensional form and volume in your work.
Ann will demonstrate ways of creating realistic highlights and sheen and help you choose convincing shade colours to create depth in shadows whilst maintaining vibrant colours so that your work will come to life on the page.
You will be able to put all this into practice on a more finished piece with guidance on composition and full support from Ann.
During this week of Botanical Sketching and Painting in the French Pyrénées with Lara Call Gastinger we will be observing, drawing and painting the local flora of Atelier Clos Mirabel.
We will go through the process of how to create a botanical painting, starting with sketching and learning the important characteristics of plants.
We will seek botanical inspiration from the acreage of Atelier Clos Mirabel and with a trip to the blooming meadows of the Pyrénées.
After the first day of sketching, we will focus on using watercolours to capture the colours and textures of the plants. In the end, we will work on composition and how to create a finished botanical painting.
Enjoy wonderful surroundings, delightful accommodation and delicious meals.
Join Laura Silburn at Atelier Clos Mirabel for a 5 day botanical art workshop in the French Pyrenees ~ South West France. Enjoy wonderful surroundings, delightful accommodation and delicious meals.
Explore the botanical delights of this flora-rich part of the world in the Autumn. Laura will help you examine a chosen plant or vegetable through careful observation and sketchbook work. You will then compose an image that reflects its natural character whilst observing botanical truth. You will be guided on how to take your planned drawings through to a completed botanical watercolour and then the techniques to take your picture to the ‘next level’ using dry-brush finishing.
Laura teaches extensively in her home county of Cornwall in the UK and online. Laura has work in the RHS Lindley Library and the Shirley Sherwood collection, which shows at the gallery in Kew Gardens, The Hunt Institute, the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, and the Eden Project Cornwall.