Technology has enabled botanical art instructors to connect with new students through online classes. So many online classes have been announced that this type of class now has its own page in the Classes Near You section.

Discover natural science illustration and botanical art during EE Week 2015!

Do you teach botanical art, natural science illustration or nature journaling online? If you do, please send your information to ArtPlantae.

Cornell University

View Cornell’s Distance Learning Program

  • Botanical Illustration I: Basic Drawing Techniques
  • Botanical Illustration II: Working with Watercolor
  • Botanical Illustration III: Advanced Techniques

Each class costs $600. The next session for each begins May 4, 2015. The Spring session ends June 20, 2015. Click on the link above to register and to be notified about upcoming sessions.

Learn More

Gretchen Kai Halpert

Gretchen Kai Halpert is the owner and the instructor of a new online program in scientific illustration. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Gretchen has many years of experience working as a scientific illustrator and teaching programs about natural science illustration.

    Scientific Illustration Distance Learning Program
    Two new Sessions (I and II) begin April 15 and 14, respectively.

    Session I includes basic drawing skills that are the background to any and all illustration. We cover lighting, scientific conventions, proportion, perspective and value, working from life and from We a variety of natural history objects. This class is appropriate for both beginners and intermediate students. Advanced students should talk with me before enrolling. Students work with graphite, with an introduction to crow quill and ink at week 9.

    Session II advances to more complex drawings, using crow quill and ink, and scratchboard.

    Contact Gretchen at ghalpert@stny.rr.com for more information Contact Gretchen Halpert for information.

A Conversation with Gretchen Kai Halpert

Jane LaFazio

Jane is a mixed media artist and a member of the San Diego Sketchcrawl group. Jane teaches at conferences across the U.S. and leads classes in Italy and Greece too. In addition to sketching classes, Jane teaches workshops in collage, mixed media, and quilting. There are always many, many opportunities to learn from Jane in-person. Below is a short list of classes that may be of interest to you. To view all of Jane’s upcoming classes, see her teaching schedule online.

Also see this interview with Jane and her Ask The Artist Q&A with readers.

Mindy Lighthipe

Mindy Lighthipe is an award-winning natural science illustrator and the author of the children’s book Mother Monarch. She leads tours to Costa Rica and teaches scientific illustration at the University of Florida.

    Foundation Drawing 101 – Working in Graphite
    Online program with Mindy Lighthipe
    April 15 – June 17, 2015 (10 weeks)
    Natural science illustrator Mindy Lighthipe begins another 10-week session of her online class Foundation Drawing 101 – Working in Graphite. Instruction includes videos, one-on-one feedback and learning from fellow classmates.

    Assignments and classroom conversation are hosted in private areas online. Instructional material can be viewed on a desktop computer or iPad. Beginning and advanced artists are welcome.

    Study drawing and discover natural science illustration!

    Drawing the Beauty of Plants

    A new eight-week online course begins May 13, 2015. Subjects to be covered include: leaf anatomy and taxonomy, measuring and dissection, atmospheric perspective, scientific lighting, composition, root systems, nature journaling and accurate note taking.

    Learn More

Anna Mason

Learn how to paint botanical subjects with great detail. Online classes include step-by-step tutorials, access to the Knowledge Base of Anna’s School of Watercolor, sketchbook exercises, practice exercises and a supportive community of artists from which to learn. Need help getting started? Sign up to receive Anna’s free Pick Up Your Brush class.

Learn More

Billy Showell

Subscribe to receive a new tutorial every two weeks. Artists of all abilities are welcome. Choose from one of three plans:

  • FREE – Access to a selection of basic lessons.
  • Monthly Plan – Access to current projects. New projects uploaded every two weeks. Subscribers at this level also receive access to the previous two months of projects and tutorials.
  • Six-Month Plan – Six-month membership with access to all current and new projects. Access to projects, courses and tutorials from previous six months.

Learn More

Val Webb

The Illustrated Garden, A Studio Blog

Val Webb is an illustrator and teacher who teaches both live and online workshops. Be sure to watch Val’s online tutorial, Botanical Drawing with Pencil and Watercolor. Connect with The Illustrated Garden on Facebook.

Learn from Val this summer. Here is what’s on the schedule:

  • Draw and Paint Six Culinary Herbs – Begins June 2, 2015
  • Drawn and Decorated Watercolor Lettering – Begins June 2, 2015
  • Drawing Dogs & Cats – Begins June 2, 2015
  • Botanical Notebook Paintings – Begins July 6, 2015

Learn More

National Environmental Education Week begins today!

Educators are encouraged to visit the EE Week website and to take advantage of the resources available for their classrooms and programs.

This week we’ll highlight resources for artists, naturalists and educators. Some will come from the depths of ArtPlantae’s archives and others will be new resources to consider. Take, for example, the new book by paper engineer and book artist Shawn Sheehy.

Last month Shawn published his first trade book, Welcome to the Neighborwood. This book is about animals and ecosystems found in many locations across the country. Children and adults will learn about land snails, hummingbirds, garden spiders, honeybees, Potter wasps, beavers and stickleback fish in the kind of grand pop-up style only Shawn can deliver.

Begin EE Week by taking a few moments to look inside Shawn’s new book and learn how Shawn created his book by watching the videos on his website.

Then take a trip to your local bookstore and treat yourself or your favorite young naturalist to Welcome to the Neighborwood!

ArtPlantae is an affiliate of IndieBound and a supporter of independent bookstores.

Dr. Alain Touwaide from the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions will be in the Los Angeles area to discuss the healing herbs of antiquity and to explore the therapeutic benefits of nature. Presentations will be held at UCLA and at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

    The Healing Herbs of Antiquity
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015
    Royce Hall, Room 306
    University of California Los Angeles
    5:00 PM

    Dr. Alain Touwaide is the Scientific Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution.

    Believing that ancient cultures would not have invested time and energy into medical formulas if they were not effective, Touwaide researches medical traditions from the ancient world through today.

    This special lecture will start from the observation that the medicinal plants and diet of ancient Greece are relevant to present-day medicine. Touwaide will explore sources for the discovery of the therapeutic and dietetic legacy of Ancient Greece, and ask “What do we actually know about the healing herbs of Antiquity?”

    Please RSVP to Yarell Castellanos by April 21, 2015
    (310) 825-0913

    This lecture will be presented by David Schaberg, the Dean of Humanities at UCLA. A reception will follow. Parking in Lot 4 for $12 (cash only).

    Gardens for Health: A Walk Through History

    Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
    Rothenburg Hall
    Saturday, May 2, 2015
    2:30 PM

    For centuries people have recognized the therapeutic benefits of nature and gardens. Alain Touwaide will explore the relationship between humans and nature. Learn about Pompeii, Constantinople, Baghdad, Cordoba, Granada, and Padua, as well as early manuscripts illustrating the relationship between humans and nature.

    No reservations required
    More Information

Teachers! Register for EE Week. Click image for more information.

Teachers! Register for EE Week. Click image for more information.

ArtPlantae is proud to be one of many national partners celebrating National Environmental Education Week (EE Week). This year the EE Week theme is Greening STEM: Surrounded by Science.

In the past, special guests have stopped by to visit with us during EE Week. Together we’ve learned about water, Nature’s sounds, the blue of the artist’s ocean, and many other topics.

This year ArtPlantae will lead EE Week-related activities at venues in Riverside and Orange counties. On Earth Day itself, you’ll find ArtPlantae at Earth Night in the Garden, a popular family event held in the Mission Grove area of Riverside. Upcoming events include:

    Muir & Mockel: Drawing California Plants

    La Quinta Museum
    La Quinta, CA
    April 17, 2015
    3-4 PM
    John Muir was not the only naturalist to document the flora of California. An equally passionate east coast artist documented desert wildflowers of the Coachella Valley. You are invited to learn more about this long time resident of Twentynine Palms. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, “Nature’s Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muir’s Botanical Legacy”
    (March 29 – May 31, 2015). FREE

    Take a Break from Technology

    Discovery Session at Green Scene
    Sunday, April 19, 2015
    1:00 – 1:45 PM
    Capture images of your favorite plants without a camera. Turn off your electronic devices and explore the plant collections at the Fullerton Arboretum with a No. 2 pencil. Free with admission to Green Scene.
    What is Green Scene?

    Earth Night in the Garden

    Western Municipal Water District
    Landscapes Southern California Style
    450 E. Alessandro Blvd.
    Riverside, CA
    April 22, 2015
    3-7 PM
    Learn about “Plants, Life, Riverside”, an interpretive project about plants in urban settings. FREE
    More about Landscapes Southern California Style

    A Visitor’s Guide to the Palm Garden

    Fullerton Arboretum at CSU Fullerton
    Thursday, May 21, 2015 (10 am – 1 pm)
    Learn about the Arboretum’s plant collections and begin an illustrated guide to the Arboretum. No art experience necessary. Garden enthusiasts, first-time botanists and first-time artists welcome! Participants should bring to class one mixed-media sketchbook (9” x 12”) to use as their personalized guide to plants. Participants should also bring with them a small folding camping stool (or artist’s chair) to use out in the garden. Art supplies provided.
    $28 members, $35 non-members
    Limit: 12

    Pollination Ecology for Young Naturalists

    Fullerton Arboretum at CSU Fullerton
    Saturday, May 23, 2015 (10 am – 12 pm)
    Young ecologists (ages 12+) will learn about plant-pollinator relationships and learn how to record observations like field artists. Participants will receive a field journal to record their observations.
    $25 members, $20 non-members
    Limit: 15

    Pollination Ecology for Young Naturalists

    Thursday, May 28 (10:30 am – 12:00 pm)
    This class is for young ecologists (ages 3-5) and one parent/guardian. Young ecologists will learn about plant-pollinator relationships and will receive one copy of the coloring book Colorful Edibles. Fee covers one child/adult pair.
    $22 members, $18 non-members

    Pollination Ecology for Young Naturalists

    Fullerton Arboretum at CSU Fullerton
    Saturday, May 30, 2015 (10 am – 12 pm)
    Young ecologists (ages 12+) will learn about plant-pollinator relationships and learn how to record observations like field artists. Participants will receive a field journal to record their observations.
    $25 members, $20 non-members
    Limit: 15

Register for EE Week

Educators are encouraged to register for National Environmental Education Week. The benefits of registering include toolkits, free webinars and networking with other educators across the country. Learn More


Download flyer

Download flyer

Kathleen McKeehen, Scientific Illustrator

Kathleen is a teacher and freelance illustrator. Her work has appeared in Organic Gardening Magazine and The Herb Companion. View Kathleen’s artwork in the ASBA Members’ Gallery or at the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’
Science-Art.com. Kathleen welcomes both beginners and advanced students to her classes.

    Painting the Produce Section
    June 27-28, 2015
    9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

    In this two-day workshop with illustrator Kathleen McKeehen participants will learn about washes and dry-brush techniques botanical illustrators use to paint realistic fruit and vegetables. Beginning artists are welcome and encouraged to attend. Participants with experience in watercolor painting will have the opportunity to work with challenging subjects.

    Kathleen McKeehen is a freelance scientific illustrator who teaches botanical drawing and painting at her studio in Indianola, WA, at Gage Academy of the Arts in Seattle and at The Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, WA. Kathleen’s painting of Arbutus menziesii (Pacific Madrone) is featured in Today’s Botanical Artists by Cora B. Marcus and Libby Kyer (2007).

    2-day workshop without lodging $225
    2-day workshop with lodging $540

    Lodging option includes two nights lodging at the Methow Valley Inn with continental breakfast. Contact the Confluence Gallery to register.
    (509) 997-ARTS

    Download color flyer

This information has been posted to Classes Near You > Washington.

The	Illusionists (detail)	© 2013 Mara Lonner, All rights reserved. (latex paint, ink on wall	with	framed reduction	print, 96"	x 212" x	2”)

The Illusionists (detail)
© 2013 Mara Lonner (latex paint, ink on wall with framed reduction print, 96″ x 212″ x 2”), All rights reserved

The California oak and Western meadowlark are the focus of this exhibition, which includes textile drawings created by Mara Lonner as well as monoprints and a wrap-around wall painting created specifically for the show.

The work for Mara Lonner: So much, nothing began with a conversation between Lonner and Kimball Garrett, Ornithology Collections Manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who said the most critical threat to native birds in this region is the loss and fragmentation of natural habitat.

The riparian and coastal tidal wetlands, oak savannahs and grasslands that once constituted the local landscape have been mostly destroyed by development. Resident species of native birds, once abundant in these habitats, have declined in population and/or left the area. Although migratory birds may fly through Los Angeles County on their way to other environments to nest and flourish, this region has become “negative space” for these animals.

The pieces in Lonner’s exhibition correlate the missing birds and native habitat. Her exhibition will be on view at the Theodore Payne Gallery through June 27.

Lonner will teach a nature sketching workshop related to her exhibition. Learn how to see and record nature in this special workshop for beginning artists.

    Sketching from Nature Workshop for Beginners
    Saturday, May 30, 2015
    11:00 AM – 3:30 PM
    Develop drawing and observation skills in this two-session class. All materials will be provided. Participants should bring lunch, a hat and a water bottle. Limit: 12. Registration ends May 15, 2015. TPF Member $70, Nonmember $90
    View Details/Register

About Theodore Payne

Located on 22 acres of canyon land, the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants, Inc. was established in 1960 and is dedicated to the understanding, preservation and use of California native flora.

Cara Fertitta is a plant ecologist studying the overlap between plant community ecology and agroecology by investigating the impact community gardens have on the environment.

Learn about Cara’s interesting project and investigate ideas to help blend art, botany and urban agriculture into your programs or classrooms.

More about urban gardens and the environment


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