It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Color and the Artist

Michael Wilcox' first publication "Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green" published first time in 1987 changed the way many artists and designers use and mix colors. His subsequent book, published in 2000, "Wilcox Guide to the Finest Watercolor Paints" was the first publication to cover the wide range of different pigments used in artists' watercolors and resulted to positive changes in many manufacturers' products. 
Denver Botanic Gardens started teaching 15-hour Color Mixing course within the Botanical Illustration curriculum as a prerequisite for all the water media in 1998. Susan T. Fisher designed the course based on the Michael Wilcox system and this course is now developed to one of our corner stones among the core courses. 
Last week we had the pleasure to host Mr. Michael Wilcox for two consecutive seminars: one day for a passionate group of color mixing enthusiasts and another to introduce his new book “The technique of glazing”.
Michael Wilcox is repeating these seminars in Richmond,Virginia (August 23-24) and Atlanta, Georgia (September 6-7). Warmly recommended for everyone who is using color in their work or leisure! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Building Bridges" with Caretoons

(Caretoon with Foreign Languages by Teri Eichhorn, Honorable Mention)

The National Liberty Museum’s Caretoons Contest is an international contest for adults and youth and was created in 2005 after a Danish newspaper published a cartoon which generated terrible violence. To channel this powerful art form for a positive purpose, the Museum invited the public to create cartoons which express their personal vision of peace, diversity and concern for others.
The theme of this year’s contest (in partnership with US Airways)  was “Building Bridges.”  The traits that divide us–religion, age, nationality, and more–also have the potential to become points of contact and discovery. Caretoons allow us to explore those points of contact in a playful, open-ended way.

From over 500 Caretoon entries around the world The National Liberty Museum selected 48 semifinalists that best responded to the theme, also originality, clarity of message and teh aesthetic appeal were taken into consideration. The Judging panel used a secred ballot to select one winner and several finalists in each adult and youth category. A few Caretoons that were not selected were awarded with the Honorable Mention of distinction, as the panel felt that they were simple too good not to be included in the exhibit. 

Teri Eichhorn, Ramona, CA is one of the finalists, she is in process of completing her Foundational Certificate in Botanical illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens. 
Congratulations Teri!
(Finalist for 2013 Caretoons Building Bridges)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cat-tails and Dogwood

(Cat-tails and Dogwood by Carla Pawlewicz, sold)

The Cat Care Society of Lakewood, CO had their annual fundraiser in the beginning of August and raised with the Tails of the Painted Cats $67,000 for the Cat Care Society. 
The Public Choice Award went to Carla Pawlewicz (Cat #14), who is an active part of our Botanical Illustration community. She received the Certificate of Completion in 1998. The art on Carla's cat was influence by her Botanical Zentangle studies at our school. The cat is 20.5" tall and 23" long (8" deep) and the media acrylic pain and various colored inks. 
(Cat-tails and Dogwood by Carla Pawlewicz, sold)


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Drawn from Nature - submissions are welcome!

(Typha latifolia by Karen Tillou; watercolor pencil and ink)

November 23, 2014 – February 8, 2015

Venue: Gates Garden Court Gallery, Denver Botanic Gardens
Reception: Sunday, December 7, 2014, 2 – 4 p.m.
Submission time: August 1 - September 1

More details, please click here; for submissions, click this CaFE link.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teaching at El Charco del Ingenio

Since 2009 the instructors from Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Illustration have been travelling in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico to teach one-week workshops at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden. This is an important part of the collaboration between our institutes. Our activities in San Miguel are also one of the projects within the Center for Global Initiatives.
See pictures from the most recent illustration workshop by clicking here. This workshop was focusing on birds, studying bird anatomy, physical characteristics. Observing the birds in motion and then drawing the subject either at rest or in flight. The majority of the students were Spanish speaking and the instructor was Randy Raak.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Power of Storytelling - Sequential Art

(Liz McCauley's character page in process, please click to enlarge)

Following the 2-hour presentation about Visual Storytelling and Science Through Sequential Art at the annual GNSI-conference last week, David R. Clarke led a very successful extended weekend workshop at Denver Botanic Gardens. 
The goal was to develop a one-page comic strip, but at the end of the third day all participants had laid out a 16-page story about topics such as invasive species in Hawaii to a frog who becomes a yoga teacher. 
The class will stay in touch and give a progress update and a possible publication of the material. It was a refreshing  experience for scientific illustrators who often focus to the minute details.
Please see more pictures from the workshop by clicking here.
(different yoga poses pretended by the  Yogy Frog and drawn by Charlotte Ricker; please click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

GNSI Annual Members' Show, Boulder 2014 - People's Choice

(Best B/W: Randy Raak, Graphite - Secretary Bird)
Over 120 GNSI members attended the Annual GNSI Members Exhibit opening which was held on Monday night, July 14 at The University of Colorado, Boulder Natural History Museum in conjunction of the 35th Annual Meeting and Conference. At that event everybody was encouraged to vote for their favorite piece in the five different categories. The results were announces last night at the Annual Banquet:

1. Best Black and White: Randy Raak, graphite - Secretary Bird
2. Best Color: Heidrun Snyder, colored pencil - Western Painted Turtle
3. Best Mixed Media: Barbara Harmon, graphite, watercolor and digital - Hanford Reach National Monument Flipbooks
4. Best Digital: Nicole Fuller: Plant and Animal Biodiversity Color Wheel
5. Best 3D: Gary Hoyle, epoxy clay over styrofoam core - Male Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)
(Please click here to see all the 'winners')

This scientific illustration exhibit including 81 high quality pieces is on display until September 25, 2014 and strongly recommended.
(Best Color:   Heidrun Snyder, colored pencil - Western Painted Turtle)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beginning of the Summer 2014

(Papaya illustration by Alice Pearson)
In February 2014 we had a course focusing on how to handle a specific illustration project. This time around we were refreshing our signage in the conservatory. Now the new signs are up in the appropriate locations and the result is very pleasing. When you are visiting the Gardens next time, please stop by the conservatory and see them all. 
More images from our recently completed courses can be viewed by clicking here.   
From "Drawing on Tradition: Realism and Rory McEwen" by Anne-Marie Nishi

Friday, June 27, 2014

From Hunt to Tachikawa

1. Hunt 104; 2. Hunt 102; 3. Tachikawa G; 4. Brause 66EF (nibs are not in scale)

In addition to Rotring Rapidograph .25 and .35 technical pens we use four different nibs at our second level Pen and Ink class:
1. Hunt 104: Finest superfine art pen for the fine hair lines and smallest details.
2. Hunt 102: This superfine and flexible nib is said to be America's most popular art pen, also called Crow Quill
3. Tachikawa G: This nib produces a variety of lines from very fine to bold depending on the amount of pressure. This chrome plated nib is also used for Copperplate and Spencerian scripts.
4. Brause 66 EF: Very flexible nib giving thick down strokes and fine thins. This nib is also called Arrow Nib and it has been manufactured by the German company Brause since 1850. It has a high ink capacity.

Please see some of the practice pieces with the nibs by clicking here.

(Deanna Gammon's first practice piece with the nibs)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Phone and Voice Mail is back on!

(Noreen Goetz, watercolor pencil)