NOTE: All member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance, and masks are required for unvaccinated guests ages 2 and up. Learn more about how you can join us!

Students enrolled in the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program will learn how to draw botanical subjects with scientific accuracy, artistry and mastery of technical methods. Using a basic knowledge of plant morphology, participants will develop the skills needed to document plants in intricate detail, including the root system, upper and lower leaf surfaces, flowers, fruits and seed heads. This program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing art for pleasure and self-satisfaction, and they can choose between two concentrations: watercolor or colored pencil. Beginners, as well as those with art experience, are welcome. Students ay repeat most courses in the program at a 10-percent discount; however, a repeat course cannot apply toward certificate credit.

Botanical Art and Illustration

About the Program

Learn more about our certificate requirements, browse work from our students, meet our instructors and more.

For more details about our programs, or to receive personalized class recommendations from our helpful staff, please feel free to contact us at edu@phipps.conservatory.org.

Confirmations will be emailed the day before each class, including a Zoom link. Please check your spam/junk mail folder, and if you have not received the link, email edu@phipps.conservatory.org.

Current Classes

Click titles for full details 

  • Celebrating Imperfection Watercolor Workshop | visiting artist Julia Trickey | Friday., Aug. 6 | 9 a.m. – noon EST | 1500 – 1800 BST | Sun., Aug. 8 |10 am – noon EST |1600 – 1800 BST | This class is now filled.

  • Watercolor I: Techniques and Color Theory | Brenda Jordan | Saturdays: Aug. 14, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Tues., Sept. 21 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Botanical Drawing II: Volume, Texture and Details |  Robin Menard | Saturdays: Aug. 14, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Wed., Sept. 8 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.

  • Dark-to-Light Colored Pencil Technique For Dramatic Lighting I and II | Amy Lindenberger | Sundays: Aug. 15 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | Sat., Sept. 11| 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Tues., Sept. 28 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Floral Morphology | Bonnie Isaac | Sundays: Aug. 22 and 29 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

  • Botanical Collections | Robin Menard | Aug. 29 and Sept. 26 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Sun., Oct. 24 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

  • Botanical Drawing I | Robin Menard | Saturdays: Sept. 11 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | Sun., Oct. 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) |  After-class meeting: Sun., Oct. 31 | 9:30 - 11 a.m.

  • Nature Journaling | Melissa Fabian | Sundays: Sept. 12, Oct. 3 and 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Wed., Oct. 27 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Creating Tactile Textures with Colored Pencil and Graphite with Visiting Artist Ann Swan | Friday., Sept. 17 | 9 a.m. – noon EST | 1400 – 1700 BST | Sun., Sept. 19 |10 a.m. – noon EST |1500 – 1700 BST

  • Colored Pencil I: Techniques | Amy Lindenberger | Saturdays: Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Tues., Oct. 26 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Autumn Gourds in Watercolor | Amy Lewandowski | Saturdays: Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Tues., Oct. 19 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

 

Classes in Progress

  • Drawing the 3 B’s: Bees, Beetles and Butterflies | Melissa Fabian | Tuesdays: June 1, 8, 15, 29, July 6 and 13 | 1 – 4 p.m. (with short breaks) | After-class meeting: Tues., Aug. 3, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Colored Pencil Florals on Black Paper I, II and III | Amy Lindenberger | Saturdays: July 10, 17 and 24 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Tues., Aug. 17 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Illustrating Nature's Fauna in Pen and Ink | Melissa Fabian | Sundays: July 11 and 25, Aug. 1 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-Class Meeting: Wed., Aug. 11 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Detailed Listings

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Julia Trickey

Celebrating Imperfection Watercolor Workshop | visiting artist Julia Trickey

Friday., Aug. 6 | 9 a.m. – noon EST | 1500 – 1800 BST
Sun., Aug. 8 |10 am – noon EST |1600 – 1800 BST

This class is now filled.

$195 members | $225 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to use several watercolor techniques for depicting a faded specimen

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Prerequisite: Drawing I and II and Watercolor I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

In this workshop students will look at how to depict less than perfect flower or leaf specimens. We will look at the characteristics of fading subjects, and consider the process and techniques for capturing these in watercolor. This may include features of fading flowers, how to make flowers look translucent, wet-in-wet techniques for undulating leaves and petals, working larger than life, composition and background options and fine detail.   Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

Botanical Drawing II: Volume, Texture and Details | Robin Menard

Saturdays: Aug. 14, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Wed., Sept. 8 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to apply skills gained in Botanical Drawing I to accurately capture various plant forms, details and textures that are unique to the subject

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Continue to develop your observation and drawing skills to accurately render leaves, stems, roots and flowers in varying positions, capturing details and textures unique to the botanical subject.  Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Holly Johnson

Watercolor I: Techniques and Color Theory | Brenda Jordan

Saturdays: Aug. 14, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Tues., Sept. 21 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To have control of the brush, pigment and paper while learning to combine watercolor paints to create a rich a varied palette

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Learn the basics of transparent watercolor as a medium and gain a foundational understanding of the brushes, paper and paints suitable for botanical watercolor. Using a limited palette, explore techniques such as washes and glazes and practice creating a full range of hues, shades and tones using the limited palette. Through demonstrations and exercises, you will produce a series of studies that demonstrate the foundational techniques of transparent watercolor and application of those techniques to rendering plant forms.  Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course (Watercolor concentration)

This class is now filled. Please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.

Botanical Art and Illustration
Lily in Colored Pencil by Amy Lindenberger

Dark-to-Light Colored Pencil Technique For Dramatic Lighting I and II | Amy Lindenberger

Sundays: Aug. 15 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
Sat., Sept. 11 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Tues., Sept. 21 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Registration for this class will close on Aug. 5.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to create dark-to-light colored pencil technique on medium-dark surfaces

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Learn how to apply colored pencil to medium and medium-dark colored surfaces. Begin the color application with a layer of black colored pencil, creating very rich color through the concept known as simultaneous contrast. Start practicing from a photographic sample and progress to illustrating a floral specimen. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

Floral Morphology | Bonnie Isaac

Sundays: Aug. 22 and 29 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

$150 members | $170 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to understand plant morphology and function, and quickly and accurately draw a plant’s reproductive and vegetative characteristics

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Study the morphology of a flower, including its parts, evolutionary trends and pollination adaptations. Plus dissect and draw flowers representing a variety of plant families.  Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

This class is now sold out. Please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Robin Menard

Botanical Collections | Robin Menard

Aug. 29 and Sept. 26 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Sun., Oct. 24 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To create a painting from your collection of nature’s treasures

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite:  Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I or Colored Pencil I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

All of us have jars and drawers filled with little treasures collected on our walks, or while tending our gardens. Create a collection painting with your favorite items! Feathers, shells, leaves, twigs, rocks or acorns — what treasures do you have hidden away? Pull them out and depict special arrangements of your finds in colored pencil, watercolor or mixed media. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Graphite Drawing by Jessi Evans

Botanical Drawing I | Robin Menard

Saturdays: Sept. 11 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
Sun., Oct. 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Sun., Oct. 31 | 9:30 – 11 a.m. [please note new date]

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to accurately draw three-dimensional shapes using line and tone, and employ geometric and aerial perspective in drawing botanical subjects

Level: Beginner

Prerequisite: None

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Botanical illustration differs from traditional drawing because it captures a subject with scientific accuracy through observation, form and detail. Learn to identify basic shapes in nature and use a step-by-step process to create the illusion of depth through light, shadow and perspective. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Botanical Art and Illustration
A Day at the Aviary by Melissa Fabian

Nature Journaling | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: Sept. 12, Oct. 3 and 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Wed., Oct. 27 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to design a nature related journal

Level:  Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Study and practice several nature journaling formats by different artists, learning the tools to design and create your own nature related journal. The techniques practiced will include quick sketching, sketching movement and applying color. Challenge yourself to sketch and write about nature’s who, what, when, where and why. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Colored Pencil and Graphite Drawing by Ann Swan

Creating Tactile Textures with Colored Pencil and Graphite with Visiting Artist Ann Swan

Friday., Sept. 17 | 9 a.m. – noon EST | 1400 – 1700 BST
Sun., Sept. 19  | 10 a.m. – noon EST |1500 – 1700 BST

$195 members | $225 nonmembers

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To try different techniques with colored pencil and graphite to create tactile texture

Level: Beginner to Intermediate  

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil 

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

In this short course Ann will show you some of her many tricks and tips for creating realistic textures for bloom, velvety petals, strong highlights, surface patterns, hairy stems and fuzzy leaves. Learn the importance of planning; when and in what order do you underpaint, blend, use resist or emboss? 

This workshop is for having a go and trying out all these techniques which when mastered will add depth, realism and interest to your finished colour pencil work and certainly help you attract an audience for your painting. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

This class is now filled. Please contact Phipps at edu@phipps.conservatory.org to be placed on the waiting list.

Colored Pencil I: Techniques | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Tues., Oct. 26 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Registration for this class will close on Sept. 7.

Objective: To be able to create a gradual transition of tone and color with colored pencils

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Using different techniques, you can make colored pencil tones look like a drawing or a painting, providing you with the versatility to create a wide variety of surface textures. Develop your color perception and become familiar with colored pencil tools, color applications and color theory fundamentals. Learn to layer colors to achieve different hues and densities and master a variety of techniques, including burnishing, impressed line and sgraffito. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core class (Colored Pencil concentration) 

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Amy Lewandowski

Autumn Gourds in Watercolor | Amy Lewandowski

Saturdays: Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Tues., Oct. 19 | 7 – 8:30 p.m. 

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to use masking fluid and watercolor washes to enhance the painting of a seasonal gourd

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II and Watercolor I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Use masking fluid techniques and a variety of watercolor washes to enhance the illustration of a colorful autumn gourd. Create glowing layers of autumn color to a single or multiple gourd composition through a series of demonstrations, individual help and group discussion. Please purchase gourds of special interest to paint during class. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Colored Pencil by Melissa Fabian

Drawing the 3 B’s: Bees, Beetles and Butterflies | Melissa Fabian

Tuesdays: June 1, 8, 15, 29, July 6 and 13 | 1 – 4 p.m. (with short breaks)
After-class meeting: Tues., Aug. 3, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to draw bees, beetles and butterflies

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II and Colored Pencil I or Watercolor I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Students will study the life cycle of the many pollinators that are attracted to the native plants of southwestern Pennsylvania and learn how insects use these plants at different lifecycle stages as a Host or Nectar source.  Students will record and draw the various stages of these diverse local pollinators on “Study Pages”.  Different texture rendering techniques will be taught to show a bee with pollen coated legs, iridescent beetles and colorful accuracy on a butterfly wing.  A final project will be assigned. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Christine Hutson

Limning I and II | Christine Hutson

Thursdays: June 3, 10, 17 and 24, July 1 and 8 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (with half hour lunch break)
After-Class Meeting: Thurs., July 15 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To use and build on or improve limning style techniques and create detailed illustrations

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisite: Watercolor I (or equivalent watercolor experience) 

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Limning, a traditional painting method dating back to the Renaissance, has been used by botanical artists and scientific illustrators for centuries and is still favored by those who need to portray their subjects with great precision. For this technique, tiny brushstrokes are used to build up a highly detailed image. Receive online step-by-step instruction on this watercolor technique and practice it using high-quality photos of plants and flowers that you select as references. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Colored Pencil on Black Paper by Amy Lindenberger

Colored Pencil Florals on Black Paper I, II and III | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: July 10, 17 and 24 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Tues., Aug. 17 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Registration for this class is now closed.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to create colored pencil botanical drawings on a black background

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil I (or equivalent experience)

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Colored pencil drawings are traditionally applied to white or light, neutral-colored papers, but some subjects — such as night blooming flowers — can be much more effective against very dark backgrounds. Those backgrounds can be difficult (and labor intensive) to achieve with colored pencil. Discuss colored pencil opacity and explore key techniques for using colored pencil on black and very dark-colored surfaces to keep colors true and luminous. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration
Rabbit in Pen and Ink by Beatrix Potter

Illustrating Nature’s Fauna with Pen and Ink | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: July 11 and 25, Aug. 1 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-Class Meeting: Wed., Aug. 11 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$225 members | $255 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Supply list (PDF)

Objective: To be able to create study pages and draw fauna with pen and ink 

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Pen and Ink I

*Relevant demos are recorded and made available to pre-registered students within 1 week of each class session. Videos will be viewable for one month from receipt.

Using several wildlife artists as inspiration, create study pages using pen and ink techniques. Choose the fauna from your student pages that greatly impact the local flora and create a final project illustrating the relationship of both. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

About the Program

Learn more about our certificate requirements, browse work from our students, meet our instructors and more.