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.

Phipps Flora Project: An Alphabet of Native Plants in Southwestern Pennsylvania | Robin Menard

Student orientation: Sun., March 31 | 10 a.m. – noon
Botanical lecture: Sun., March 31 | 1 – 3 p.m.
Hunt Institute visit: Sun., June 9 | 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Guided open studios: Sundays: July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 15, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10

$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. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

Learn how to research and produce a beautiful and accurate painting of a native plant. 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 get an email alert about spaces in this class.

Illumination Techniques | Christine Hutson

Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18 and 25, May 9 and 16 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers | Specialty fee: $17; if you attended Kandy Phillips’ class, you do not need to pay for the specialty fee
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be familiar with a variety of illumination techniques
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Watercolor I (or equivalent watercolor experience). This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

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

Colored Pencil I: Techniques | Amy Lindenberger

Sundays: April 7 and 14 and Sat., April 27 | 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. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

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

Drawing and Identifying Trees | Melissa Fabian

Sunday, April 14 and Saturday, June 8 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (please note new date)

$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 and Ink I would be helpful but are not necessary). This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

Creating the mass of leaves on a sugar maple or the many branches of a river birch in winter can be daunting. Sharpen your ability to illustrate local deciduous trees throughout four seasons, starting with late spring and early summer. Learn drawing techniques involving shadows, highlights, perspectives and more using various mediums, including graphite, ink, charcoal/pastel and washes. Examine tree identification keys and practice using them for further classroom/field illustration. Choose to illustrate or keep a journal of one tree throughout the four seasons. New students are welcome to participate, along with the original students from last summer and fall. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Pollinators II | Robin Menard

Saturdays: April 27, May 4 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$235 members | $265 nonmembers (includes specimen fee)
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, and Pollinators I. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

Apply scientific knowledge you learned in Pollinators I to carefully study and accurately illustrate butterflies and bees in their natural habitats. Add beautiful dimension to your paintings by connecting the plant or flower with the essential creatures upon which its very existence depends. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Violets: A Native Plant Study | Jeanne Perrier

May 4 – 5 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$155 members | $175 nonmembers (specimen fee included)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To study different species of violets and be able to complete a botanically correct illustration of a specific violet
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II, Colored Pencil I. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

Study the general characteristics of the genus Viola and the distinguishing characteristics of different species. Then, choose a specific type of violet and work out its composition to complete a botanically correct rendering of your violet of choice. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Pen and Ink I | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: Feb. 24 and March 17, Sat., April 6 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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

Objective: To be able to make tonal and semi-schematic drawings with pen and ink
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

Beginning with the fundamentals of pen and ink techniques, learn how to use different strokes to create a compositional balance of black and white tones. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Composition for Botanical Artists | Weldon Doran

Saturdays: March 2, 16 and 23 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
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

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

Saturdays and Sunday: March 17 and 30, April 6 (Snow date: April 13) | 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. This pre-requisite is a requirement to enroll in this course. If you feel you have alternate botanical art training that would satisfy these requirements, contact Phipps at slind@phipps.conservatory.org. Phipps will require you to supply samples of your work. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for review.

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