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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.
 

Current Classes

Click titles for full details 

  • Developing Botanical Perspectives to Create Depth | Melissa Fabian | Sundays: March 7, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break) | After-class meeting: Wed., April 14 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Botanical Drawing II: Volume, Texture and Details (Session I) | Robin Menard | Saturdays: March 13, 20 and 27 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-class meeting: Tues., April 13 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Colored Pencil III | Amy Lindenberger | Saturdays: March 20 and 27, April 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-class meeting: Tues., May 4 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Gorgeous Greens in Watercolor | Amy Lewandowski | Sundays: April 18 and 25, May 2 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-class meeting: Tues., May 18 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Drawing Bird Nests and Eggs | Melissa Fabian | Sat., April 24 and Sundays: May 9 and June 6 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-class meeting: Tues., June 22 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Watercolor III: Special Topics | Brenda Jordan | Sat., May 1 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (with lunch break)

  • Botanical Drawing II: Volume, Texture and Details (Session II) | Robin Menard | Saturdays: May 1, 8 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks) | After-class meeting: Wed., June 2 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

  • Colored Pencil on Drafting Film Workshop | Heidi Snyder, visiting artist | Fri., May 14 and Sun., May 16 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

  • Page of Petals | Amy Lewandowski | Saturdays: June 5, 12 and 19 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break) | After-class meeting: Thurs., July 1 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • Information about the 2021 Flora Project will be sent to eligible artists soon.

 

Classes in Progress

  • Mastering Color I and II | Amy Lindenberger  | Saturdays: Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13 and April 17 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
  • Watercolor Materials: Paper, Brushes, Pigments and Charts | Amy Lewandowski | Sundays: Feb. 7, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break) | After-class meeting: Tues., March 9 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

  • History of Botanical Art | Weldon Doran | Lecture: Sat., Feb. 13 | 1 – 4 p.m. | Hunt Institute Presentations: Sat., Feb. 20 | 1 – 4 p.m. | Student presentations: Sat., March 6 | 1 – 3 p.m. 
  • Botanical Drawing I: Foundations (Session II) | Robin Menard | Sundays, February 14 and 21 and Saturday, March 6; 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. | After-class meeting: Wed. Mar. 10, 6:30 - 8 p.m. 
  • Illumination Techniques | Christine Hutson | Thursdays: March 4, 11, 18 and 25, April 1 and 8 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | After-class meeting: Thursday, April 29, 10 – 11:30 a.m.​

Detailed Listings

Botanical Art and Illustration
Graphite drawing by Melissa Fabian

Developing Botanical Perspectives to Create Depth | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: March 7, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break)
After-class meeting: Wed., April 14 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$145 members | $165 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To create three-dimensional plants using various perspective techniques
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II

Study and draw the various perspective techniques used to create depth. Use foreshortening, shadows and highlights to achieve a highly accurate and convincing botanical drawing, working with guided practice handouts, 2D photographs and 3D botanical specimens. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Graphite drawing by Melissa Fabian

Botanical Art and Illustration

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

Saturdays: March 13, 20 and 27 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-class meeting: Tues., April 13 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

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

Supply list (PDF)

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. Projects completed in this class will be due on a future date (to be announced) rather than within the three weeks of actual class time.  Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

This class is now filled. Another session is listed below, starting on May 1.

Botanical Art and Illustration
Colored Pencil of Lily by Amy Lindenberger

Colored Pencil III | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: March 20 and 27, April 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-class meeting: Tues., May 4 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: Students will complete a start-to-finish botanical drawing in colored pencil.
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisites: Colored Pencil I and II

Work through all of the steps of completing a start-to-finish botanical drawing in colored pencil — including layout, photography, composition, incorporating light and shadow to build form, color layering and utilizing a range of colored pencil techniques. While Colored Pencil I and II introduced a range of techniques and some completion of botanical samples, this class offers a chance to put it all together to increase your confidence in your ability to successfully tackle your own projects. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Colored Pencil of Lily by Amy Lindenberger

Botanical Art and Illustration

Gorgeous Greens in Watercolor | Amy Lewandowski

Sundays: April 18 and 25, May 2 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-class meeting: Tues., May 18 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To be able to create a variety of greens in watercolor and apply them to plant specimens
Level: Advanced
Prerequisite: Watercolor I

Supply list (PDF)

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

Botanical Art and Illustration
Watercolor by Genevieve Jones

Drawing Bird Nests and Eggs | Melissa Fabian

Sat., April 24 and Sundays: May 9 and June 6 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

After-class meeting: Tues., June 22 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To study the relationship of artistry and scientific accuracy of an environmentally challenged species, birds, and their “homes”
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, and at least one of the following: Pen and Ink 1, Colored Pencil 1, or Watercolor 1

Supply list (PDF)

Study the nest and eggs of local birds, using local resources such as The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, the National Aviary and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Drawings should focus on the many parts of plants used to create the nest and the botanical structure often used to support the nest and eggs. Use guided practice and research handouts, 2D photographs and videos of nests and eggs as resources for drawing. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Watercolor by Genevieve Jones

Watercolor III: Special Topics | Brenda Jordan

Sat., May 1 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (with lunch break)

$72 members | $82 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar on Zoom

Objective: To learn additional watercolor techniques
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisite: Watercolor II

Watercolor III classes are single-day, six-hour classes designed to help you hone your skills in particular areas. Topics that may be covered are: developing shine on objects; how to deal with overlapping shapes; light and color (reflected light, mixing colors for shadows, etc.); exploring colors in nature, such as reds, and working with whites against white paper.

For the online classes, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. each day will be devoted to instruction, demos and working together on initial studies. From 1:30 – 4 p.m., the instructor will combine instruction with demos and time to work. Assignments for the day will be due by one month from the date of the last class, and there will be a scheduled follow up meeting to review your work. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

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

Saturdays: May 1, 8 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)
After-class meeting: Wed., June 2 | 6:30  – 8 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

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

Supply list (PDF)

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

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

Fri., May 14 and Sun., May 16 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

$195 members | $225 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

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
Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I (or equivalent experience)

Supply list (PDF)

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. View several of Heidi’s original pieces with different looks to inspire your work. You are also encouraged to have 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, and choose drawing techniques for desired effects. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

Page of Petals | Amy Lewandowski

Saturdays: June 5, 12 and 19 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break)
After-class meeting: Thurs., July 1 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar on Zoom

Objective: To be able to observe color on a petal and portray its likeness on paper
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisite: Watercolor I (or equivalent experience)

Supply list (PDF)

Explore color matching to illustrate flower petals. Create a page of petals in an assortment of colors using different methods for mixing watercolor pigments along with a variety of wash techniques. The instructor will demonstrate a series of techniques for using watercolor paints on hot-pressed paper and you will have a chance to practice them yourself, supplemented by individual help and group discussions. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Watercolor by Amy Lewandowski

Botanical Art and Illustration

Mastering Color I and II | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 13 and April 17 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch breaks)

$260 members | $290 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To be able to use color, perception, hue, value, intensity and temperature for application to personal colored pencil renderings
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II, and Colored Pencil I

Supply list (PDF, all levels)

These classes are mixed level and are sequential. Please register for Mastering Color 1 if you are new to the series and other levels only as appropriate based on which level(s) you have taken previously. 

Mastering Color I: Work at your own pace within a group setting doing color-related exercises only. Please bring any color exercises completed in the Colored Pencil series of classes.

Mastering Color II: Working from a live plant specimen, mix and match colors. The instructor will address the subject of harmonious color schemes and show you ways to successfully apply color schemes in your own individual work.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

Watercolor Materials: Paper, Brushes, Pigments and Charts | Amy Lewandowski

Sundays: Feb. 7, 21 and 28 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break)
After-class meeting: Tues., March 9 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To be able to paint a series of useful watercolor charts, building an understanding of the characteristics of watercolor painting materials
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisite: Watercolor I

Supply list (PDF)

Take an in-depth look into watercolor paper, brushes and pigments. Learn about different aspects of these materials to understand how to use them in your paintings and which qualities to look for when purchasing new materials. Plus, create useful watercolor charts from your palette of pigments to use for reference.  Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Botanical Art and Illustration

History of Botanical Art | Weldon Doran

Lecture: Sat., Feb. 13 | 1 – 4 p.m.
Hunt Institute Presentations: Sat., Feb. 20 | 1 – 4 p.m.
Student presentations: Sat., March 6 | 1 – 3 p.m.           

$125 members | $140 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To understand how botanical art has developed and changed to serve the needs of different generations and cultures
Level: Beginner
Prerequisite: None

This class has no supply list.

Explore the history of botanical art from its earliest beginnings in herbals through present-day contemporary works. The class includes a presentation from the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of botanical art and illustration. You will have the opportunity to study some of the rare books and original paintings and drawings by artists such as Pierre-Joseph Rédout, George Ehret and Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden. You will be responsible for writing a research report on a selected botanical artist. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Watercolor on vellum by Rory McEwen

Botanical Art and Illustration

Botanical Drawing I (Session II) | Robin Menard

Sundays, February 14 and 21 and Saturday, March 6 | 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (with lunch break)
After-class meeting: Wed., March 10 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

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

Registration for this class is now closed. Please contact Phipps at edu@phipps.conservatory.org to be placed on the waiting list.

Botanical Art and Illustration

About the Program

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

Botanical Art and Illustration
24K Gold Painting on Vellum by Weldon Doran

Illumination Techniques | Christine Hutson

Thursdays: March 4, 11, 18 and 25, April 1 and 8 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
After-class meeting: Thursday, April 29, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Objective: To be able to use a variety of illumination techniques
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Watercolor I (or equivalent watercolor experience)

Supply list (PDF)

Discover several different styles of medieval book illumination and explore them using modern materials, including watercolors and gold paint. Plus, explore watercolor illumination on black paper. Create illuminated initial letters, as well as other decorative styles and motifs. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

24K Gold Painting on Vellum by Weldon Doran