Botanical Art: Introduction to the Natural World

Contemporary botanical art is a thriving genre! Explore this captivating world in a comfortable learning environment with a deliberate approach to drawing and painting. We’ll focus on botanical art through the ages, take a look at what current artists are creating, and examine basic drawing and painting skills through the lens of botanical art. Learn techniques to accurately draw or paint subjects from the natural world.

What you will learn:

  • An overview of botanical art

  • Drawing and painting techniques specific to botanical art

  • An understanding of the materials typically employed to create botanical art

  • Observation skills necessary to depict botanically-correct drawings or paintings

  • How to move from a sketch through to a finished drawing or painting

Start the term with these supplies:

  • Drawing paper: 9” x 12” spiral bound pad, Strathmore 400 series; or Stillman & Birn, Zeta series sketchbook; or any sketchbook with better quality paper

  • Canson tracing pad, 9” x 12”

  • Graphite mechanical or regular pencils, 2H, HB, and 2B, with sharpener (Faber-Castell 9000, Staedlter Mars Lumograph, or Caran D’Ache)

  • Tuffstuff eraser stick, and a kneaded eraser

  • Magnifying lens or magnifying glass

  • Ruler

  • Tape, roll of white graphic

  • Optional: Drawing board or hard surface to use as a portable easel. Would be great to be able to prop it up at a slight angle; notebook/sketchbook for preliminary drawings and general research, notes; camera, iPhone or iPad

Later in the term, you will need:

  • Viva paper towels (a few…very absorbent)

  • Two water vessels (one for working water, one for clean)

  • Plastic or white porcelain palette, with room to mix colors

  • Brush suggestions: If you are going to invest in one art supply, please let it be your brush. I like the DaVinci Maestro Kolinsky Brush, long tapered round or round: #4, or #6. I love these, especially the #4, because it has a super-sharp needle-like point that has great spring and tension. OR Raphael #4 #8408, tan- tipped handle. They both clean easily and last a long time.

  • A good set of six paints: French Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Magenta, Scarlet Lake. A great addition to the list: Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone Gold, and Winsor Violet.