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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lichens Discovered through Colored Pencils!

David Morrison's work in-progress and the subject matter to the left with some colored pencils

David Morrison is a professor of art at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. We had a pleasure to enjoy his tutoring over the past weekend. The students were thrilled to learn new methods applied with colored pencils mixed with watercolor pencils.
You can see work from this workshop by clicking here.
For this work magnifiers were needed!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Botanical Illustration in the Prime Vacation Time

Entry Level Pen and Ink by Janet Bell

In spite of the summer and vacation times our teaching schedule continues in the Hibiscus-classroom. Please keep in mind the availability of the spectacular specimens for your botanical drawings during summer and browse our summer/fall catalog for suitable classes. The online registration can be found by clicking here.

You can see more works from our recently completed entry level classes by clicking here. Even though our elective class' selection changes and is more season oriented, our required core classes repeat regularly throughout the year and you can begin learning anytime. 



Entry Level Graphite by Morgan Williams

Story of the 5 cherries by Valerie Teska, colored pencil. 
This plate is from the regularly offered Realism in Botanical Illustration class (more from this class shortly in its own post)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Billy Showell Workshops and Lots of Roses

Student work from one of the 3-day workshops

Billy Showell visited us during last week and we were able to offer two 3-day workshops. The students concentrated on roses and rose leaves, practiced how to capture the fragility and smooth texture of the petals and tightly packed staminodes with coiling forms.    
Lots of individual guidance
Workshop #1

One of the numerous demonstrations, this is part of the workshop #2
We are looking forward to get Billy back to teach dark, 'black' flowers - perhaps in 2019 (?!!!)
To see a few more images form the classroom, please click here.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Chatfield Farms Historical Iris collection


Nels Broste, in process

Denver Botanic Gardens' historic iris collection at Chatfield Farms contains more than 400 varieties of iris. The entire collection was donated in 2014 by the Lankow family from Washington State and was installed in fall 2015. The known varieties are planted in chronological order based on the year they were introduced into the nursery trade. The oldest variety dates back to 1597! Many are award-winning varieties that are held in high esteem among iris enthusiasts for their significance in the long history of iris breeding. Our students visited and illustrated some representatives from that collection during the 2017-prime blooming season. Please click here for more images, most of them still in process.

(Iris 'Swertii', introduced in the collection 1612  - by Irene Young)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Harriet Isabel Adams



(Watercolor by H. Isabel Adams)

Harriet Isabel Adams' drawings and illustrations were developed out of the Arts and Crafts movement, including distinctive lettering for labeling. She published one book: Wild Flowers of the British Isles (volume I, 1907, volume II,1910). This publication, which got digitized in 2016, got reviewed by Spectator Archives in 1907 (page 20). Katherine Tyrell also included H. Isabel Adams in her selection of Famous Masters of Botanical Art & Illustration (1500-1900).
In our series of Drawing on Tradition you can learn about Adams' working style and practice her techniques. You can still register for this watercolor pencil class by clicking here.

(watercolor pencil by Renee Jorgensen)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Katherine Rudebusch, our first 2017 artist-in-resident


Katherine Rudebusch, our Artist-in-Resident for the summer 2017, has started her 6-week period at The Gardens. She will mainly be working with interpretative material for our Restoration project at Chatfield Farms.  Her main focus will be the animal/plant interactions. 
Katherine demonstrates botanical illustration at the Science Pyramid as a part of her residency. Our visitors are delighted!
Chatfield Farms' Beavers in Focus 

Monday, July 10, 2017

From a Singer to an Iconic Pattern Designer: Florence Broadhurst

(design by Pat Grace)

A class on pattern design for fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap is regularly included in our elective offerings. This spring we studied Florence Broadhurst from Australia.  She is considered one the most extraordinary wallpaper and textile designers of all time in Australia. She dominated the interior design world in the 1960s and 70s, and her clear large-scale patterns are still very popular around the world.  In the age of 60 Broadhurst established a high-end wallpaper studio in Sydney. Today the company has over 500 designs in its collection of which a small production is printed as wallpaper and fabric. A documentary movie was produced about her life in 2006: Unfolding Florence: TheMany Lives of Florence Broadhurst

Please see some of the designs inspired by Florence Broadhurst and created in our classroom (please click here). There is also a random selection of images from our entry level colored pencil class and some from the class focusing on bugs and pollinators. 
(Pollinators by Susan Willis, colored pencil)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017 Denver Comic Con - Comics for Scientific Storytelling

SBAI's  Awesome panel team with Jay Peteranez, the moderator (Donna Uyeno, Hannah Rottman, Sally Grew, Patti Hearn and Randy Raak) - Thank you all for participating in the Denver 2017 Comic Con!

No Color Needed - Drawing in Black and White

Maianthemum stellatum  by Suzanne Stutzman, ink

During the spring we repeated the popular workshop Observe, Collect and Document guided the students trough the plant collection and reconstruction process to completed scientific botanical illustration in ink.
There is no color needed to tell the story of graphite or pen and ink plates.
Please click here to see more from our recent black and white classes.


N.B. If you like to practice more pen and ink, we have a “Living Soil – Fascinating World of Small Creatures” class starting in the end on July (seats are yet available).

Lynn Williamson, graphite
(Please click the images to enlarge)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mosses in Microscope


Meiotrichum lyallii, watercolor and ink by Jo Webster
Mosses grow in a variety of shapes, colors and textures, and are perfect subject to observe under the microscope. This was a weekend workshop that we completed in May. All the mosses are collected from Colorado and identified by Dr. W. Weber, University of Colorado, Boulder. You can see more images from this class by clicking here.

Dicranoweisia crispula, ink by Stephanie Bures
(Please click the images to enlarge)