Classes listed on ArtPlantae Today are for the benefit of members of our creative community. Their inclusion is not an endorsement by ArtPlantae LLC. As with anything, please investigate your choices thoroughly. Then get outside and be inspired!
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List your botanical art workshops, botany classes, book arts classes, botanical art excursions, or sketchbook adventures here for free.
Send workshop information to email@example.com.
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Drawing Nature in Colored Pencil
Nina received a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State University and a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the botanical art program at the New York Botanical Garden. For more information about the classes below, contact Nina Antze or call (707) 237-7014. Nina’s teaching schedule can also be viewed on her website.
- Nature Drawing Classes – Four Tuesdays, ongoing. 9AM – 12 PM. Learn to capture the forms and colors of nature at Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol, CA. Cost: $89. Contact: (707) 237-7014
Located on the campus of California State University Fullerton, the Fullerton Arboretum was established in 1979 and is the largest botanical garden in Orange County.
Introduction to Plant Identification
Study the characteristics botanists use to classify, identify, and recognize major groups and families of plants. Examine fresh plant material, preserved specimens, photographs, and published references to learn plant parts and functions. Each class will build on the next, but they can be taken individually. Each class meets from 9 AM to 1 PM.
To register, please call (657) 278-3407.
Cost (a la carte): $25 members, $30 nonmembers
Cost (full series): $70 members, $85 nonmembers
Intro to Plant ID (Part I) – February 9, 2013
Intro to Plant ID (Part II) – March 23, 2013
Intro to Plant ID (Part III) – April 13, 2013
California State University, Monterey Bay
The scientific illustration program at CSU Monterey Bay is a graduate-level program and is highly respected across the country. This program was formerly taught at UC Santa Cruz. Admission is by application and only 15 students are accepted each year. This program offers summer classes that are open to the public. Visit their website to learn more about this program, to view the current schedule, and to view examples of student work.
Filoli House and Garden, Woodside
Located in Woodside, CA, the only certificate program in botanical art and illustration in California offers classes taught by exceptional award-winning instructors. View the course schedule for 2013 for details.
In addition to courses about drawing, watercolor, pen and ink and colored pencil, the botanical art program offers a long list of classes addressing specific techniques and business-related skills of special interest to botanical artists. These classes include:
- Techniques Class: Understanding Foreshortening
- Techniques Class: Textures in Depth
- Designing for Success: Composition for Artists
- Beginning Photoshop for Botanical Art
- Portfolio: Presenting Your Artwork
- Labeling, Matting and Framing
View the entire course schedule and learn more about Filoli’s botanical art program online.
Gardens at Heather Farm, Walnut Creek
The Gardens at Heather Farm are comprised of twenty demonstration gardens. This six-acre garden is also an outdoor classroom. The garden offers many classes about plants, botany, botanical art and the environment. It also has its own florilegium. The florilegium project is managed by botanical artist, Catherine Watters. Visit the website to view the complete schedule of classes.
Koch Studios – Maryjo Koch Illustration, Santa Cruz
Maryjo Koch is the author and illustrator of many books. She teaches workshops in nature illustration at her studio near Santa Cruz and leads workshops throughout northern California and abroad. Her specialty is capturing nature using gouache and watercolor techniques. Visit
Koch Studios to view the complete schedule.
John Muir Laws
Naturalist, Illustrator, Author, & Educator
John Muir Laws is the author of The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. A graduate of the UC Santa Cruz scientific illustration program, Laws teaches workshops in field sketching and teaches students how to draw wildlife in addition to plants. See his current class schedule for details. Be sure to visit Laws’ website to learn more about how he brings environmental education and journaling to classrooms across California.
You might also be interested in a video in the Tutorials section. This video was created by a school teacher who documented what she learned while taking a class from John Muir Laws during Summer 2008. See the video titled, A Naturalist’s Journal.
Lyceum of Monterey County
The Lyceum of Monterey County “inspires a life-long love of learning” through its enrichment programs and academic events.
This new program is taught in conjunction with time spent gardening with well-known local gardeners at the Lyceum. Instructor Jane Flury will provide beginning to advanced drawing instruction. Students may take gardening, botanical illustration or both. This is an ongoing class taught on Fridays from 3:30-5:00 PM. Cost: $85 for 6 classes, includes materials. Contact Lyceum for more information (831) 372-6098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andie is a painter and book artist devoted to creative work in wild places. She teaches in California, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. Her work is widely exhibited and honored, and is held in many private and public collections. Get the latest news about Andie’s popular classes on her website.
- Big Island Retreat: Wild Art & Wild Yoga in Hawaii – March 2013. Kalani Honua, Hawaii. Download flyer
- Private Creativity Coaching & Artist Mentoring
In addition to the workshops listed here, Andie also works privately with a limited number of students. Contact Andie Thrams
University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley
This 34-acre garden was established in 1890 and is now a non-profit research garden and museum. The botanical art classes at UCBG are taught by Lee McCaffree and Catherine Watters. View a detailed schedule and register on the Garden’s website.
- Sick Plant Clinic – First Saturday of Each Month, 9 AM – 12 PM. Free.
No reservations required.
- Monthly Butterfly Walks – Fourth Tuesday of each month (March – October); 3 – 4 PM. Garden volunteer, docent, and caterpillar lady, Sally Levinson, will lead walks through the garden in search of butterflies. Space is limited. Children welcome. Free with admission.
- Garden Strollers – Second Wednesday of Each Month,
11 AM – 11:45 PM. A 45-minute tour of the garden for adults with young children (3 and under). Tour will end on the lawn for play and snacks (bring your own). Children must be in a stroller or carrier during the tour. FREE with garden admission. Meet in front of the Garden Ship. For more information, call (510) 642-7082 or email email@example.com.
- Natural Discourse Symposium – Friday, January 11, 2013; 9 AM – 4 PM. Speakers participating in Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden will explore man’s intervention and interpretation of nature and how it has influenced their work. Cost: $125. View Details/Register
University of California, Davis
UC Davis Arboretum
Comprised of 100 acres of gardens, this arboretum is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Check their calendar for botanical illustration classes.
Vorobik Botanical Art
Linda Ann Vorobik, Ph.D. is a botanical illustrator and botanist who teaches at the Jepson Herbarium at UC Berkeley, conducts field research in the Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon and teaches botanical illustration in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. Visit Linda’s website to view her current teaching schedule, online gallery, blog, and to sign-up for her newsletter.
Drawing Nature in Colored Pencil
Nina received a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State University and a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the botanical art program at the New York Botanical Garden. For more information about the class below, contact Nina Antze or call (707) 237-7014. Nina’s teaching schedule can also be viewed on her website.
Nature Drawing Classes – Learn to capture the forms and colors of nature at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach, CA (2nd Saturday of the month). Contact: (562) 570-1745
ArtPlantae is a resource provider whose aim is to encourage an interest in plants, to make botany a more palatable subject, and to accomplish both through the use of drawing as a learning tool.
Let’s Explore Plants
Join fellow gardeners and plant lovers at the community table at Aurea Vista to learn about plants and the grand history of botanical art. Participants will learn about botany and botanical illustration through hands-on experiences and friendly conversation. Participants will begin their own personalized guide to plants and botanical illustration at the first gathering and will add new pages to their guides at subsequent gatherings. To register, please visit the Aurea Vista or
call (951) 684-1500.
- Beautiful Bulbs – Saturday, April 27, 2013; 1-3 PM. Cost: $35, includes new Moleskine Sketchbook. Limit: 8
- Sturdy Stems – Saturday, May 18, 2013; 1-3 PM. Returning participants will add new pages to their personalized guide to plants. Cost: $35, includes plant specimens. First-time participants can purchase a large Moleskine Sketchbook for $15.99 (20% off). Limit: 8
- Leaves: The Long and the Short of It – Saturday, June 29, 2013;
1-3 PM. Returning participants will add new pages to their personalized guide to plants. Cost: $35, includes plant specimens. First-time participants can purchase a large Moleskine Sketchbook for $15.99 (20% off). Limit: 8
- Flowers: Form & Function – Saturday, July 27, 2013; 1-3 PM. Returning participants will add new pages to their personalized guide to plants. Cost: $35, includes plant specimens. First-time participants can purchase a large Moleskine Sketchbook for $15.99 (20% off). Limit: 8
- Fruit: Sweet & Savory – Saturday, August 31, 2013; 1-3 PM. Returning participants will add new pages to their personalized guide to plants. Cost: $35, includes plant specimens. First-time participants can purchase a large Moleskine Sketchbook for $15.99 (20% off). Limit: 8
Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens
Located in San Marino, CA, the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens is a true gem. In addition to housing extensive collections of art and hosting scholars from all over the world, The Huntington is home to 120 acres of gardens. Host to many special events, lectures, and workshops, The Huntington inspires both plant lovers and botanical artists. To register, call (626) 405-2128.
Kathy Dunham Studios
Kathy is an award-winning artist and the author of Artist’s Projects You Can Paint: 10 Floral Watercolors published by International Artist Publishing. She leads workshops in drawing, watercolor, plein air painting, and sketching for both nature journals and travel journals. Kathy teaches weekly in the Palm Springs area and leads workshops throughout southern California, the desert Southwest, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Stop by Kathy’s blog to learn more about this popular instructor.
- Sketching and Drawing – La Quinta Senior Center.
Information: 760-564-0096. Wednesdays (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
- Creative Photography – La Quinta Senior Center.
Information: 760-564-0096. Wednesdays (1:00 PM – 2:30 PM)
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. A detailed class schedule can be viewed on her blog. Also see an interview with Jane and her Ask The Artist Q&A with readers.
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.
- Sketching & Watercolor: Journal Style – April 6, 2013. California Center for Creative Renewal. San Clemente, CA.
- Tesoro del Corazon – April 21-28, 2013. Mixed media art retreat in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Interested? Let them know
- Blue Mountain Nature Journal – May 16-20, 2013. Mixed media retreat in Knoxville, Maryland. Contact info@ArtistSuccess.com to be placed on interest list.
- Lavender Sage Art Retreat with Pamela Underwood – June 10-14, 2013. Mixed media retreat in Taos, New Mexico. View Details/Register
- Walking and Watercolor in Italy – October 7-13, 2013
- ArtWalk: San Diego – January 13-19, 2014
- ArtWalk: Italy – May 24-30, 2014
- ArtWalk: The French Riviera – June 1-7, 2014
Living Desert Botanical Gardens & Zoo, Palm Desert
Located in the Palm Desert/Indian Wells area of the Coachella Valley, this garden offers several courses in arts and crafts, scientific illustration, gardening, landscape design, and natural history through Living Desert University.
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, Arcadia
Courses in introductory botanical drawing, beginning and intermediate watercolor, colored pencil, sketching and Chinese brush painting are taught throughout the year. Go to Events & Classes for more information. The Arboretum is located in Arcadia, CA. To register, contact Jill Berry or call (626) 821-4624.
NEW! Evening Classes in Botanical Art with Cristina Baltayian
Mondays, April 8, 15, 22, 29
6-9pm; Oak Room
$255 members; $275 non-members
Emphasis will be on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques. Participants will work in colored pencil, graphite, pen and ink and watercolor. In addition, this year an exciting project is beginning, in which, in conjunction with the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, students will be studying and portraying many of the Arboretum plant introductions from the last 50 years. The goal is to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California. Class participation is limited to a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 12.
Colored Pencil in Botanical Art with Cristina Baltayian
Learn the colored pencil techniques used by botanical artists. Special topics to be explored in 2013 include: water-soluble pencil techniques, solvents, colored pencil sticks, pen & ink with colored pencil, composition. All levels of experience are welcome. Students will receive a supply list. Registrants may bring a lunch or buy lunch at the Peacock Cafe.
Dates for 2013
February 5, 12, 19, 26
March 5, 12, 19, 23
April 2, 9, 16, 23
May 7, 14, 21, 28
June 4, 11, 18, 25
July 2, 9, 16, 23
10 AM – 2 PM (includes lunch break)
$255/mo. Arboretum members per month
$275/mo. Non-members per month
Pre-registration required; please call (626) 821-4623
Cristina Baltayian is a botanical artist with a background in drawing (graphite, charcoal, pen & ink), two-dimensional design, watercolor and colored pencil. Her work has been shown at Filoli, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Chapman University. She is a member of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California and the American Society of Botanical Artists.
You May Also Enjoy:
Art Workshop – Mondays. This self-directed workshop (no instructor) provides a supportive, encouraging environment for those who wish to pursue their artistic endeavors in watercolor, graphite, pastels, etc. Both beginning and experienced artists are welcome. It is a wonderful opportunity to develop at your own speed in your own media while being in the company of those with like interests. Each session of eight meetings costs $35 for Arboretum members ($42 non-members). Upcoming sessions: December 5, 2011 – February 6, 2012; February 13—April 2, 2012; April 9—May 28, 2012; June 4—July 23, 2012. Artists meet in the Oak Room from 9:30 – 11:30 AM. To register, contact Jill Berry or
call (626) 821-4624.
What Tree Is That?
Dr. Jerrold Turney, Instructor
Bamboo Room: 10am – 12noon
Learn the trees of southern California in this four-session class with plant pathologist and arborist, Dr. Jerrold Turney. Participants will learn about 60 trees, 21 of them this Saturday! A one-hour lecture will be followed by a walk in the Arboretum during which participants will learn how to identify the trees they just learned about in lecture.
Pre-registration preferred, but you may register at the door. Please call the Class Registration line at 626.821.4623.
Cost: $25 Members/$30 Non-Members (includes Arboretum admission)
Saturday, February 2
Saturday, March 2
Saturday, April 13
Saturday, May 11
A Southern California artist who studies the techniques of Renaissance painters and uses these techniques in her work. Her work is currently on view in the solo exhibition, Envisioning the Natural World, at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center. Lala’s classes appeal to a general audience and can accommodate participants working on independent projects. Botanical artists are welcome! The classes below are taught at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center in Torrance, CA.
Botanical and Zoological Illustration
Learn how to draw and paint the plants and animals at Madrona Marsh, the last surviving vernal marsh in Los Angeles County. In this Saturday morning program, participants will learn how to create botanical, ornithological and other scientific illustrations with the help of the artist Lala Ragimov. Basic drawing and watercolor supplies provided. Adults and children (9 years old and older) are welcome. Cost: $10 per class. Class dates are listed below. Each class meets from 10 AM – 12 PM.
To register, contact Friends of Madrona Marsh at (310) 782-3989.
Explore the Madrona Marsh online at www.friendsofmadronamarsh.com.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont
An 86-acre natural setting located near the Claremont Colleges, this botanical garden focuses on California native plants. They offer periodic classes on botanical art. Please check their schedule online.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara
This lovely botanic garden periodically offers classes in botanical art. Subscribe to their e-newsletter to receive information about upcoming events.
Helen Shafer Garcia, Vista
A garden illustrator for San Diego Home and Garden Magazine for 7 years, Helen is an avid gardener who manages a ½-acre garden filled with succulents and perennials. Helen teaches at the San Diego Botanic Garden, at artist retreats, and at conferences. Visit Helen’s website to view the many ways you can combine plants and art using watercolor, pastels, and mixed media.
A book artist and paper engineer whose work incorporates ecological principles observed in nature. Sheehy’s art reflects his interests in ecosystems, natural resources, population biology and evolution. Shawn was the featured guest for September 2012. Here is what we learned when he stopped by to visit.
California Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers
May 4-5: Pop-Up Wildflowers
The venue for this workshop will be announced at a later date. Check back for this update.
Visit my Shawn’s redesigned website at www.shawnsheehy.com to see images of the vegetable pop-ups for his workshop, to learn about his new book and to view his workshop schedule for 2013.
Brenda Swenson, Los Angeles
Brenda Swenson, WW, NWWS is the author of Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook and Steps to Success in Watercolor. She is a very popular, award-winning artist who teaches across the U.S. and abroad. See Brenda’s new section about tips, techniques, and tools for artists on her blog.
University of California, Riverside
Botanical Illustration of Desert Flora
April 12-14, 2013. A field study course at the Desert Studies Center (Zzyzx), three hours north of Riverside near Baker, CA. Learn about desert flora while learning techniques used by botanical illustrators. Students will work in the field using pencil, pen and watercolor. Course fee includes two nights lodging (dormitory style) and meals. Registrants will receive information about the Center and what they should bring with them. Visitors not permitted. Cost: $325 credit; $245 non-credit.
Recommended Book: Mojave Desert Wildflowers (this link is to the second edition that will be released on March 5, 2013)
Virginia Robinson Gardens, Beverly Hills
Botanical art classes with visiting instructors such as Anne-Marie Evans, Elaine Searle and Jenny Phillips are taught at the garden. Check back for information about upcoming workshops. Read about the Friends of Robinson Garden Botanical Art Group and the Robinson Garden Florilegium here.