Botanical Illustration (Online)

Contemporary botanical art is a thriving genre! Explore this captivating world 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. We’ll start with graphite and move on through to a dry brush watercolor technique. Each class will feature a demonstration, question and answer period, and time to create botanical art.

Special Notes

This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class. Within 48 hours of registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

Tuition Assistance is Available

To make our classes and workshops accessible to everyone, Fleisher offers tuition assistance every term so that everyone can join our creative community. We have recently streamlined the application process, making it even quicker and easier. Tuition assistance applications can be completed once registration is open by clicking here. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, November 23rd. Tuition assistance notifications will be sent by Tuesday, December 7th.

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 paint

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

Required supplies for the start of the term:

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

  • Canson tracing pad, 9×12 inch

  • 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


  • 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

  • Hot press watercolor paper, for a good graphite drawing as well as watercolor paint.

  • Camera, iPhone or iPad

  • Battery powered Ott if you require brighter lighting

Midway through the term you will need:

  • Viva paper towels

  • 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
    • Winsor Violet