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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

(Aquascapes in Colored Pencil by Sally Grew, please click to enlarge)

Happy and inspirational New Year of 2016 to all our followers! 
To see more both entry level and advanced technique illustrations from our December classes, please click here.

(Lindsay Giebler, graphite - from Pencil I, please click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Warmest wishes for the very best Holiday Season
If you are desperately trying to find the perfect gift to someone special, please remember the BI classes, they are perfect gifts for all seasons (January – June 2016 catalog is viewable here, and you can register for classes by clicking here). If you are new for the program and live in the northern part of Colorado or in Wyoming, you might like to try our entry level courses offered at the Schissler Academy of Fine Arts in Loveland, CO.

If you like to connect with Santa Claus, the direct link to his village is here, live-stream here, and you can also send the last minute letter here. Just remember that Santa leaves to deliver the Christmas presents to the Finnish and other European kids just in few hours (in the Christmas Eve).
(By request: recipes for rutabagacasserole and Glögg can be found here).

Image by Rudolf Koivu (1890-1946). The gifted graphic artist and painter, Rudolf Koivu (1890-1946), is one of Finland's most famous illustrators. Koivu is best known for his illustrations of fairy tales and other children's publications. Koivu's Christmas cards and cover pictures for Christmas magazines have had a strong influence on the Finnish image of a "real Christmas".

Since 1949 Rudolf Koivu Prize (10 000 euros) is awarded every second year (next 2017, applications deadline in December 2016) for the best children's or youth book illustration in Finland. The purpose of the prize is to raise the quality of artwork in children's books.

Monday, December 21, 2015

SBA 2016 Annual Open Exhibition - Call for Entries

The next London exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artist will be held from the 15th to 23rd of April 2016. For the first time the Society is inviting artists to submit work digitally for pre-selection.  The closing date for digital entries is 15th January 2016. Please see the detailed instruction at Making  A Mark.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Inspirational Progress work from the classroom

Indian Corn in progress, Carbon Dust by Sarah Little
We are finishing our 2015 classes during the current week. We scanned some truly inspirational works from the classroom, and there is more to come...
Please see more of the progress work by clicking here.

Cyclamen in progress, watercolor by Leslie Crosby

Monday, December 7, 2015

Registration opens tomorrow, December 8th, 9 a.m.

Tomorrow, December 8th, 9 a.m. you can sign up for 2016 Winter/Spring Botanical Illustration courses at Denver Botanic Gardens. This spring we also offer a selected number of entry level courses at Schissler Academy of Fine Arts, Loveland, CO. Registration for all classes is through Denver Botanic Gardens - please follow this link. You can find the downloadable course catalog by clicking here.
Please NOTE: All classes are of-line between 00.01 a.m. and 9 a.m. tomorrow, December 8th!

Happy Registration Time -
Gingersnaps and coffee is served in the office!

Friday, December 4, 2015

El Charco del Ingenio

Since 2009 we have been offering illustration classes at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico. This November twelve students learned how to illustrate birds with Randy Raak as the instructor . This very successful El Charco project is a part within of our Center of Global Initiatives.
To see more from the class please follow this link.

(example of the student (Pakina's) work from the class)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Artist in Residency 2016 at Denver Botanic Gardens

Corispermum seed comparisions, ©2015 Ikumi Kayama, MA Medical & Scientific Illustrator, 2015 Artist-in-Residence at School of Botanical Art and Illustration, Denver Botanic Gardens

This is an exciting opportunity for an illustrator/artist to get involved in the daily happenings at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The resident would document the day-to-day progress and changes in the Rocky Mountain plant world translating the botanic gardens’ purpose as a place of preservation, conservation, education and diversity into images or works which bring others enjoyment and a deeper understanding of the environment some may never visit. The works completed under this residency contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of our collections and the broader environment we care for and offer an opportunity to see our activities through the eyes of the contributing residents.

The Summer2016 residency provides an opportunity for the selected illustrator/artist to get involved in a variety of activities at the Denver Botanic Gardens, from participation in open studios, demonstrations and educational projects in the classroom or the Science Pyramid to developing a blog or other online documentation.

The resident is expected to contribute to the established priorities of Denver Botanic Gardens, negotiated and tailored to the resident’s own personal interests. The residency could involve participation in any of the following:
  • Online blog about the Gardens (WordPress or similar)
  • Participation in Open Studios and presenting work in progress 
  • Compiling work produced during the residency
  • Educational workshops
  • Demonstrations for the public

  • The illustrator/artist is expected to spend five days/week on site, although this can vary from week to week depending on other professional commitments by prior agreement.
  • The residency may involve presence during evenings and weekends.
  • The resident must provide their own supplies, equipment, and logistics for their activities during the residency.

Outdoor studio space, access to the Gardens’ library, herbaria and the classroom.

This call for illustrators offers two residency opportunities, each for a period of six weeks:
1. June 13 – July 22
2. August 8 – September 22


The residency provides a stipend of $3,000 for the selected illustrator/artist to be used for both housing and materials. 

At least one completed original work from the selected illustrator/artist will become property of Denver Botanic Gardens.

The resident reserves the copyright of the produced illustrations, but will give written permission to Denver Botanic Gardens to use or print images for publicity, publication, or retail product development. When the resident reproduces artwork created during the residency for their own purposes, publication information will include the language: “This artwork was produced under the Artist-In-Residence Program at Denver Botanic Gardens.”

The residency is open to all illustrators/artists who have completed a certificate of botanical art or illustration. Artists who have completed a certificate program in scientific illustration or nature illustration (or equivalent) are also eligible. The instructors of Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration are not eligible for the residency.

The application form should include:
·         A description of how you will respond to the opportunity and how this opportunity will develop your practice (not more than 500 words in length, typed and double spaced).
·         CV with two references
·         Link to your website and/or blog
·         5 examples of recent work in a low resolution format (not to exceed 3MB per image)
·         Your preference for the residency time period
Please email your application to with Illustrator in Residency 2016 in the subject line.

Closing date for submissions: February 29, 2016
Selection completed by March 4, 2016
Carex viridula, ©2015 Benjamin Cardenas Valderrama, 2015 Artist-in-Residence at School of Botanical Art and Illustration, Denver Botanic Gardens
Amorphophallus titanum, 'Stinky' , ©2015 Ikumi Kayama, MA Medical & Scientific Illustrator, 2015 Artist-in-Residence at School of Botanical Art and Illustration, Denver Botanic Gardens

(Please click the images to enlarge)