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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Margaret Best is an award-winning artist and respected teacher. Her artwork has been shown in many exhibitions about contemporary botanical art and is featured in the book, Today’s Botanical Artists, by Cora Marcus and Libby Kyer. Margaret teaches in Canada, England, Bermuda, Italy, Morocco and the United States. Her work is held in both public and private collections, including The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Visit Traditional Botanicals to buy prints and cards of Margaret’s paintings.
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 their 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 were offered in 2013; thirteen of them were courses are about botanical art and related topics.
Capel Manor College
Botanical Illustration at Capel Manor College
Capel Manor College offers 3-day short courses in Botanical Illustration in Regent’s Park in the heart of central London and at Capel Manor in Enfield. Botanical artist and educator, Louise O’Reilly, offers students of all abilities the opportunity to improve their observational drawing skills and learn more about botanical subject matter. Students learn the basic skills required to create a beautiful and accurate botanical drawing including structural line drawing, drawing to scale, composition, applying tone, understanding directional light, color mixing and use of watercolor washes. Check website for more information.
- Trees in Flower, March 14-16, 2016
- Summer Flowers and Pollinators, May 9-11, 2016
- Roses, July 4-6, 2016
Chelsea Physic Garden
Hidden in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden is both a peaceful oasis in the city and a centre for learning. It was founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London in 1673 for apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants and by the 18th century the Garden was one of the most important centers of botany and plant exchange in the world.
Today the Garden’s features include Europe’s oldest pond rockery, the Cool Fernery, the Garden of Edible & Useful Plants, the Garden of Medicinal Plants and the World Woodland Garden. Its education and outreach program reaches over 5,000 children a year from across London in addition to the program of Family Activity Days and Walks, Talks & Workshops. The 2016 schedule of classes includes:
May 31 and August 16
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Investigate the history, geography and science of chocolate. Craft activities, a Garden tour, chocolate tasting and chocolate making too.
- Potions and Poison: Shakespearean Herbology
Thursdays, April 7, August 18, October 28
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Learn about the world of apothecaries through a Shakespearean lens. The Chelsea Physic Garden partners with Studio Cultivate to create new experiences for families.
Tuesday, March 29
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Learn about seeds, make seed art and eat seeds too!
Wednesday, March 30
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Learn about water through art, meteorology, physics and botany. Participants will make a wall fountain, rain gauge, water drop microscope and mini aquatic ecosystem.
Puppetry in Motion
Thursday, March 31
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Design garden-inspired creatures with artist Hyunjung Choi.
Tuesday, April 5 or Wednesday, October 26
10:30 am – Noon or 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Children ages 4+ will learn about animals and their habitats and have the opportunity to hold the animals.
Art of the Garden
Create garden-inspired art and craft projects. Print, paint, sketch and build! Schedule options for this session are:
Ages 4+, Wednesday, April 6, 10:30-Noon or 1:00-2:30 pm
Ages 6+, Tuesday, October 25, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Wednesday, June 1
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Learn about masks from around the world and then make your mask using materials found in the Garden.
Thinking with Your Nose: An Introduction to Plant Perfumes
Thursday, June 2, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Participants ages 11+ will learn about perfumery and how how to make their own perfumes.
A Passion for Plants: Gardening for Beginners
Tuesday, August 2
10:30 – Noon or 1:00-2:30 pm
Gardeners ages 4 and up will learn how to care for plants and learn how to create garden-inspired gifts.
The Power of Plants: Ethnobotany for Beginners
Wednesday, August 3
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Learn about the plants we use everyday. Did you know you will most likely use ten plants before arriving for this session?
Pulp Fiction: Paper-making, Paper Stixx, Wonderful Wire & More
Thursday, August 4
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Artist, inventor and designer Darcy Turner will show you how to see paper, metal and wire in new ways. Also, learn how to make your own paper. For ages 6+.
Tuesday, August 9
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
More animal encounters, plus explore the Garden’s jungle room, medicinal plants, poisonous plants and vampire plants. For ages 10+.
Recycled Garden Sculptures
Sculptor Michelle Reader will show participants ages 8+ how to use everyday items to create sculptures of garden plants and animals.
Flight Club: An Introduction to Things That Fly
Thursday, August 11
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Learn about the science and history of flight by studying pollen, seeds, insects, birds and humans. Participants will make flying seeds, kites and paper airplanes. Rocket? Did someone say rocket?!
Photographers ages 7 and up are invited to bring their cameras and smartphones to learn about lighting, composition, texture and form. They will also receive tips about wildlife photography and about how to make plant portraits.
Tuesday, August 23
10;30 am – 3:00 pm
Professional film-maker Emma Sullivan will lead this workshop for storytellers ages 11+. She will help them create characters and a story inspired by the Garden’s own plants and animals.
Wednesday, August 24
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Textile artist Lara Hailey will talk about textiles and dyes. Participants age 11+ will make their own dyed creations and plant a garden to take home.
Learn about the science, folklore, customs and beliefs associated with fir as the Garden marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, the 150th anniversary of the London Brigade and the 50th anniversary of the Chelsea fire station. The Museum of London will lead activities and a fire engine will be onsite.
Fungi Town: An Introduction to the Weird World of Mushrooms
Thursday, October 27
10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Participants ages 8+ will learn about fungi through tasty treats and mushroom printing and continue their learning at home with their own mini growing kit.
Don’t forget the drop-in activities for families scheduled from 12-4 pm on April 10 June 10, August 14 and October 2.
Chelsea School of Botanical Art
Chelsea Physic Garden
Botanical art returns to the Chelsea Physic Garden in 2014! This new and updated diploma course replaces the diploma course originally taught at the English Gardening School. The English Gardening School no longer offers its diploma course and will now concentrate more on garden design and horticulture.
The Chelsea School of Botanical Art was founded by artist Helen Allen.
The two-year part-time diploma course involves three 10-week terms the first year and one year of private study during the second year. Students are expected to build a portfolio and complete a final project to satisfy graduation requirements.
Short courses will also be offered through the new program. Information about the short courses planned for June, September and October will be posted when available. Information about the summer school course with Elaine Searle can now be viewed online. Click on the Courses tab on the school’s website to learn more.
Gaynor Dickeson is a British botanical artist living on the south coast of England. Her work has been exhibited widely in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and the USA. Her work is in various collections including The Hunt Institute in Pittsburgh, USA and her awards include a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Silver Grenfell medal for her series of Magnolia x soulangeana paintings in 2011.
Gaynor has taught successfully for many years mostly in the UK and Norway. She teaches workshops for Field Breaks, and is the Botanical Art Tutor for the
London Art College distance learning course. Gaynor also teaches two- and three-day workshops in her home. Visit the Tuition page on her website for more information.
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.
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 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 2016 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. Get information 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.
See the Greystoke Cycle Cafe’s Quirky Workshops page for the new 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 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. Botanical illustration classes are taught by Alison Day.
Beginning April 11, 2016
Drawing from Plant Life
Ten weeks, Monday afternoons
April 11 – June 20, 2016
1:00 – 2:30 PM
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 while 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.
Students are asked to bring their own ideas and specimens to the course as well as drawing plants provided. Basic materials are provided , together with reference literature , students must provide their own sketch book pencils and colours.
All are welcome, no experience needed. This is a small class and provides and supportive and relaxed environment in which to draw.
Places are limited so booking is required. Cost for each course is £95/90 concessions.
For enrolment details and booking, contact Alison Day at the Lewisham Arthouse.
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.
Courses include botanical art, drawing, painting, sketching landscapes, oil, colored pencil, cartooning, portraits, and children’s book illustration.
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.
Learn Botanical Art Online with Anna Mason
Anna’s school is based on her tested step-by-step tutorials. Each tutorial comes with a reference photo and 4-6 videos that offer at least one hour of video instruction. New tutorials are added every month.
Subscribers to this new service also have access to the Knowledge Base Anna created. The Knowledge Base features 18 videos in which Anna breaks down painting techniques and presents her practical approach to color mixing. Linked to these videos are sketchbook exercises subscribers can follow on those days when they only have 30 minutes to dedicate to painting.
Learn more about this program at www.watercolourswithwow.com.
Elaine is a respected botanical artist with work included in The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, The Highrove Florilegium and many private collections. She teaches groups, and individuals in the UK, Europe and USA as well as offering a distance learning program. One of Elaine’s most popular courses is an annual painting holiday to Umbria, Italy and for 2014 she is also offering a one-week holiday course in her home county of Norfolk.
Learn More About Elaine
Billy Showell is a botanical artist and the author of Watercolour Flower Portraits, Watercolor Fruit and Vegetable Portraits and A-Z of Flower Portraits.
Botanicals and Beyond with Billy Showell
Billy Showell launches a new online botanical art program. This program is composed of online instruction and projects ranging from 20 minutes to three hours. Tutorials are released every two weeks at BillyShowell.com.
Choose from three levels of membership :
The Free Membership option gives artists access to basic lessons.
The Monthly Membership option enables artists to get access to current and new projects at the cost of £9.99 per month (convert currency). New projects are announced every two weeks. After 12 months of Monthly Membership, members at this level will gain access to Billy’s entire catalog of tutorials.
Artists signing up for the Annual Plan at £89.88 per month (convert currency) will have access to all new projects and access to Billy’s catalog of projects, courses and tutorials.
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!
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.
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. Students may work towards certification or take this class as an auditing student. View Details/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.
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 botanical art.
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.