North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Botanical Art & Illustration Courses (All)


View by: Credit Courses (Certificate Program)  •  Non-Credit Courses



Upcoming Event
Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration
The Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration provides comprehensive courses to people who wish to improve their skills in drawing and painting plants in an accurate and technically detailed manner. Studies leading to the certificate will enhance the experience of both the professional and the dedicated amateur artist. The program is designed to give students a well-balanced curriculum combining basic scientific background, visual arts theory, and practical experience using various media.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Beginning Drawing: Virtual
An introductory level course of drawing for beginners and those wishing to refresh their skills. Includes using a sketchbook for line drawing exercises on seeing to draw, quick sketching, mapping for accuracy, and other basic principles of drawing. This is a live three hour Zoom format class divided into a group session for lecture, demonstrations and group critique with the instructor followed by one on one individual appointments for consultation and problem solving Prerequisite for Intermediate Drawing, Beginning Watercolor, and Beginning Colored Pencil. Note: This class involves homework assignments. The amount of time students need to spend on homework varies and usually ranges from five to 15 hours per week.
1:00 PM to 3/31/2021 4:30 PM
Advanced Expressive Watercolor
This course reviews and builds on Intermediate Expressive Watercolor techniques. Using a live plant and/or reference photographs of their choice, students will create a small series of paintings of a native North Carolina plant. Prerequisites: Intermediate Watercolor, Integrating Composition and Color Theory
1:00 PM to 5/8/2021 4:00 PM
Spring Flora
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is intended for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the NCBG certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in a natural setting. Upon completion of this course, students will have an understanding of basic plant morphology, naming conventions for plants and the history of scientific naming, how to identify the prominent plants of the season using a dichotomous key and field characteristics, all through a season-specific lens.
1:00 PM to 4/28/2021 4:30 PM
Learn the fundamentals in painting with the opaque water medium, acrylic. This course offers a survey of various methods of painting with acrylic and provides instruction in using acrylic in botanical art and illustration. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing
1:30 PM to 4/29/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Traditional Watercolor: Virtual
This course builds upon the knowledge and skills of Beginning Watercolor. Using live botanical specimens and photo references, students apply basic drawing and watercolor skills to create detailed, realistic watercolor studies of individual plant structures such as stems, twigs, leaves, petals, flowers, pods, and fruit. Classes cover such topics as creating the illusion of depth and volume and portraying shape, color, and textural details accurately. This is a live three hour Zoom format class divided into a group session for lecture, demonstrations and group critique with the instructor followed by one on one individual appointments for consultation and problem solving. Prerequisites: Beginning Watercolor, Intermediate Drawing
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
The Anatomy of Shadows: Form and Cast in Watercolor - Zoom Short Course
Have you spent time on a sunny day studying shadows and the patterns they create? Have you looked at the soft subtle shadows as a subject turns from the light? Shadows are an important and useful tool for artists to create form as they accurately render their subjects. Shadows can be used creatively to enhance compositions. Join Kate to study and paint shadows in watercolor. The subject and drawing will be provided, students have the option of using their own subject matter. The course will consist of presentations, demonstrations, handouts, and student work time.
1:00 PM to 5/8/2021 3:00 PM
Visualizing Trees, A Photographic Journey Through the Artist’s Lens
This course is designed for nature-lovers, image-makers, and those interested in creative expression. All cameras are appropriate from iPhone to pro level. Conceived distinctively for out-door nature photography, Barbara will lead a visualization journey into the gardens of the Coker Arboretum. Students will experiment with the technical aspects of photographing trees, including the use of specific lenses, perspective and distortion control, depth of focus, and exposure management. Students will explore the artistic characteristics of various tree species with attention to the design elements including tonality and contrast, textural attributes, compositional arrangement, ambient light and shadow values.
1:00 PM to 5/26/2021 4:30 PM
Beginning Colored Pencil
Colored pencil is a next step in advancing from drawing to painting, and introduces the full array of fine art pigments. This course is a hands-on introduction to commonly used materials and techniques such as layering, blending, burnishing and tonal gradation. No prerequisites
1:15 PM to 6/17/2021 4:45 PM
Integrating Composition and Color Theory: Virtual
In this class students learn the basics of color and the techniques for properly mixing pigments to match a specific color. Concepts of the color wheel and analogous/complementary colors are explored through instruction and numerous exercises. The three attributes of color – hue, value and intensity are also covered. This class was formerly known simply as Color Theory. It serves as a prerequisite for the Advanced Watercolor classes and for Intermediate and Advanced Colored Pencil. Prerequisites: Composition, Intermediate Watercolor
1:30 PM to 6/3/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Drawing: Virtual
In this class, students continue their journey to learn the skills needed to produce a clean, accurate pencil drawing. Specifics of the course include: measuring, ellipses in perspective, and tonal gradation. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing.
1:00 PM to 6/30/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Colored Pencil
This course adds to the information covered in Beginning Colored Pencil and hones skills in color, value and layering. Students will be introduced to new surfaces and techniques. This elective is intended for students who wish to develop a strong, more advanced-level skill in colored pencil. Prerequisites: Beginning Colored Pencil, Intermediate Drawing.