Posts Tagged ‘botanical art’

New update at Classes Near You > Online:

Wendy Hollender

Draw Botanical

Draw Botanical’s online program offers a thorough immersion into the world of scientifically accurate, three-dimensional, and artistically rendered natural illustration. Whether you’re just broaching this unique skill or are already an expert, these step-by-step instructions and extensive videos are an invaluable guide, created by one of the nation’s leading experts in the field, Wendy Hollender. Each lesson here increases in complexity to build your skill set in a clear, concise, and accessible way. With a focus on the natural world through the botanical life-cycle, each project is not only a technical study but a beautiful piece of artwork in and of itself.

  • Single light source toning technique
  • Principles of perspective for drawing flowers
  • The fundamentals of plant anatomy
  • Colored pencil and watercolor combined techniques
  • Color Theory of the natural world

Two Subscription Programs Available:

    The Practice of Botanical Drawing:
    $40 monthly or $400 for a year (Comprehensive Course)

    Botanical Basics:
    $20 monthly or $200 for a year (Short 30 minute lessons)

    Access to Both Programs for $50 monthly or $500 for a year

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For the past six years, Elaine Searle has hosted relaxing and rejuvenating botanical art retreats in Italy. She returns to Italy this year and invites you to spend spring, summer, and fall with her in Umbria!

Elaine will host four painting holidays in 2017. They are:

  • Flowers and Fruits of Early Summer ( May 25 – June 1, 2017)
  • Wild Flower Composition (June 2-9, 2017)
  • Late Summer Study Sheet (August 24-31, 2017)
  • Colours of Autumn (September 1-8, 2017)

Watch this short video to learn more about Elaine’s painting holidays. Visit www.paintbotanical.com for everything you need to know about each retreat.


Elaine Searle shares her passion about botanical art, discusses how students learn best

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Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration
Our program offers several weekly and one- to three-day classes on botanical art with lead instructor and Education Director Sarah Roche as well as Carrie Megan, Carol Ann Morley, Esther Klahne, and many other visiting instructors from near and far. The courses offered through this program cover all aspects of botanical art. Along with Sarah’s twice-yearly offerings, Foundations of Botanical Drawing and Painting and the more advanced Techniques of Botanical Drawing and Painting, here is a brief overview of the 2016-2017 course offerings:

  • Carrie Megan’s Drawing Pine Cones; Assorted Vegetables & Herbs: Library Page; and Spring Flowers Decomposed
  • Liz Haywood-Sullivan’s smART Business: Creative Management Techniques for Artists
  • Carol Ann Morley’s Drawing in the Greenhouses: From Root to Tip and Colored Pencil Review
  • Jeanne Kunze’s Introduction to Watercolor: Three Colors and Mark Making Techniques: Your Inner Doodle
  • Hillary Parker’s Expressing Your Artistic Voice Through Composition and Mastering Washes
  • Esther Klahne’s Floral Collage: In the Style of Mrs. Delany
  • Ellen Duarte’s Introduction to Scientific Pen Techniques
  • Susan Fisher’s Color Mixing for Artists and Study the Masters
  • Ann Swan’s Pushing the Boundaries: Composition with Colored Pencil and Vibrant Colors and Tactile Textures with Colored Pencil
  • Sarah Roche’s beginner class, Drawing and Painting for the Petrified

Learn more about Wellesley’s certificate program

View current Programs, Courses, & Travel schedule

This information has also been posted to Classes Near You > Massachusetts

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Need to discuss flower painting with teenagers?

You will find helpful suggestions in the article, How to Read Art: Analyze these artists’ techniques to interpret their paintings. This article is in the September 2016 issue of Scholastic Art, a magazine dedicated to bringing art history to middle school and high school students.

In How to Read Art, three flower painters and their approach to flower painting are discussed. The painters featured in this article are Dutch flower painter Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750), Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) and Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986). The editors of Scholastic Art compare the realistic style of Ruysch, to the expressive style of Van Gogh, to the creative flower close-ups of O’Keefe. The paintings under analysis in the article are “Flower Piece” by Ruysch, “Irises” by Van Gogh and “Purple Petunias” by O’Keefe.

The September issue of Scholastic Art can be viewed online for free.
(NOTE: Adobe Flash is required to view this magazine online.)

Literature Cited

Scholastic Art. (2016). How to read art: Analyze these artists’ techniques to interpret their paintings. Scholastic Art. September 2016, 4-5. Retrieved from http://art.scholastic.com/issues/09_01_16.

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Botany and botanical art enter the digital workspace

Botany and botanical art enter the digital workspace

Niki Simpson
is an award-winning artist who has earned medals in photography and watercolor from the Royal Horticultural Society. In 2003 she began developing a technique combining digital photography and traditional botanical art. She has spent the past 12 years perfecting the art of digital botanical illustration and the creation of information-rich botanical plates she calls composite botanical illustrations.

Since 2007, Niki’s digital botanical illustrations have appeared in four books. The most recent publication, Nuphar lutea: Botanical images for the digital documentation of a taxon was published this past May.

In her beautiful new book, Niki explores different ways of observing plants and demonstrates how composite botanical illustrations can be used to describe a specific plant species–in this case Nuphar lutea (Yellow Water Lily). Twelve botanical plates are featured in her new book, each highlighting some aspect of the morphology or life cycle of the yellow water lily. Botanists, gardeners, educators and artists will find Niki’s presentations exciting and informative. Because the illustrations were inspired by the engravings found in herbals, readers will find the format of these contemporary botanical illustrations very familiar, with the exception of two modern elements. In her signature style, Niki adds a 21st-century twist to her botanical plate by adding Nuphar lutea‘s DNA sequence and barcode to what would otherwise be a very traditional format.

While my images are inspired by, and draw heavily from, the accuracy and detail found in traditional botanical art, for me, the future of botanical illustration lies in exploring the potential of the dynamic digital workspace, so that botanical illustration can fully support botanists in the future.

— Niki Simpson

Keeping with her goal to blend botany, botanical art and digital technology, Niki also discusses design, smartphones, tablets, virtual books and other digital techniques. Here is look at the topics addressed in her new book:

  • Foreward
  • Artist’s statement
  • Introduction
  • Composite illustration or image voucher of Nuphar lutea
  • Nuphar–rearranging, resizing and recombining parts
  • Nuphar–from flower to seed
  • Nuphar–taking a closer look at the flower
  • Nuphar–evolution of my floral diagram
  • Nuphar–from fruit to seed dispersal
  • Nuphar–from seed to adult
  • Nuphar–foliage
  • Nuphar–for design
  • Nuphar–poster style
  • Nuphar–herbarium specimens
  • Composite illustration of Nuphar lutea including DNA sequence data
  • Composite illustration of Nuphar lutea including DNA barcode visualization
  • Nuphar–developing interactivity by starting with a virtual book
  • Nuphar–on smartphones and tablets
  • Nuphar–digital black and white line drawing
  • Nuphar–digital hybrid images
  • Nuphar–my virtual sketchpad
  • Final Thoughts
  • Acknowledgements
  • Bibliography

If you have an interest in botanical illustration or botany education, you will appreciate this book and the path Niki is forging in botany and botanical art education.

Learn more about Niki in this interview and learn how she is expanding the future of botanical illustration through her website Visual Botany.

Nuphar - from fruit to seed dispersal, ©2016 Niki Simpson, all rights reserved

Nuphar – from fruit to seed dispersal, ©2016 Niki Simpson, all rights reserved

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Helen Allen, artist, teacher and director of The Chelsea School of Botanical Art in England will be at Wellesley College Botanic Gardens next week to teach a composition class. Last-minute openings means you have the unique opportunity to learn from Helen without flying overseas. Click on the image below to download the flyer.

Contact Wellesley College Botanic Gardens ASAP by email or by phone to register. The Garden’s phone number is (781) 283-3094.

Composition Challenge

Plant studies, colors, and drawings are the fun part of creating a beautiful painting, but the challenge is always in composing the page. Helen Allen leads the challenge to create an image that is balanced and draws the viewer to have a closer look – an image that can enchant and inform. Through three days, you will fall in love with your chosen plant, study its habit, and develop drawings that can be used to compose three different paintings. Identify blocks and position of color and study the balance of your compositions. Then choose the best and spend a day adding color to guide you in completing the painting at home.

3 days: Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22, 2016
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
BAC 16 152 / 252
WCBG Friends Members $375 / Non-Members $475

BAC ArtPlantae publicity for Spring Helen Allen class

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ASBA Auction

Visit the ASBA Online Auction

The American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) invites you to visit their online auction of contemporary botanical art. This public auction is open to everyone with an interest in botanical art. The ASBA has chosen Bidding for Good, a trusted online auction platform to host this fundraising event.

Ninety-one items are up for bid. Items include original artwork and giclee prints by ASBA members, as well as art supplies and jewelry. In many cases the starting bids for artwork are less than the actual value of the work, so this is a wonderful opportunity to buy botanical art for your home or to purchase an elegant plant portrait as a special gift.

Auction proceeds support the ASBA’s mission to “provide a thriving, interactive community dedicated to perpetuating the tradition and contemporary practice of botanical art”. Proceeds also benefit the artists, underwrite the ASBA journal, and enable the ASBA to produce botanical art exhibitions of the highest quality.

There is a lot to see on the auction site. Act now to be sure you have time to study each work. This auction ends on May 29, 2016 at 11 PM (EDT).

Go to the ASBA Auction

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