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

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Inspiring and Encouraging

(watercolor by Peg Christon)

Our 2020 Winter /Spring registration opens on Tuesday, December 10, 9 a.m.  The online registration site can be reached by clicking here. If you need to download and/or print the full catalog please click here.  

We only accept 12 students for each onsite classes, six students for distance learning options, or the intense foundational certificate Block I (see page 5-6 and page 21 in thecatalog). Please register early, our classes fill out fast!
Here are some works from our recently completed classes for your inspiration.
(Ink by Peggy Delaney)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2020 SBAI Winter/Spring Botanical Illustration Courses

Our 2020 Winter/Spring course catalog is out! You can view and download it by clicking here. The registration opens Tuesday, December 10, 9 a.m. Click here for the online registration page. (2020 courses are not visible yet at the registration site).

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Watercolor by Barbara Anderson
Happy Thanksgiving week to all our readers! 
In November we had two workshops on Bromeliads, one in ink and the other in watercolor. Bromeliacaea  is a family of more than 3300 species providing one of the largest collection of foliage colors and patterns in the plant world and a true challenge in perspective, pattern and value. We also had a repeat of our very popular drawing on tradition class on the Isabel Adams' sketchbook techniques. In this posted group are also some finished work from our distance learning graphite class.
Please click here for more images from these classes 

Summer flowers in the style of Isabel Adams by Karen Mahnken

Monday, November 18, 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 Graduates!

Our 2019 graduates with the Foundational Certificate in Botanical Illustration:
Karen Appel, Stephanie Oliver, Lesley McGregor, Eleanor Clark, Peter Orleans, Sirinya Frankel, Rebecca Swain, Jane Smith, Jean Scorgie, Phillip Potter, Pauline Edwards, Leslie Brinson

Join us to congratulate the 12 new botanical illustration students who last Friday received their foundational certificate in botanical art and illustration from the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens. Our youngest graduate, the 15 year old Sirinya Frankel also received the Sydney Parkinson reward.
We are very impressed with the graduates’ competence level and Denver Botanic Gardens is thoroughly proud of their accomplishments.
The graduation and award ceremony was followed by the opening reception for the annual juried botanical illustration art show, True to Form.
Please click here to see the individual portfolios and here to see some pictures from the graduation ceremony.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Scratching the Surface

Scratchboard by Milvi Gill

Scratchboard is always one of the most popular elective classes that we annually offer. Pen and Ink on clayboard is one of the most adoptable and forgiving combinations of pigment. Contrasts in textures and values produce dramatic and luminous effects. You can see few more excellent plates from our 3-day workshop by clicking here

Scratchboard by Sue Carr

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

From Entry Level to Advanced

Entry Level Graphite, Rachel Sturtz

Please click here to see some finished (or almost finished) pieces from our entry level Graphite, Perfecting Perspective, Plants with Bite and Winged Victory. On the Winged Victory class the students studied the interactions between plants and insects; the Plants with Bite was focusing on carnivorous plants from our living collections.
Plants with Bite (Carnivorous plants), Laura Matthews, colored pencils 

Friday, November 1, 2019

World Travelers in Cafe Botanique, November 6

Pollen Grains – World Travelers Without a Passport
Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

Join us to explore the incredible world of pollen grains. Pollen has a unique outer wall made of one of the toughest materials known in the organic world, resistant to high temperatures, acids and bases, enzymes, and other chemicals. As a result, pollen grains that are hundreds of millions of years old – as old as the time of the dinosaurs - can still be studied today, providing valuable insight into plant-climate interactions, landscape development, human impact on vegetation and even forensic investigation.

Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski is a Finnish-born scientist with a Ph.D. in quaternary biology from the University of Lund, Sweden, and D.Sc. in aeropalynology from the University of Stockholm. She has worked with pollen grains since her first year of college in Finland and has been involved in all aspects—from marine archaeology to asthma, and from lake sediments in the arctic tundra to the snowfields in South Georgia, Antarctica. The author and co-author of over 100 scholarly publications, she has been a researcher and taught at universities worldwide. Since 2007, she has managed the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens.

November 6, 6:30-8 p.m. 
Gates Hall
Click here to reserve your seat

Thursday, October 31, 2019

True to Form

(Please click on the picture to enlarge).

This two day salon features artworks created by students in the Gardens' School of Botanical Art and Illustration, part of the venerated tradition of portraying plants for scientific purposes and in celebration of the beauty of nature. 
True to Form highlights the complex visual language of the natural world showcasing its incredible variety of shapes, colors and textures within six  thematic categories: hairy,  spiky, shiny, striped, spotted, and multicolored.
On Friday, November 15, we also celebrate the 2019 graduates with the certificate of Foundational certificate for botanical illustration.This year we have twelve graduates.

Welcome to the opening reception, and celebration of the 2019 graduates!

November 15th, 6-7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Alifie Rojas

Medicago sativa with its pollinator Bombus huntii, watercolor by Alifie Rojas (please click the image to enlarge)

Alifie Rojas from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico has been visiting us during the past few weeks. She is a natural science illustrator and has exhibited all around in Mexico. She has illustrated several books and was recently featured in the July-August issue (Number 145) of Biodiversitas. Today Alifie is mainly focusing on plant and insect interactions.
During her visit to Denver Botanic Gardens she illustrated Medicago sativa with a Colorado native bumble bee Bombus huntii. She also saw the bird's nest fungi (Cyathus olla) in the close by park and illustrated that for us.
Cyathus olla, watercolor by Alifie Rojas; (please click the image to enlarge)

Here is the specimen, Cyathus olla; the fruiting body is about 8 mm long and 6 mm in the diameter

Friday, October 18, 2019

In the Classroom and on Distance

By Janice Hoffman, Pen and Ink

Our illustration students can take classes either completely on-site, or as an option combining the classroom participation with remote online learning. From next summer (July 2020) we include an additional option in which the requirements can be taken in three 2-week blocks onsite with applicable on-line and homework sections in-between. The on-line sessions may include both virtual sessions and email reports. 
Please click here and you can see more images from our 100% on-site courses and from courses with the distance learning option. 

By Kelly Belanger, colored pencil