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Botanical Art & Illustration

Botanical art and illustration have played a crucial role in human and natural history and cultural development, whether as exploration record, scientific artifact, or commercial and artistic endeavor.

Join in a fascinating field of discovery, and learn to sharpen your artistic skill, attention to fine detail, and technical botanical knowledge.

Floral Morphology

Dates: Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Instructor: N/ A
Objective: To be able to understand plant anatomy and function, and quickly and accurately draw a plant’s reproductive and vegetative characteristics
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 144 members; $184 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park (please note venue change)

Students in this course will study the morphology of a flower, including its parts, evolutionary trends and pollination adaptations, as well as dissect and draw flowers representing a variety of plant families. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Limning

Dates: Saturday, May 10, 17 and 31; June 14, 21 and 28
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Instructor: Christine Hutson
Objective: To be able to learn or improve limning style techniques and create detailed illustrations
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 215 members; $255 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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. In this course, students will receive step-by-step instruction on this watercolor technique and practice using high-quality photos of plants and flowers that they select themselves for use as references. An extended version of past limning courses, this class has two parts: The first two sessions will cover the basics for students unfamiliar with limning, and the next four will focus on developing technique through a hands-on project. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Students who have taken Limning previously may register for the final four sessions only. $145 members, $185 nonmembers.

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Composition

Dates: Saturday, June 21 and 28
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Instructor: Weldon Doran
Objective: To be able to arrange multiple botanical subjects to create a pleasing composition
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 125 members; $165 non-members
Location: Botany Hall at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

While it can be simple to create a pleasing composition with a single subject, arranging more than one on a page can be more of a challenge. In this class, students will explore the option of combining multiple images to achieve one well-balanced, easily read rendering. Participants will also learn traditional composition principles, including how to use placement to indicate emotion, action, height or size, and techniques for balancing positive and negative space, light and dark, and textured and smooth areas. Bagged lunches are strongly encouraged. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Botanical Drawing I: Foundation Techniques

Dates: Saturday, July 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2
Time: First and last sessions, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; second and third sessions, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Robin Menard
Objective: To be able to accurately draw three-dimensional shapes and textures using line and tone, geometric and aerial perspective, measurement and other botanical drawing conventions
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 220 members; $260 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Students in this course will learn how to accurately observe and record a chosen subject, and then clearly render it, creating the illusion of depth through light, shadow and perspective. Participants will also engage in several creativity exercises and learn some helpful tricks used by professionals. Bagged lunches are strongly encouraged. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Botanical Art in Pastel II

Dates: Saturday, Aug. 2, 9, 16 and 23; Sept. 13 and 20
Time: Noon - 3 p.m.
Instructor: Amanda Zimmerman
Objective: To be able to properly use materials to create two or more pastel botanical compositions
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 215 members; $255 non-members
Location: Botany Hall at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Students in this course will delve into the world of chalk pastels — a vibrant, user-friendly medium for creating bold and exhilarating masterpieces — by first engaging in how-to exercises, and then practicing new skills by working on two compositions: a plant/flower close- up study and a larger grouping of flowers. Participants will also discover how to add interesting elements to works of art while developing plein-air skills. An extended version of Botanical Art in Pastel, this class has two parts: The first three sessions cover the basics for students unfamiliar with the medium, while the next three focus on developing technique through hands-on projects. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Students who have taken Botanical Art in Pastel previously may register for the final three sessions only: $105 members, $135 nonmembers.

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate elective

Watercolor I

Dates: Saturday, Aug. 16 and 23; Sept. 6 and 13
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Instructor: Donna Edmonds and Sue Wyble
Objective: To be able to control brushes, pigments and paper while combining a limited number of paints to create rich and varied palettes
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: Botanical Drawing I and II
Fee: $ 220 members; $260 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park and Botany Hall at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Sept. 6 class only)

Students in this course will learn to take a systematic approach to painting plants in the manner of classical botanical traditions, as well as engage in a review of materials to determine which brushes, papers and paints will best serve their needs. Developing a foundation for controlled, consistent watercolor application, the class will also give students the opportunity to refine their brush skills and create a full range of complex hues by overlaying thin glazes of primary colors. As the class progresses, students will apply newly acquired brush and color knowledge to paint basic plant forms. Bagged lunches are strongly encouraged. Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate core course