by Beth Stone
029A wonderful series of weekly classes has just concluded at the LA Arboretum and Botanic Garden. This Otis College course was taught by Olga Eysymontt. Each class in the series built upon the preceding progressing from contour drawing to shading exercises then on to visualizing basic forms as they apply to increasingly complex botanical subjects. Artistic composition was also a theme throughout.

Copy (1) of 027For some students the material was brand new, for others it was review, for myself it certainly filled in some gaps. Without question, all the subject matter and techniques which Olga covered are foundational to botanical art.

Olga makes great use of a combination of demonstration, class discussion and one-on-one guidance. Each class included at least one opportunity to share our progress with and learn from one another. Each session concluded with a homework assignment. I found this particularly valuable and just the right level of effort to keep me engaged between classes. Practicing the concepts on my own really helped to reinforce each lesson.

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By the end, each of us had several completed works…and one more work in progress to keep that momentum going.

Watch for Olga’s next series coming up in January 2016. I highly recommend it!

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