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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Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists
Established in 1999 by graduates of the University of Birmingham’s Certificate of Higher Education in Botanical Illustration, the Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists (BSBA) offers two one-year programs in botanical art. For information about the 2012/2013 program, contact the BSBA.
- 1 Yr Certificate Course in Botanical Illustration. A methodical study of botanical illustration techniques. Students are encouraged to complete studies leading to a Certificate of Achievement from the BSBA.
- 1 Yr Aspects of Botanical Illustration Course – A leisurely approach to botanical art, complete with seasonal themes. Students will learn botanical illustration techniques while learning about different media. Homework is not assigned in this program.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
The botanical garden at Cambridge University offers classes in beginning botany, plant photography, garden writing, woodblock printing, knitting flowers, garden history, gardening and botanical art. More than 50 courses will be offered in 2013; thirteen of these courses are about botanical art and related topics.
- Illustrating Mountain Plants and Alpines – April 2013
- Painting Vibrant Tulips in Watercolor – April 2013
- Leaf Studies in Colored Pencil – May 2013
- Illustrating Bees and Butterflies – June 2013
- Botanical Illustration for Beginners – June 2013
- Painting Roses in Watercolor – July 2013
- Painting Trees in Watercolor I – July 2013
- Painting Trees in Watercolor II – August 2013
- Illustrating Exotic Seed Heads and Capsules – September 2013
- Pen & Ink Seed Pods for Beginners – September 2013
- Illustrating Umbels and Hydrangeas from the Flower Border in Autumn October 2013
- Conkers, Berries and Fruit in Colored Pencil – October 2013
The Eden Project
Located in Cornwall, England, the Eden Project is a non-profit whose focus is connecting people to the natural world through educational programs, social programs, music and art. See how the Eden Project was transformed from a clay pit to an international institute for learning.
English Gardening School at Chelsea Wharf, London
Located in London, England, the English Garden School offers professional and amateur courses in garden design, practical horticulture, plants and plantsmanship, and botanical painting.
The Botanical Painting Diploma course is comprised of three 10-week terms and one independent study project. Students meet once per week on Mondays from 10:30 AM – 3:15 PM. Homework is assigned weekly. Students are expected to allocate two days per week for homework. During the Spring Term, students are work on observation and drawing skills. Color mixing and watercolor washes are the focus of the Summer Term. In the Fall, students learn about composition, learn troubleshooting techniques, and refine their drawing skills. After completing all three terms, students work on a themed project and create five paintings around this theme. Students must complete their project within the year following the course in order to qualify for their diploma. View all program details
Short Courses are offered as an alternative to the Diploma program. Short courses are one- to ten-day classes scheduled from 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM. All courses include lunch.
Farncombe Estate, Cotswolds
A privately-owned parkland in the Cotswolds. Covering more than 300 acres, this private estate/conference center/hotel welcomes guests from all over the world. Follow Farncombe’s blog or become a fan of their Facebook page to learn more about this unique learning opportunity. Farncombe Estates’ new schedule for 2013 can be viewed online. The current schedule includes:
- Botanical Drawing in Colored or Graphite Pencil: Spring Buds & Cottage Garden Flowers, April 5, 2013
- Sketching with Pen and Wash, April 26, 2013
- Botanical Painting in Watercolor or Gouache (All Levels), May 31, 2013
- Drawing and Sketching: A Course for Beginners, July 12, 2013
- Drawing Allsorts – Pencil Sketching for All, August 2, 2013
- Sketching with Watercolor Pencils, August 31, 2013
- Botanical/Natural History Painting in Gouache or Watercolor, Sept 13, 2013
- Botanical Drawing in Colored or Graphite Pencil: Pine Cones & Seed Pods, October 25, 2013
Field Breaks – Special Interest Art Breaks Derbyshire, England
Enjoy like-minded company in a relaxing and friendly environment with experienced and approachable tutors. Details and pricing for all 2012 courses can be viewed here.
Field Studies Council
Founded in 1943, the Field Studies Council (FSC) provides learning opportunities about the environment for all ages and abilities. Visit their website to learn more about interdisciplinary fieldwork opportunities, classes for individuals and families, publications and profession development courses. Courses are held across the FSC network of UK Centers, from the Scottish Highlands to the south Devon coast. The extensive schedule of classes for 2013 includes:
Botany Courses – Courses include studies of flowers, trees, grasses and grasslike plants, ferns, freshwater and wetland plants, lichens, fungi, general plants, mosses and liverworts. View Details/Register
Natural History Courses – Courses include studies of the natural world, birds and other animals, habitats and conservation. View Details/Register
Art Courses – Courses include painting, drawing, crafts (e.g. bookbinding), traditional skills (e.g., basketry), photography, archeology and botanical illustration. Below is a list of botanical illustration classes that will be offered next year. Click on the link below for complete details:
- Botanical Illustration for Beginners – May 2013
- Botanical Illustration Using Colored Pencils – June 2013
- Botanical Illustration and Painting – July 2013
- Botanical Illustration for More Experienced Painters – July 2013
- Illustrating Birds, Bees and Butterflies – July 2013
- Drawing and Painting the Flora at Malham Tarn – August 2013
- An Approach to Botanical Illustration: Drawing and Basic Watercolor Techniques – August 2013
- Botanical Illustration – August 2013
- A Botany Workshop for Artists – August 2013
- The Art of Botanical Illustration – August 2013
- Botanical Illustration for Improvers – August 2013
View all details about FSC botanical illustration courses online.
Ros Franklin Botanical Art
Ros Franklin studied botanical illustration at the Chelsea Physic Garden and received her Diploma after studying with the renowned Anne-Marie Evans. Most of Ros’s work is created for The Eden Project Florilegium and private commissions. Roz teaches botanical illustration to small groups in her studio and loves teaching beginners. Her beautifully equipped studio is located in a cottage in the tranquil countryside of Dorset, England. Students studying with Ros can forget the world and enjoy creating beautiful works of art. Accommodations at a local B&B are available.
Botanical Illustration / Botanical Painting – Small weekly classes for both beginners and experienced artists. Class meets from 10 AM – 4 PM. Class size is limited to eight people to ensure personalized instruction. A structured one-year course is offered for beginners and those with limited experience. Class breaks for one hour at lunch. Please bring your own lunch. Lunch is included with the 3-day course.
Classes are taught over three terms a year, each with 10 or 12 classes per term. Read more about the format of Ros’s courses here.
Please contact Ros Franklin for more information and to obtain a registration form.
Greystoke Cycle Café & Tea Garden
You may remember learning about the Greystoke Cycle Café & Tea Garden during an interview with Billy Showell. This rest stop for cyclists not only provides everything a cyclist needs, it also provides a full schedule of workshops taught by artists and other professionals. The 2013 schedule includes:
- Botanical Illustration in Watercolor – April 3, 2013
- Wildlife Illustration in Watercolor – April 4, 2013
- Beginners Watercolors and Pen and Wash – April 10, 2013
- Eco Dyeing for Textile Artists – July 3, 2013
- Botanical Illustration in Watercolor – July 30, 2013
- Wildlife Illustration in Watercolor with Gouache – July 31, 2013
- Wildlife or Botanical Illustration in Watercolors – August 1, 2013
- Dyeing with Natural Fibers – August 2, 2012
See the Greystoke Cycle Cafe’s Quirky Workshops page for their current class schedule.
Highgate Literary & Scientific Institute
Cultural arts center and library in London founded in 1839. In addition to their courses in botanical drawing and painting, the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institute offers courses in art, art history, ancient and modern languages, music appreciation and the history of London.
Lewisham Arthouse, London
The Lewisham Arthouse once served as the central library of Deptford. Designed by architect Sir Alfred Brumwell Thomas (1868-1948) and funded by Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), this former library is now features a public gallery and studio space for professional artists. Artist studios are open to the public once per year. Exhibitions in the gallery are open to the public year-round, free of charge. Ten-week botanical illustration classes are taught by Alison Day. Watch for information about her next class.
Drawing from Plant Life
Mondays, April 15 – June 24, 2013 (10 weeks)
Cost: £95/90 concessions
This introductory course aims to provide an opportunity to explore the art and science of botanical Illustration. Students will have the opportunity to explore both drawing and painting plants whilst learning a range of graphic techniques used to represent plant material. Some basic theory is taught and where relevant historical and contemporary practice is referenced.
The course is taught by a practicing artist who has a background in the science of botany and the practice of fine art.
Students are asked to bring their own ideas and specimens to the course. Basic materials and reference literature are provided, students must provide their own sketchbook pencils and colours.
All are welcome, no experience needed.
This is a small class and provides a supportive and relaxed environment in which to draw. Places are limited so booking is required. Please contact Alison Day.
The Lewisham Arthouse is located at 140 Lewisham Way, New Cross, SE14 6PD.
Transport: BR/overground. New cross/New Cross Gate.
Bus 136, 21, 436, 321
Valerie Littlewood has been a commercial illustrator, designer for industry, artist and art lecturer for many years. Most recently she has been drawing plants and insects, becoming more and more interested in their relationships and their conservation. Currently she is drawing bees and other pollinators and has a traveling show “BUZZ” A Celebration of British Bees and their Flowers that showcases 24 of Britain’s bees. Valerie was awarded a bursary from The Society for All Artists in 2012 to help encourage creative people of all abilities to take inspiration from the natural world, from insects, bees and flowers and to understand more about their important relationship to us. When not painting drawing or designing, reading or writing, she is battling with a new muddy patch of garden in Grafham, Cambs UK. For more info about the courses please contact the individual venues or contact Val directly.
London Art College: Distance Learning Art Courses
Distance learning is this school’s specialty. In this program, students have the opportunity to engage in many types of art. Students are required to complete regular exercises and assignments. Homework is scanned and uploaded for critique or sent to tutors through traditional mail.
- Botanical Illustration 1 – An introduction to botanical illustration, painting, and plant morphology. Students will learn about the history of botanical illustration, as well as how to collect and use reference material. Instructor: Lynette Conway. For more information, including sample pages from this course, click here.
- Botanical Illustration 2 – Watercolor techniques are the focus of this course. Detailed step-by-step demonstrations are included in this course taught by Sandrine Maugy. Details and sample pages can be viewed here.
Other courses include drawing, painting, sketching landscapes, oil, colored pencil, cartooning, portraits, and children’s book illustration. There are even long distance courses for kids!
Marianne McPhie, Nottinghamshire
A full-time botanical artist and instructor, Marianne teaches throughout the UK and abroad. Both current and past issues of her newsletter are now available online.
Anna (Knights) Mason
A self-taught artist, Anna’s botanical art is full of life and features captivating detail and lifelike movement. Learn more about Anna and read her Ask The Artist exchange with readers.
View Anna’s 2013 Workshops
Botanical Painting: An Online Workshop with Anna Mason
This free-to-join online community for people at all levels of experience will begin in Summer 2013. Community members will have their own profile pages and have access to a discussion forum, video demonstrations and written tips from Anna. Members will be able to learn at their own pace through the completion of special projects. These projects will be available for purchase through the program’s website. Personalized one-on-one instruction from Anna will be available at an additional cost. To learn more about this exciting new learning opportunity, please join Anna’s mailing list for more information.
University of Bristol Botanic Garden
A four-acre garden founded in 1882 by Adolf Leipner, professor of botany at Bristol University College. Plant collections address the following subject areas: plant evolution, Mediterranean plants, local plants, rare native plants, and useful plants. This garden was founded on an initial budget of £104!
Traditional Botanical Painting and Drawing
October 8, 2012 – May 6, 2013
1:00 – 4:30 PM
Establish a foundation in botanical drawing and painting in this 21-week course taught by artist Jenny Brooks. Students will learn how to use line, how to create form and textures, how to mix colors, and how to create botanical paintings in watercolor. Cost: £360. View Details
Valerie Oxley is a qualified teacher, Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, Member of the Society of Botanical Artists, and Vice-President of the Northern Society for Botanical Art. She developed the Diploma in Botanical Illustration at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Adult Continuing Education. Her own artwork has been exhibited widely and the Royal Horticultural Society has awarded her medals for her illustrations. Valerie is Chairman of the Florilegium Society at Sheffield Botanical Gardens whose aim is to record the planting in the Gardens for an historical archive. Valerie enjoys meeting and teaching students on residential courses throughout the country, she is the art editor of ‘Wild Flowers of the Peak District’ published by the Hallamshire Press and author of ‘Botanical Illustration’ published by the Crowood Press. Watch this for information about upcoming classes.
Mike Sibley Fine Art
Mike Sibley is the author of Drawing from Line to Life, an inspiring instructional book about creating realistic drawings in graphite. Mike teaches classes in England, the US and Canada. He is currently looking into teaching a class in Australia in 2013. He also teaches an online course and is currently creating instructional DVDs. Mike’s website is a rich resource for the graphite artist. If graphite is your preferred medium, be sure to visit!
Drawing from Line to Life – An eight-week online course based on Mike Sibley’s book of the same name. Beginners will learn fundamental drawing techniques, shading techniques and how to break a drawing down into manageable parts. Weekly homework will be assigned. Students may work towards certification or take this class as an auditing student. There are two versions of this course. Version 1 includes instructor critique and credit. Version 2 is an audit situation through which students can follow along, but cannot receive feedback about their work or receive course credit. Cost: $228 certificate course, $114 audit course.
View Start Dates/Register
Drawing from Line to Life (Intermediate) – A continuation of Mike’s class for beginners. In this eight-week course, students will begin to think about the message within their art and learn how to create textures, and explore negative space. There are two versions of this course. Version 1 includes instructor critique and credit. Version 2 is an audit situation through which students can follow along, but cannot receive feedback about their work or receive course credit. Cost: $228 certificate course, $114 audit course. View Start Dates/Register
The Wagon House
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
A bed-and-breakfast in the English countryside where you can eat breakfast at a time that is convenient for you, visit the gardens in Cornwall, and take botanical art classes too! Classes are taught by botanical artist and teacher, Mally Francis.
Accommodation for 4 & 5 Day Courses: Please indicate if you wish to stay here for B&B. Two twin rooms with a shared bathroom are available on a first-come first-served basis. Alternatively there are various local B&Bs and details can be provided if required. Gift Vouchers are available for Botanical Painting Courses, either for the full course or per day. Further details on request.
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is a collection of 13 distinct gardens and seven display greenhouses featuring over 5,000 species of plants. The garden offers educational programs for the public and for teachers. Together with the Harcourt Arboretum, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden forms the Museums and Collections department at Oxford University.
Botanical Illustration with Rosemary Wise
Rosemary Wise, botanical illustrator for the University of Oxford since 1965, will lead these courses. Come along to benefit from her expertise and experience in the beautiful surroundings of the botanic garden. Each class costs £60. Click on the links below for more information about each class and to register.
- Beginners Class- Saturday, March 9, 2013; 10 AM – 4 PM.
- Intermediate/Advance Class – Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013; 10 AM – 4 PM.
- Intermediate/Advance Class – Saturday, June 1, 2013; 10 AM – 4 PM.
Introduction to Digital Photography and Botanical Photography
with John Hunt
Saturday, May 18, 2013
10 Am – 4 PM
This is a practical course designed to let you take pictures and learn while you take them. It will cover the basics of digital photography, including learning about macro and close-up photography. With such a wide variety of plants and flowers you will be spoilt for choice. We will also introduce the first steps in post-production, using Adobe Photoshop Elements where you will learn how to start optimising your images. This course is designed to get the best out of the beautiful surroundings of the botanic garden and the best out of you as a photographer. Cost: £60. View Details/Register
Art Workshop with Chloe Fremantle
Saturday, May 4, 2013
10 AM – 4 PM
Artist, Chloe Fremantle, will lead a creative painting workshop, sharing with you her techniques and the inspiration for her work. Examples of her work can be viewed at www.chloefremantle.com. Cost: £60. View Details/Register
More from the University of Oxford Botanic Garden
View the complete schedule of classes to be held at both the Oxford Botanic Garden and the Harcourt Arboretum. The wonderful selection of classes address topics such as: invasive species, bees, woodland management, willow weaving, tree climbing, plant identification and the Winter Lecture Series, Gardens, Plants and Design: A Historical Perspective
University of Leicester Botanic Garden
Sixteen acres of landscaped grounds and greenhouses centered around an Edwardian garden. The Attenborough Arboretum is a satellite facility of the Garden. The Arboretum features an example of a medieval ridge-and-furrow field and offers painting classes and painting days in the garden. View Events
West Suffolk College
West Suffolk College serves the rural communities of Haverhill, Ipswich, Mildenhall, Stowmarket and Sudbury. Watch for information about upcoming classes.