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Botanical Illustration

Constance Sayas, MilkweedBotanical art and illustration is the well-established tradition of portraying plants for scientific purposes, recording vanishing species for historical record, or rendering the beauty and inspiration we experience in the flora of the world around us.

We invite you to join the tradition of artists who have portrayed the beauty of plants for centuries. Our core curriculum provides comprehensive instruction in botanical art and illustration.

In the School of Botanical Art and Illustration, you will learn the skills to render plants in remarkable scientific detail and the artistic techniques needed to create beautiful and lasting plant portraits.

Beginners will acquire new knowledge and skills, and experienced artists will refine techniques and find fresh directions for their work. All students enjoy small classes in a positive and encouraging atmosphere.

With close to 200 courses and workshops offered each year, we'll help you to combine scientific accuracy with an aesthetic vision to create beautiful botanicals. Sample the program with an introductory course or jump right into the core curriculum. Whether you have painted for years or did your last great work in grade school, our instructors will meet you where you are to begin your botanical art and illustration journey.

NEW! 2015 Winter/Spring Botanical Art & Illustration course catalog

Register online.

New! 2015 Illustrator/Artist in Residence Program
This is an exciting opportunity for up to four illustrators/artists to get involved in the daily happenings at Denver Botanic Gardens.
Here is more information about the program.
Here is the application. Submission deadline is March 16, 2015.

Visit the School of Botanical Art and Illustration blog.

Visit the School of Botanical Art and Illustration page on Facebook.

Contact the School of Botanical Art & Illustration.

Upcoming Classes

Improve Your Handwriting Skills

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

Handwriting is becoming a lost art since email and text messaging have become our primary written communication methods. Researchers suggest that developing writing skills will aid the visual identification of graphic shapes.

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Composition for Botanical Illustration

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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BI in Watercolor I

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

Become part of the watercolor botanical tradition. Combine drawing skills and your knowledge of color mixing as you discover the delight of putting brush to paper to learn the specific techniques of transparent watercolor.

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Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Art Materials for the Botanical Illustrator

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

This information-packed class will provide detailed information about all of the art materials used throughout the botanical illustration program.

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BI in Pen and Ink I

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Pen and ink is at the heart of botanical illustration. Expand your drawing repertoire as you learn techniques to create line, form and texture in black and white.

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Smell, Taste and Touch: Sensory Plants in Colored Pencil

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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Color Layering for Colored Pencil

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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BI in Pencil I

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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Drawing on Tradition: Reflective Surfaces in the Style of M.C. Escher

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Shakespeare and Flowers

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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Beyond Pretty Pictures: Taking Composition Further

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

What makes a piece of art stand out above the rest? Why does a piece of art inspire? The answer most often lies in the composition. In this class, you address design from the very beginning.

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Café Botanique

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 6:30 p.m.
York Street

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program and is open to Botanical Art and Illustration students, Gardens' members, the general public, academia and artists.

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BI in Colored Pencil I

Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

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Embossed Design: Alphabets and Flowers

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Registration opens December 9, 2014 at 9am. Classes will appear sold out until then.

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Make an Art Portfolio Case

Saturday, May 16, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Open Studio

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Enduring Perfection

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Botanical illustration in the traditional Indian style will bring your images to life with the unique characteristics of tempera, the oldest painting technique in India.

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Open Studio

Monday, June 1, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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BI in Pencil II

Friday, June 5, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Simple and classic, pencil drawing is a timeless art form. Expand on the drawing skills you learned in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I as you reinforce and refine your knowledge of graphite pencil.

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Open Studio

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Surface Textures in Microscope

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

Registration opens December 9, 2014 at 9a.m. Classes will appear sold out until then.

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Shakespeare and Flowers

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

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Perfecting Perspective

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Open Studio

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Light on Form

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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BI in Pencil I

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

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Roses in Reality

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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BI in Watercolor II

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

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Nature Observed: Sketching in the Gardens

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 9 a.m.
Offsite

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Garden Landscapes

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 1 p.m.
York Street

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BI in Pen and Ink II

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 6 p.m.
York Street

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BI in Colored Pencil II

Friday, June 19, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Open Studio

Monday, June 22, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Framing Botanical Art

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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BI in Pencil I

Friday, June 26, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Introduction to Botanical Illustration

Monday, June 29, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Scientific Illustration for You: From Petals and Bugs to Paper (ages 12+)

Monday, July 6, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 9 a.m.
York Street

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Sketching Wildflowers in Estes Park

Friday, July 17, 2015 - 9 a.m.
Offsite

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Café Botanique

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 6:30 p.m.
York Street

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program and is open to Botanical Art and Illustration students, Gardens' members, the general public, academia and artists.

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Café Botanique

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 6:30 p.m.
York Street

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program and is open to Botanical Art and Illustration students, Gardens' members, the general public, academia and artists.

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Café Botanique

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 6:30 p.m.
York Street

Café Botanique is a part of the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program and is open to Botanical Art and Illustration students, Gardens' members, the general public, academia and artists.

Read More