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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 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.
 

Current Classes

Click titles for full details 

  • ​Drawing Mushrooms | Melissa Fabian | Sundays: July 26, Aug. 2 and 16 | 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  and 1 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Botanical Drawing ll | Robin Menard | Saturdays: Aug. 15 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (lunch break occurs from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.), and Sat., Aug. 29 | 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. 
  • Drawing Deciduous Trees | Melissa Fabian | Sundays, Sept. 13, 20 and Oct. 4 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. 
  • Pen and Ink I | Melissa Fabian | Sundays: November 1, 15 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. and 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Classes currently in progress:

  • Pollinators I | Saturdays: June 27, July 11 and 18 | 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., with additional one-on-one discussion and feedback time as needed.

Detailed Listings

Botanical Art Lunch and Learn Series: What It Is Like to Take a Botanical Drawing Class | Robin Menard

Wed., July 8 | noon – 1 p.m.

Single class: $5 members | $6 nonmembers
Class to be hosted on Zoom

Join Phipps Botanical Art instructors and staff for informal lunchtime Zoom discussions and/or presentations on diverse botanical art related themes. Share interests such as favorite botanical artists and their impact on the field, various drawing or painting techniques, personal experiences and motivations, reports from conferences and workshops, local botanical art resources, and questions about anything tangentially related to botanical art and its production. Bring your curiosity and be prepared to learn in a collaborative environment. Topics and speakers will vary by week.

Botanical Art Lunch and Learn Series: Wall of Birds at Cornell University Lab | Melissa Fabian

Wed.,  July 15 | noon – 1 p.m.

Single class: $5 members | $6 nonmembers
Class to be hosted on Zoom

Join Phipps Botanical Art instructors and staff for informal lunchtime Zoom discussions and/or presentations on diverse botanical art related themes. Share interests such as favorite botanical artists and their impact on the field, various drawing or painting techniques, personal experiences and motivations, reports from conferences and workshops, local botanical art resources, and questions about anything tangentially related to botanical art and its production. Bring your curiosity and be prepared to learn in a collaborative environment. Topics and speakers will vary by week.

Botanical Art Lunch and Learn Series: Behind the Scenes with a Botanical Art Instructor | Amy Lindenberger

Wed., July 22 | noon – 1 p.m.

Single class: $5 members | $6 nonmembers
Class to be hosted on Zoom

Join Phipps Botanical Art instructors and staff for informal lunchtime Zoom discussions and/or presentations on diverse botanical art related themes. Share interests such as favorite botanical artists and their impact on the field, various drawing or painting techniques, personal experiences and motivations, reports from conferences and workshops, local botanical art resources, and questions about anything tangentially related to botanical art and its production. Bring your curiosity and be prepared to learn in a collaborative environment. Topics and speakers will vary by week.

Colored Pencil on Black Paper I and II | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: July 25, Aug. 1 and 8 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Class will be hosted on Zoom
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 chosen by student. Projects completed in this class will be due on a future date to be announced rather than within the two weeks of actual class time. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Drawing Mushrooms | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: July 26, Aug. 2 and 16 | 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  and 1 – 3:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Class will be hosted on Zoom
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 II: Volume, Texture and Details | Robin Menard

Saturdays: August 15 and 22, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and August 29, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
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

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 II: Applications | Brenda Jordan

Saturdays: August 15, 22 and 29 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m and 1 – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Class to be hosted on Zoom
Objective: To be able to create three-dimensional botanical portrayals using and enhancing practices learned in Watercolor I
Level: Intermediate

Students will build upon their knowledge from Watercolor I to learn additional techniques used in transparent watercolor, and practice manipulating watercolor using different brushes. Emphasis will be on learning to manage whites, greens, and browns with studies of green onions. Compositional considerations for painting botanical subjects will also be introduced. Students will then apply their knowledge to studies of plant forms and a final project that demonstrates their control of watercolor techniques for accurate rendering of botanical forms. 

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 12:30 p.m.- 4:00 p.m., the instructor will be available to answer questions and assist students with their work. Students may remain on Zoom to work as a group or elect to complete these 3.5 hours on their own time. Assignments for the day will be due by Friday at 5:00 p.m. of the following week, so that the instructor can put together a power point of all assignments for an in-class critique the next morning. The final project will be due one month from the date of the last class. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate (Watercolor Concentration) core course

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

Sundays: Aug. 23 and 30 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.

$155 members | $175 nonmembers
Live webinar through Zoom
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 your own floral specimen. Projects completed in this class will be due on a future date to be announced rather than within the one week of actual class time. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Colored Pencil I: Techniques | Amy Lindenberger

Saturdays: Sept. 19 and 26, Oct. 10 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Class will be hosted on Zoom
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

Botanical Drawing I: Foundations | Robin Menard

Saturdays: Sept. 19, 26 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and  1 – 3  p.m. and  Oct. 17 | 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
This class will be hosted on 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

Drawing Deciduous Trees | Melissa Fabian

Sept. 13, 20, Oct. 4 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1-3 p.m. 

Live webinar through Zoom
$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Objective: To be proficient in the techniques needed to draw the unique characteristics of trees
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II

Students will study the various parts of a tree that are used by foresters and scientists to identify trees. Our goal will be to choose a native tree to our area to illustrate for a final project. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Capturing Textures in Graphite I and II | Robin Menard

Saturdays Oct. 24 and 31 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. and Nov. 7 | 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

$145 members | $165 nonmembers
The class will be hosted in Zoom
Registration will close on Oct. 10.
Objective: To be able to draw different botanical textures in graphite
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I

Some of the most captivating botanical illustrations depict textures of the subject, but accurately translating them onto paper can be challenging. Tackle a variety of textures found in nature.  An exercise worksheet will be supplied to each student. Those taking Textures II will work on mastering additional challenging subjects. The final class will be used to review and share student art completed in the class. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Watercolor I: Techniques and Color Theory | Brenda Jordan

Sat., Oct. 31, Nov. 7 and 21, 2020 | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
This class will be hosted on Zoom.
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

Students will 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, students will 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, students will produce a series of studies that demonstrate the foundational techniques of transparent watercolor and application of those techniques to rendering plant forms.

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 12:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., the instructor will be available to answer questions and assist students with their work. Students may remain on Zoom to work as a group or elect to complete these 3.5 hours on their own time. Assignments for the day will be due by Friday at 5 p.m. of the following week, so that the instructor can put together a power point of all assignments for an in-class critique the next morning. All assignments for the class will be due one month from the date of the last class. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course. 

Pen and Ink I | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: November 1, 15 and 22 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. and 1 – 3:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
This class will be hosted on Zoom
Objective: To be able to make tonal and semi-schematic drawings with pen and ink
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Botanical Drawing I and II

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

Botanical Drawing II: Volume, Texture and Details

Saturday, Nov. 21, Sunday, Dec. 6  (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.) and Saturday, Dec. 12 (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Class will be hosted on 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

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

Pen and Ink II and Beyond | Melissa Fabian

Sundays: Dec. 6, 13 and 20 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. and 1 - 3:30 p.m.

$220 members | $250 nonmembers

This class will be hosted on Zoom
Objective: Pen and Ink II students will have improved stroke making and wash skills with the introduction of color through various tools and inks. Pen and Ink and Beyond students will advance their skills through an individual plan determined by the student and instructor.

Create various plant studies and a completed botanical art piece. Projects completed in this class will be due on a future date to be announced rather than within the two weeks of actual class time.  Pen and Ink II is a Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course; Pen and Ink Beyond is a Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective 

Pollinators I | Robin Menard

Saturdays: June 27, July 11 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., with additional one-on-one discussion and feedback time as needed

$220 members | $250 nonmembers
Live webinar through Zoom
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