Posts Tagged ‘illuminated manuscript’

Were you inspired by Kelly Houle’s Illuminated Origins project?

Below is an opportunity for botanical artists to learn about the painting and gold leaf techniques used by manuscript artists. Read about the medieval illumination class, and other exciting classes, to be offered this Spring at Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC.

Corcoran College of Art & Design

The only college of art and design in Washington, DC also offers a certificate program in botanical art and illustration. Classes include introductory courses in botanical drawing, botanical painting and specialty classes such as Plant Portraits in Oil and Medieval Illumination.

  • Drawing Orchids – March 17-18, 2012; 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Orchids will be the focus as students learn drawing and compositional skills. Light, shade, shadow, plant morphology and botanical forms will also be discussed. Students will be introduced to wet and dry media. Beginner/Immediate. Cost: $490 (0.5 Credits). View details
  • Medieval Illumination and Egg Tempera on Vellum
    February 11-19, 2012; 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Egg tempera, 24k gold leaf technique and natural pigments will be discussed. Students will learn how to grind natural pigments and learn the techniques used by manuscript artists during the 4th – 14th centuries. Some materials provided by instructor. Cost: $970 (1 Credit), plus $100 lab fee. View details
  • Photographing Orchids – March 3-4, 2012; 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Learn classic and creative photography techniques that will have you shooting compelling orchid images in no time. This workshop is designed for photo enthusiasts who want to photograph orchids at the National Orchid Show. Cost: $490 (0.5 Credits). View details
  • Introduction to Botanical Painting in Watercolor
    January 18 – May 9, 2012; 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. For beginners wanting to learn about the painting techniques used by contemporary botanical artists. Students will learn how to apply paint to create form and detail. Some drawing experience helpful. Cost: $1440 (1.5 Credits), plus $60 lab fee. Audit Fee: $720, plus $60 lab fee. View details
  • Intermediate Botanical Painting in Watercolor
    January 18 – May 9, 2012; 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. This course is a continuation of the introductory course above. Students will continue their study of painting techniques and plants. Cost: $1440 (1.5 Credits), plus $60 lab fee. Audit Fee: $720,plus $60 lab fee. View details

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

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Kelly Houle at work in her studio.

Natural history artist, calligrapher and science educator, Kelly Houle, is creating a large-scale illuminated manuscript based on Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Each page will be designed as a work of art. All text will be written by hand and natural history illustrations will be illuminated with iridescent watercolors and 23-karat gold. The completed manuscript will be 22 x 30 inches and is expected to have 300 pages and over 500 illuminations.

Kelly has established working relationships with biologists and evolution experts from all over the world who will advise her during this project (see timeline). Kelly’s goal is to enhance public understanding of Darwin’s text. She explains:

I believe that the main barrier to understanding The Origin of Species is the perceived difficulty of the writing. The concepts themselves are simple, yet profound. I hope to improve understanding of The Origin by integrating poetic arrangements of Darwin’s words with visually striking presentations of the evidence. I will use elements of poetry, traditional realism, lettering art, graphic design, and fine art illustration in the service of communicating one of the most important ideas in science. 

Kelly has been raising funds on the funding website Kickstarter. Donors donating $10 or more will receive gifts of art related to The Illuminated Origin of Species. All donors will have their names written in a special section of the illuminated manuscript. In addition to individual donations, Kelly is looking for an institutional donor to fund the entire Illuminated Origin of Species project in exchange for the completed manuscript.

To read more about this project, watch a short video and to make a donation, visit the The Illuminated Origin of Species.


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