UPDATE: Phipps will be closed through at least Thurs., April 30. Sign up for our Tree Free Email list for updates, and read our message to guests.

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 may repeat most courses in the program at a 10-percent discount; however, a repeat course cannot apply toward certificate credit.

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.

Nature Journaling on Herr's Island | Jeanne Perrier

Sun., April 26 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

This class has been canceled. Full refunds will be issued to all registrants.

$55 members | $65 nonmembers
Herr’s Island Jennings Prairie

Objective: To be able to capture important traits of native plants through nature journaling
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisite: None

Spend the day on Herr’s Island observing and documenting native and invasive plants. Learn the basics of nature journaling as you take to the trails and practice discovering, documenting and learning. Work completed will serve as references for future drawings or for scientific information. Directions will be provided upon registration. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Drawing Mushrooms | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: July 26, Aug. 2 and 16 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to draw a wide variety of mushrooms and incorporate them into a botanical drawing

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I

Use graphite, washes and inks to draw a variety of mushrooms. Plus, learn a short history of mushrooms and their place in botanical art and illustration. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Drawing III: Volume and Texture | Robin Menard

Sundays: May 3 and 31 and Sat., May 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$230 members | $260 nonmembers (specimen fee included)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to create accurate illustrations using form, perspective and texture

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II

Building on skills acquired in Botanical Drawing I and II, use a variety of pencils, papers, tones and lines to create full botanical portraits, accurately capturing details such as texture, growth patterns, roots, flowers and leaves. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Botanical Art and Illustration

Colored Pencil on Drafting Film Workshop | Heidi Snyder, visiting artist

May 15 – 17 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This class will be rescheduled. Further details will be sent to all registrants when they are available.

$295 members | $335 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to transfer an image onto film using appropriate reference materials and drawing techniques to create the desired effect
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisites: Colored Pencil I (or equivalent experience)

Focus on the endless range of expression possible with unique colored pencil techniques applied to drafting film. Take your botanical art to new heights by experimenting with additional choices of backgrounds and final presentation options. Use several of Heidi’s original pieces with different looks to inspire your work. You are also encouraged to bring your own reference material, including finished or partially finished colored pencil or watercolor drawings to serve as backgrounds for the semi-translucent drafting film.

The overarching botanical theme may include birds, insects or other items as desired. At the end of the workshop, you will know how to choose reference material, transfer an image onto film, choose drawing techniques for desired effects, finish a piece, and mat and frame it. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Illustration © Heidi Snyder

Limning | Christine Hutson

Thursdays: May 14, 21 and 28, June 4, 11 and 18 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To use limning style techniques and create detailed illustrations

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisite: Watercolor I (or equivalent watercolor experience)

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 step-by-step instruction on this watercolor technique and practice using high-quality photos of plants and flowers that you select as references. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Colored Pencil II: Applications | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: May 30, June 6 and 13 | 9:30 a.m – 4 p.m.

$230 members | $260 nonmembers (includes specimen fee)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Center for Sustainable Landscapes Classroom

Objective: To be able to create a botanical painting with colored pencils, building on experience gained in Colored Pencil I

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil I

Building on the foundation of colored pencil techniques and layering principles established in Colored Pencil I, focus on more advanced layering and blending techniques to create a variety of surface textures. Improve your color perception skills and explore more advanced color theory to better understand hue, value, intensity and temperature. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Drawing Birds I and II for Botanical Illustrations | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: May 31, June 7 and 21 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to incorporate birds into a botanical art piece

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I, Drawing Birds I for students taking Drawing Birds II

Enhance your botanical art work with drawings of beautiful and essential birds. Combine plants and birds from early botanical works to contemporary ones and use various drawing techniques to take on the challenge of depicting a moving object. Students in Bird Drawing II will add definition to the bird forms along with color. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Drawing I: Foundations | Robin Menard

Saturdays: June 6, 13 and 20 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
June 6 and 20: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park
June 13: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall Kitchen 

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

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

Composition for Botanical Artists | Weldon Doran

Sun., June 14 and Saturdays: June 20 and 27 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
June 14: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall
June 20 and 27: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to arrange multiple botanical subjects to create a pleasing composition

Level: Beginner

Prerequisite: None

It is relatively simple to place just one subject on a piece of paper in a pleasing composition. Explore the option of using many images combined into one well-balanced, easily read single image. Learn traditional composition principles, such as how to place images on the page, and how to balance positive and negative space, light and dark, and textured and smooth areas. Plus, discover how image placement can indicate emotion, action, height or size. You will use your own images for in-class exercises. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Pollinators I | Robin Menard

Saturdays: June 27, July 11 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to accurately identify and depict pollinators in your art

Level: Intermediate to advanced

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

Including pollinators in your botanical illustrations adds beautiful dimension and highlights the essential creatures without which the plants wouldn’t exist! Learn how to accurately illustrate bees and butterflies through careful study and execution as Phipps’ Associate Director of Integrated Pest Management Dr. Ryan Gott shares fascinating scientific facts about their biology and habitats. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Drawing Deciduous Trees and Shrubs | Melissa Fabian

Sat., June 27 and Sun., July 19 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$145 members | $165 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be proficient in the techniques needed to draw the unique characteristics of trees and shrubs

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I

Using various drawing techniques and mediums, create studies of leaves, flowers and seeds of deciduous trees found in Mellon Park. Plus, study bark, branches and entire tree silhouettes. A map of the park trees will be provided. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Guided Open Studio: Microscope Demonstration | Ryan Gott and Robin Menard

Sunday, July 12 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$15 members | $20 nonmembers (price is per session)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

July 12: Ryan Gott and Robin Menard | Microscope Demonstration

Objective: To make progress on personal artwork in a supportive setting

Level: Beginner to advanced

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

Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Colored Florals on Black Paper I and II | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: July 25, Aug. 1 and 8 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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

Level: Intermediate

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

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, and those backgrounds can be difficult (and labor-intensive!) to work with using 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. Students who have previously taken the first level of this class may register for the second level, where the focus will be on working directly from a botanical specimen. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Guided Open Studio: Composition Assistance | Weldon Doran

Sunday, Aug. 9  | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$15 members | $20 nonmembers (price is per session)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Aug. 9: Weldon Doran | Composition Assistance

Objective: To make progress on personal artwork in a supportive setting

Level: Beginner to advanced

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

Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

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

Saturdays: Aug. 15, 22 and 29 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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

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

Watercolor I: Techniques and Color Theory | Brenda Gail Jordan

Saturdays: Aug. 15, 22 and 29 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II

Learn the basics of using 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. Practice creating a full range of hues, shades and tones. Produce a series of studies that use the foundational techniques of transparent watercolor and demonstrate applications of those techniques to rendering plant forms. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Dark-to-Light Colored Pencil Technique for Dramatic Lighting | Amy Lindenberger

Sundays: Aug. 23 and 30 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$155 members | $175 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil I

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 by practicing from a photographic sample and progress to illustrating a floral specimen. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Colored Pencil I: Techniques | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: Sept. 19 and 26, Oct. 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II

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 course

Guided Open Studio: General Assistance | Robin Menard

Sunday, Sept. 20 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$15 members | $20 nonmembers (price is per session)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Sept. 20: Robin Menard | General Assistance

Objective: To make progress on personal artwork in a supportive setting

Level: Beginner to advanced

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

Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Guided Open Studio: General Assistance | Robin Menard

Sunday, Oct. 11 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$15 members | $20 nonmembers (price is per session)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Oct. 11: Robin Menard | General Assistance

Objective: To make progress on personal artwork in a supportive setting

Level: Beginner to advanced

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

Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Guided Open Studio: Foreshortening and Shadows/Highlights | Melissa Fabian

Sunday, Nov. 8 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$15 members | $20 nonmembers (price is per session)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Nov. 8: Melissa Fabian | Foreshortening and Shadows/Highlights

Objective: To make progress on personal artwork in a supportive setting

Level: Beginner to advanced

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

Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective