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.

Drawing and Identifying Trees | Melissa Fabian

Sunday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 3 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To be able to illustrate deciduous trees in four seasons
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II (Foreshortening and Pen & Ink I recommended, but not necessary)

Sharpen your ability to illustrate local deciduous trees throughout 4 seasons, starting with late summer and late fall. Creating the mass of leaves on a sugar maple or the many branches of a river birch in winter can be daunting. Drawing techniques involving shadows, highlights and perspectives and others will be taught. Various mediums will be used; graphite, ink, charcoal/pastel and washes. Keys to tree identification will be presented and practiced to further classroom/field illustration. Choose to illustrate one tree throughout the four seasons or keep a journal of the identified trees during the four season classes. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Gorgeous Greens in Watercolor | Amy Lewandowski

Sat., Aug. 25 and Sun., Aug. 26 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$152 members | $172 nonmembers (includes specimen fee)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to create a variety of greens in watercolor and apply them to plant specimens
Level: Advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I and II

Plants often have a wide variety of beautiful greens and it can be challenging to represent these different colors accurately. Learn how to assess the differences in the greens of plants by observing their subtle variations in hue, value and intensity. Practice painting different greens through a series of watercolor mixing exercises and then apply this information to an illustration of a single leaf or of multiple specimens. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Nature Journaling at Fall Run Park | Jeanne Perrier

Sun., Sept. 9 (Rain date: Sept. 16) | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers
Level: Beginner to advanced

Spend the day at Fall Run Park in Shaler Township observing and documenting native plants. You will be provided with a list of plants currently in bloom and general instructions on nature journaling. We will head into the field to practice slowing down and discovering what nature has to offer. Your completed work will serve as a reference for general scientific information or future drawings. Choose your trails based on your physical abilities — there are many accessible locations for those who have limited mobility! Please bring your lunch and consider carpooling. Detailed directions are provided upon registration.

Limning | Christine Hutson

Thursdays: Sept. 13, 20 and 27, Oct. 4, 11 and 18 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (includes a half-hour break)

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

Objective: To be able to learn or improve 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. For this technique, tiny brushstrokes are used to build up a highly detailed image and are still favored by those who need to portray their subjects with great precision. Limning can also be incorporated into larger paintings to bring crisp detail to small areas or it can be employed by itself to create an entire painting. It is a very useful drybrush method too, perfect for sensitive substrates such as vellum or fine art papers. Receive step-by-step instruction on this watercolor technique and practice it, using high-quality photos of plants and flowers that you select as references. The first two sessions will cover the basics for those unfamiliar with limning, and the next four will focus on developing technique through a hands-on project. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

The Illuminated Botanical ABCDerium: Drawing from History | Visiting Artist Kandy Phillips

Sat., Sept. 15 and Sun., Sept.16 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$285 members | $325 nonmembers (includes specialty supply fee)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to illuminate a series of four historical plant inspired letterforms
Level: Advanced
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I and II or equivalent watercolor experience (check with program registrar)

During this two-day workshop, Kandy Phillips will provide step-by-step instruction, including painting techniques, white work, tooling on gold and flat gilding with composite leaf for you to create a series of four historical plant inspired letterforms. Using the provided templates, copy the samples to begin your own ABCderium in an art form that sees rich colors glow. Creative adaptations are encouraged! Prep work prior to class is expected along with a working knowledge of fine watercolor painting. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

 

The Hunt Institute exhibition, Alphabetus Botanicus (Thurs., Sept. 13 – Fri., Dec. 14), features the illuminated letters of Kandis Vermeer Phillips alongside artwork of plants from A to Z from the Institute collection, illuminated manuscripts from special collections at Carnegie Mellon University and materials used in illumination. A public reception will be held on Thurs., Sept. 13 from 5 – 7 p.m. Phillips will give a demonstration on drawing letter forms in silverpoint in the gallery on Fri., Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. – noon and 2 – 4 p.m. She will have sketches available showing the metalpoint process, along with various metals and prepared papers with which visitors may experiment. In addition, she will informally discuss the history of illumination and metalpoint during the demonstration.

Guided Open Studio: Foreshortening, Shadow/Highlights | Melissa Fabian

Sunday, Sept. 23 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

Sept. 23: Melissa Fabian | Foreshortening, Shadow/Highlights

Objective: To have improved technique while working on a botanical art project
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 Drawing III: Volume and Texture | Robin Menard

Saturdays: Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and 13 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To continue to develop and apply drawing skills 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

Colored Pencil II: Applications | Amy Lindenberger

Sundays: Sept. 30, Oct. 7 and 14 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To be able to take a methodical approach to botanical painting with colored pencils, building on experience gained in Colored Pencil I
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: 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

Botanical Drawing I: Foundations | Robin Menard

Sundays, Oct. 14, 28 and Saturday, Nov. 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To be able to accurately draw three-dimensional shapes using line and tone, and employing 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

Guided Open Studio: General Assistance | Robin Menard

Sunday, Oct. 21 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

Oct. 21: Robin Menard | General Assistance

Objective: To have improved technique while working on a botanical art project
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.

Watercolor I: Techniques and Color Theory | Brenda Gail Jordan

Saturdays: Oct. 27, Nov. 10 and 17 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To gain 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 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. Produce a series of studies that demonstrate the foundational techniques of transparent watercolor and apply those techniques to rendering plant forms. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Pen and Ink II | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To be able to create more complex plant drawings using refined, basic pen and ink-drawing skills and more difficult strokes to create shading
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Pen and Ink I

Complete a botanically accurate and aesthetically pleasing botanical pen and ink illustration. Learn the process of creating an illustration — from observing the plant to making an accurate graphite sketch and inking the final illustration. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Guided Open Studio: Botanical Textures | Melissa Fabian

Sunday, Nov. 11 | 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

Nov. 11: Melissa Fabian | Botanical Textures

Objective: To have improved technique while working on a botanical art project
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.

Winter Gems | Amy Lewandowski

Sat. Dec. 8 and Sun., Dec. 9 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$160 members | $180 nonmembers (specimen fee included)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to observe color and texture in seasonal plants
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I

In this two-day workshop, illustrate seasonal plants in an assortment of colors using different methods of mixing watercolor pigments along with a variety of wash techniques. Through a series of demonstrations as well as individual help and group discussion, you will be encouraged to apply these techniques to a composition of multiple small specimens or a single sample of winter flora. An assortment of specimens will be provided from Phipps’ annual Gifts and Greens Sale. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Phipps Flora Project: Weeds and Invasive Plants of Southwestern Pennsylvania | Robin Menard

Student orientation | Sun., March 25 | 10 a.m. – noon
Botanical lecture | Sun., March 25 | 1 – 3 p.m. | Jeanne Poremski
Hunt Institute visit | Sun., June 10 | 1 – 3 p.m.
Guided open studios | Sundays: July 15; Aug. 12; Sept. 23; Oct. 21; and Nov. 11

$135 members | $155 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to create a botanical illustration from the beginning to end
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, Watercolor I or Colored Pencil I

Learn how to research and produce a beautiful and accurate botanical painting from start to finish. In this long-term collaborative project, create a watercolor or colored pencil painting, a copy of which will be catalogued into the Phipps’ Allegheny Highlands Flora Project for future educational or marketing uses. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

 

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

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

Saturdays: Aug. 11, 18 and 25 | 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