You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘botanical art class’ tag.

by Deb Shaw

There are still a few spots available for BAGSC’s first Basic Botanical Art Workshop: A Day of Skills and Techniques for All Levels. Join us on:

Sunday, January 27, 2019
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

for a day of mini-workshops and fun exploring techniques and supplies.

Cost, BAGSC Members: $50
Non-Members: $60

Register online at: https://bagsc.org/classes/bagsc-basic-botanical-art-workshop
Bring your own lunch or purchase from the Arboretum Café.

This day of botanical art is designed to allow participants of all levels an opportunity to enjoy a hands-on botanical art experience in different mediums. The day starts with a presentation about botanical art. Then, each participant can choose any combination of four (4) one-hour, hands-on workshops taught by skilled BAGSC instructors. Registration is for the entire day—no pre-registration for individual workshops is required.

Participants may choose to sit down with different artists to experience techniques applied to creating botanical art. Currently scheduled are:

  • Creating 3D forms by light to dark shading in graphite
  • How to do a watercolor wash
  • Easy color mixing in watercolor (NEW—just added!)
  • Dry brush techniques (NEW—just added!)
  • Using pen and ink in scientific illustration
  • Drawing with silverpoint
  • Color pencil techniques in botanical art
  • Labeling your painting with calligraphy
  • Creating 3D forms by light to dark in watercolor
  • How to draw a leaf in graphite
  • Using mixed media in scientific illustration
  • Graphite tips and tricks
  • Perspective for plants
  • Watercolor pencil techniques

BAGSC teacher members will be sharing their skills, displaying some of their works and bringing information. Currently scheduled to participate are:

  • Cristina Baltayian
  • Diane Daly
  • Akiko Enokido (NEW—just added!)
  • Sally Jacobs
  • Lesley Randall
  • Olga Ryabtsova
  • Gilly Shaeffer
  • Deborah Shaw
  • Ellie Yun-Hui Tu

All basic supplies, including paper and paint, are included in the price. Additionally, most artists will bring special supplies to share that can be used with their techniques. Participants are welcome to bring some of their supplies if desired. Please see the lists in the right-hand column of BAGSC’s website about the class.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

by Deb Shaw

California Current, colored pencil by Nina Antze, © 2018.

California Current, colored pencil by Nina Antze, © 2018.

There are still a few seats left! Nina Antze will be teaching her color pencil technique in a two-day workshop at the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance in February:

Non-Native Invasive Plants of the Madrona Marsh
Workshop in Color Pencil with Nina Antze
February 7-8, 2019

Madrona Marsh Preserve Nature Center
3201 Plaza del Amo
Torrance, CA 90505


$200 for BAGSC members, $250 for non-members

Learn about the non-native invasive plants at the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance, California. Participants will tour the nature preserve and select an invasive plant to use as their specimen. Participants can remove as many specimens from the preserve as they would like!

Additionally, BAGSC members are invited to submit works for the exhibition “Non-Native Invasive Plants of the Madrona Marsh” to be held in the summer of 2019, opening June 1 and running until August. Nina’s workshop is a great opportunity to get your artwork started for submission to this important exhibition.
Exhibit submission deadline: May 15, 2019
Questions about the exhibition? Contact Olga Ryabtsova, BAGSC Exhibition Chair.

To see more details and to register for Nina’s workshop: go to BAGSC’s website at https://bagsc.org/ click on “Classes” and then on “Class details” under the workshop name, OR go directly to https://bagsc.org/index.php/classes/nina-antze-2019.

by Kirsten Rindal, posted by Deb Shaw

“Using Light to Create Realism in Botanicals”, taught by Robert McNeill at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, October 3-5, 2018 was an amazing 3-day workshop!

Robert began with a thought-provoking quote by Leonardo da Vinci: “A painter should begin every painting with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where it is exposed to light.” We were all inspired by the meticulous approach and techniques, and how he used light to reveal the drama, depth, form, transparency and detail of the subject.

Snapshot's from Robert McNeil's workshop.

Snapshot’s from Robert McNeil’s workshop.

He discussed the importance of capturing the effect of light, how it requires controlled tone/value to describe the relative lightness or darkness of color, creating an illusion of form. When we perceive tones/values, they are always relative to each other and never seen in isolation. Therefore, simultaneous contrast is always at work. Being able to create and control tonal/value gradation in watercolor is an important skill to acquire, along with the ability to see them and record them accurately. This controlled effective tone/value can take your work to a higher level by creating “enhanced relations through convincing volume”. Robert’s painting of the Cardiocrinum gigantum was a perfect example of how a painting encourages the viewer to look closer by revealing detail that has been made more apparent by light.

During the workshop, Robert shared examples of his work to illustrate the process and techniques of using light to create realism. He stressed the importance of constantly analyzing the process as one worked. Generous with information, patient in answering every question, his enthusiasm, interest and support were always encouraging.

Lighting:
Robert reviewed ways to light your subject, explaining that correct intensity and direction of light for the subject is important to reveal aspects crucial to capturing its essence. He usually uses overhead lighting that is controlled. He noted that it is not always helpful to place subjects in strong light, as extreme contrasts can create more problems than it solves. His painting of Abies koreana ‘Carron’ beautifully illustrates how studying the play of light across all aspects of his subject creates a sense of drama. We were encouraged to think about lighting in the subject’s natural habitat, and what would be typical of natural lighting. It was suggested that we avoid overhead lights in a room, and also light from windows, keeping light consistent on the subject you are painting.

Documenting Stage:
Thorough and objective observation of the subject is key. Observe the subject from all angles to ascertain which angle would convey the most convincing nature of the subject. Carefully look for overlapping and foreshortening. (Taking photos as a reference is OK, but best not to rely on photos.) For details use eyes, and measure subject for 1:1 scale, carefully documenting information, as subject will change by growing, wilting or drying out. Observe the difference that the angle of light source makes upon subject for revealing visual strengths. Fifteen minutes were given to make three quick loose, linear drawings of our subject, the rose. Fifteen more minutes were given to make three more quick, linear/tonal drawings. Color matching was made at this part of the documenting process. He asked us to be mindful of the way colors are affected by the color next to it. Robert uses Winsor Newton transparent paints only, and always mixes his own greens and oranges.

Development Stage:
We began this part of the process by producing a full size 1:1 scale drawing, referring to documenting stage material to ensure accuracy. Robert shared examples of his work showing meticulous detail to be used as a reference for final painting. Next we were to make an accurate tracing from the drawing of our rose. The tracing was placed in a variety of positions before making a final decision and transferring it to watercolor paper. After transfer, it was advised to always re-work to produce more accurate drawing. He cautioned us about erasures on watercolor paper that can cause paper’s surface to breakdown. Robert also gave a tip about using a piece of silk and an agate to smooth a ruffled paper surface.

Demonstrations:

Lifting Preparation.

  • Winsor Newton Lifting Preparation may be used for ease in lifting paint for veins, etc.
  • Use 3 layers of lifting prep, allowing 2 hours of drying time in between each layer.
  • You may use lifting prep over layer of wash.
  • Best to only use in small areas, and be extremely careful not to go over pencil lines.

Ox Gall Liquid.

  • Mix 3 drops of Winsor Newton Ox Gall in ¼ cup water. Keep small marked water jar with this mixture separate from other water.
  • This mixture helps paint to flow easily.
  • You may use Ox Gall and water wash on paper first, and when slightly damp, add paint wash. Or, you may use Ox Gall and water and paint all at the same time.
  • Never use paint with Ox Gall for dry brush work. Keep paints and brushes used for dry brush separate.

Dry Brush Technique.

  • Using a Spotter, WN 000, Robert demonstrated stipples and tiny fine lines.
  • Robert used a separate plate with tiny dots of dry paint, moistening his brush with a damp sponge.
  • For texture, only hit the high points of the paper.
  • Can use damp brush on top of stipples very carefully.
  • It is important to avoid using one technique, rather use a combination of wash and dry brush. Continually analyze the process you are using.
  • Indian Yellow may also be used as a light glaze over finished painting…very carefully.

During the three days, we all talked about Robert’s useful ideas and techniques that made an impression on us. At the end of the class, works in progress were placed on a table for sharing. Robert emphasized the importance of seeing all work within the group as a valuable learning experience. Following are ideas and techniques that resonated with members of the class:

“I very much enjoyed learning how to make fast, free sketches while not looking for details, but instead seeing the overall shape.”
“Learning how to focus on the contrasts, especially the dark and light.”
“Watching Robert using a scalpel to release bits of dried paint from the paper surface.”
“Experimenting with Ox Gall as a wetting agent in the water jar, and learning how to use WN lifting preparation was very interesting and highly useful information.”
“Hearing the words: ’Slow down, think, organize and plan’ was a reminder to always approach work with pre-planned thought.”
“Importance of continually analyzing the process.”
“Reactivate the line after a trace to create depth as a reminder while painting.”
“Remembering to soften outside edges while keeping them sharp, yet light.”
“Using a damp sponge for moisture control when using dry brush techniques.”

The time flew by far too quickly! We are all grateful to Robert McNeill, both as a brilliant artist and as an excellent teacher. His meticulous attention to detail and thorough observation of his subjects are reflected in the light and form he achieves in his paintings. He inspired us to see the subtleties and nuances of light as we create art. Thank you also to the Education Committee for bringing him here, to Tania Norris for supplying the subjects, and treats, to The Huntington for hosting us, and to BAGSC.

by Kathy Morgan, posted by Deb Shaw

Cristina Baltayian’s art and illustration class at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is holding their third annual ARTboretum Botanical Art Show and Sale:

Saturday, January 5, 2019 through Thursday, February 14th, 2019 in the Arboretum Library.

The Open House and Reception will be held on Saturday, January 12th, 2019, from 2:00 pm – 4:00pm.
The Arboretum Membership Celebration is on Saturday, January 26th, 2019.

The exhibit is free with Arboretum admission.

 

Featured artists include:
Belinda Ballash
Nancy Beckham
Shae Gazzaniga
Laurel Kishock
Teri Kuwahara
Carol McMullin
Kathy Morgan
Caroline Kino-Noji
Juanita O’Marah
Marilyn Parrino
Robyn Reilman
Marjaneh Saidi

The Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007, 626.821.3213

Hours are: Tuesday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:30 pm • Saturday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm • Sunday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm • Closed Monday

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Tacoma stans 'Yellow elder’, watercolor by Jude Wiesenfeld on 140 lb. Arches 11” x 14”, © 2018. Completed July 2018.

Tacoma stans ‘Yellow elder’, watercolor by Jude Wiesenfeld on 140 lb. Arches 11” x 14”, © 2018. Completed July 2018.

It’s not too early to start planning for next year!

Join BAGSC member Jude Wiesenfeld for her three-day Botanical Art Workshop: Watercolor on Paper, at the Desert Art Center in Palm Springs, California, January 25, 26, and 27, 2019. The cost for the three-day workshop is $200US.

This workshop will be an introduction to botanical art for everyone with some prior experience with watercolor. All participants will begin a painting while learning about the history of botanical art, basic plant and leaf shapes, creating studies and notes about a subject, and masking and composition.

Nandina domestica, Nandina, Sacred Bamboo, by Jude Wiesenfeld. Watercolor on 140 lb. Arches, 18.5" X 15”, © 2017.

Nandina domestica, Sacred Bamboo, by Jude Wiesenfeld. Watercolor on 140 lb. Arches, 18.5″ X 15”, © 2017.

This is not a BAGSC-sponsored workshop—enrollment is directly through the instructor. To enroll: email Jude Wiesenfeld and send a $50 non-refundable deposit (address will be supplied upon sign-up) by January 18, 2019 to reserve your spot. Payment balance will be collected the first day of the workshop.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima 'Pride of Barbados' by Jude Wiesenfeld. Watercolor on Kelmscott Vellum, 9" X 12", Completed March 2018.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima ‘Pride of Barbados’ by Jude Wiesenfeld. Watercolor on Kelmscott Vellum, 9″ X 12″, Completed March 2018.

The materials list is available on the workshop flyer, downloadable here.

The Desert Art Center is located at: 550 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262, 760 323-7973. Directions and hours can be found on their website.

by Cristina Baltayian, posted by Deb Shaw
Cristina Baltayian’s botanical art workshops at the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden begin again  October 2, 2018. These classes will explore colored pencils, watercolors, watercolor pencils, graphite, and some of us are exploring gouache, colored backgrounds, and more.

Regular classes will meet on Tuesdays. Registration is available on a monthly basis. Additional month-long sessions will meet in November and December, although there will be only three classes in December due to the holidays.

10am-2pm (includes lunch break) / Oak Room
$275 Arboretum members per month / $295 non-members per month (includes Arboretum Admission)

October           2, 9, 16, 23
November       6, 13, 20, 27
December       4, 11, 18 (only 3 classes – $205/$225)

Register online on the Arboretum website (scroll down to find “Botanical Art & Illustration” with links to the monthly registration).

Questions? Please call the Arboretum Education Department at 626.821.4623.

The Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007.

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Lesley Randall with one Aristolochia gigantea flower. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Lesley Randall with one Aristolochia gigantea flower. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Lesley Randall’s workshop, held at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Acadia, was very informative, focusing on Aristolochiaceae, commonly known as the Dutchman’s Pipe Family of plants. Lesley began the workshop with a lecture on the origin of the Aristolochiaceae. They first appeared about 30 million years ago, when most of us were barely starting our careers!

We examined, both in hand and through our microscopes, the distinguishing characteristics to look for while drawing. Lesley encouraged us to write down measurements and notes on the specimens for future clarification in our drawings and to include for illustration work.

Aristolochea gigantea seed pod. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Aristolochea gigantea seed pod. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

It was fascinating to see how the different techniques (stippling vs. lines) gave a variety of results. Sometimes a broken line worked better than an unbroken one! Lesley supplied great examples of this in handouts.

The final drawings are started with an outline and then the details are added with stippling. It is important to stipple with a purpose: i.e., namely to clarify a characteristic, show shape, create depth and/or show color pattern. Also, Lesley stressed how important it is to keep your paper, hands and workspace CLEAN.

Lesley encouraged us to research other artists’ work to learn about technique and mentioned Bobbi Angell as someone to study.

Two books recommended by Lesley Randall: "Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification" by Thomas J. Elpel, ISBN-13: 978-1892784353, ISBN-10: 1892784351; and, "Guide to Flowering Plant Families" by Wendy B. Zomlefer, ISBN13: 9780807844700, ISBN-10: 0807844705. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Two books recommended by Lesley Randall: “Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification” by Thomas J. Elpel, ISBN-13: 978-1892784353, ISBN-10: 1892784351; and, “Guide to Flowering Plant Families” by Wendy B. Zomlefer, ISBN13: 9780807844700, ISBN-10: 0807844705. Photo by Jude Wiesenfeld, © 2018.

Lesley was a fantastic teacher and very generous with us all. I hope she will consider other workshops in the future.

[NOTE: click on any of the thumbnails above to view the images larger, in a slide show format.]

by Patricia A. Mark and Deb Shaw

Olga Eysymontt will be teaching two botanical art workshops this summer at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens (LA Arboretum) through the Extension Program at Otis College of Art and Design.

The first is a two-day drawing and painting workshop, “Heirloom Tomatoes in Watercolor/Colored Pencil. The focus for this workshop will be techniques for conveying the perception of light and shadow, mixing color and continuous tone. Prior experience in drawing botanical subject matter is helpful. A supply list is on the Otis workshop registration site (included on the link below):
Heirloom Tomatoes in Watercolor/Colored Pencil
Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, 2018
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Science Lab Classroom
Cost: $185
LA Arboretum & Botanic Garden (link to map)

The second two-day drawing and painting workshop, “Eggplants in Watercolor/Colored Pencil,” will be held in August. This workshop also will cover the techniques for conveying light and shadow, mixing color, and continuous tone. Changing the subject matter from tomatoes to a variety of eggplants allows exploration of different techniques and effects. A supply list is on the Otis workshop registration site (included on the link below):
Eggplants in Watercolor/Colored Pencil
Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19, 2018
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Oak Room
Cost: $185
LA Arboretum & Botanic Garden (link to map)

Both workshops will be held indoors at the LA Arboretum. Class details will be sent to registrants. There are still a few seats remaining. Take one or both classes!

Questions? Call Otis Extension at 310-665-6850, or email extension@otis.edu

by Nina Antze, posted by Deb Shaw

Sketching Bonsai Workshop May 12, Douglas Charles © 2018.

Sketching Bonsai Workshop May 12, Douglas Charles © 2018.

The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists is holding a workshop taught by Lee McCaffree, “Sketching Bonsai in Pen and Ink.” The workshop has been rescheduled to
Saturday, May 12, 2018,  10:00am -3:00pm
in Menlo Park, California

Enjoy a day of sketching Bonsai trees among an extensive collection of plants in Menlo Park. Learn about the basic structure of this art form, and how to capture the essence of an individual specimen(s) in pen and ink. This workshop is intended to be fun and relaxing—depicting the trees overall design instead of the exact details. Everyone is welcome.

The cost is $30 for NCalSBA members; $40 for non–members. The workshop cost includes a donation to NCalSBA and the Bonsai Garden.

There are still a few seats available. To register, and for more information about the workshop (including a materials list), contact D. Hunter.

 

by Kat Powell, posted by Deb Shaw

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

Some of the workshop participants getting ready for a final critique with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Mary Jo Newman, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Melanie Campbell-Carter, Kathlyn Powell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak.  Photo by Teri Kuwahara, © 2018.

What a fabulous experience! We were honored to have the awe-inspiring Carrie Di Costanzo for a workshop on the use of gouache in botanical art. First of all, Carrie’s work is beyond exquisite — I suspect I was not alone in getting goosebumps while gazing at her originals. They are miraculous in their refinement and perfection. Although Carrie works her magic in other media such as egg tempera and watercolor as well, it is her masterful handling of gouache that we focused on for those wonderful three days.

We all had a choice of working on a large deodar cedar cone, kumquats on a branch, loquats on a branch, or tulips. One participant requested a cactus as a subject, and The Huntington very kindly supplied that subject as well.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Reviewing artwork with Carrie Di Constanzo. L to R: Teri Kuwahara, Carrie Di Costanzo, Suzanne Bassani, Janice Sharp, Carol Readhead, Mary Jo Newman, Melanie Carter-Campbell. Missing from photo: Patricia Mark, Alyse Ochniak. Photo by Kathlyn Powell, © 2018.

Carrie demonstrated several ways of using gouache, as the medium is quite versatile. She showed her favored method of laying down a pale “wash” of her mixed paint that consisted of a highly controlled stippling using her amazingly fast feathery stroke of dilute gouache on a dry brush. Texture was instantiated from the start and retained throughout with this technique. Subsequent layers were laid down with generally successively more concentrated pigments with the occasional unifying dry brush wash over. She worked from light to dark in this method, somewhat reminiscent of watercolor.

She also demonstrated an approach using titanium white mixed to varying degrees into her colors to opacify and smooth the deposition of color and it had a depth and richness rivaling oils while retaining the luscious velvety matte surface of gouache. Indeed, in this approach, the handling is more like that of oils or acrylics and many renowned artists such as James Gurney use this method. [See some of James Gurney’s favorite gouache artists here.] Lights do not necessarily need to be retained and working dark to light is possible. Highlights and light structures such as Melanie’s cactus spines can be directly added on top.

Carrie showed us that gouache is like watercolor in re-solubility but has a higher pigment load, yielding greater opacity. It can be used in a watercolor way with wet, dilute translucent washes retaining the light of the paper, building up to a gorgeous matte depth of color. It can also, again, be used somewhat like oils or acrylics, with light pigments over dark. This allows for going over sections with many layers until one is satisfied, without harming the surface or looking overworked. Thus, you can push a painting further. One can also use gouache to exquisite effect on toned papers, like botanical artist Albert R. Valentien did. Carrie showed us how she creates a toned sheet for such an approach.

Carrie encouraged us to use the method that we felt most comfortable with and everyone had their own unique look to their paintings, and all were lovely. The medium was adaptable to each person’s individual style of painting.

A Little About Gouache:
Gouache has a history that goes back to the 9th Century. Illuminated manuscripts and Persian and Mughal miniatures were painted using opaque watercolors mixed with white or on white priming. Chinese white was also freely used in Western watercolors in the nineteenth century as “body colors”, distinguished by their beautiful precision (see, for example, the watercolor and body color work of William Trost Richards). For many subjects, such as landscapes, body color made it possible.

Zinc white (Chinese white) as a pigment had become available in Europe in the mid-19th century (although in use in Persia, India and China since at least the 12th century) and thus at least partially displaced the more opaque but very toxic lead white. It is no wonder that artists happily explored the possibilities of this new pigment! (Especially en plein air, once pigments were packed into tubes.) We are lucky to have access to nontoxic, very opaque titanium white (introduced 1921) as well as zinc white.

Gouache was favored by commercial artists during the twentieth century for its beauty, speed of drying, and matte surface which the camera loves — it is renowned for reproducing extremely well. It got a bit of a bad rap because of the fugitive quality of many of the paints then in use — pieces were made for the camera rather than the frame, so archival lightfast pigments were not always employed. Now, however, we have beautiful, fully lightfast gouache pigments available to us from numerous pigmenters. Also, the medium suffered some stigma in the pretentious “Fine Art” vs “illustration” controversy.

Technical instruction in gouache has become very difficult to come by over the last few decades, so I cherish the training we were so fortunate to obtain with a Master Artist like Carrie. I personally have longed for this type and quality of didactics for nearly half a century. Opacity is another dimension of control which enhances the ability to work the magic of mimesis.

Profound thanks to Carrie Di Costanzo, a real treasure both artistically and as a person, to the Education Committee for bringing her, to The Huntington for hosting us, to Patricia Mark for supplying subjects and to BAGSC for everything!

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Magnolia grandiflora, gouache on paper, © Carrie Di Costanzo

Carrie Di Constanzo will be teaching a BAGSC-sponsored workshop, entitled Creating Botanical Paintings with Impact Using Gouache.

Participants in this workshop will learn how gouache is used to create realistic and detailed botanical paintings. Explore the benefits of using gouache and the similarities and differences between gouache and watercolor. Demonstrations will include using light washes of gouache, layering of colors with a dry brush, mixing of colors, glazing, and using semi-transparent and semi-opaque gouache. The class will be encouraged to experiment with gouache using small botanical subjects.

This workshop is suitable for artists who have previous experience with gouache, as well as those who have always wanted to try this wonderful opaque medium. Gouache will be supplied by the instructor, and a small fee will be charged to participants to share in the cost of the supplies. The workshop will be held at:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab
Wednesday – Friday, April 11 – 13, 2018
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

The cost for BAGSC Members is $300; non-members may also attend for $350. Maximum Registration: 16 students.

To register: Send a check in the full amount, made out to BAGSC, with Carrie Di Constanzo on the subject line. Please mail the check to: BAGSC, PO Box 50166, Pasadena, California 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the cafés on The Huntington grounds.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

More information, materials list and map are available on the BAGSC website.

About the instructor

Carrie Di Costanzo worked as a fashion illustrator before shifting her focus to botanical art. Group exhibitions include the 14th Annual International through the 20th Annual International with the ASBA/HSNY (receiving the Ursus Award in\2013); “Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps” and “Weird, Wild, and Wonderful” and the 14th through 19th Annual Botanical Art Exhibit at Filoli (receiving the Roth Award in 2013 and the Jurors’ Award in 2014). Her work is held in the Botanical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, and private collections.

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

Ginseng, watercolor on vellum. Denise Walser-Kolar, © 2017, all rights reserved.

Ginseng, watercolor on vellum. Denise Walser-Kolar, © 2017, all rights reserved.

Denise Walser-Kolar will be teaching the first BAGSC-sponsored workshop of 2018, entitled Roots and Leaves on Vellum or Watercolor Paper.

This workshop will focus on drawing and painting roots and leaves, starting with exercises observing and drawing roots and leaves. The balance of the workshop will concentrate on painting several small leaf studies. Students may work on either vellum or paper. Vellum will be available to purchase from instructor; students wishing to work on paper will bring their preferred materials.

The class also will cover mixing greens, creating dark shadow colors, and mixing light delicate colors necessary for painting roots. Denise is known for her thorough demonstrations, discussion of materials and techniques, hands-on time for developing skills, and lots of individual attention and feedback.

The workshop will be held at:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab
Wednesday – Friday, February 7 – 9, 2018
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

The cost for BAGSC Members is $300; non-members may also attend for $350. Maximum Registration: 16 students.

To register: Send a check in the full amount, made out to BAGSC, with Denise Walser-Kolar on the subject line. Please mail the check to: BAGSC, PO Box 50166, Pasadena, California 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the cafés on The Huntington grounds.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

More information, materials list and map are available on the BAGSC website.

About the instructor

Denise Walser-Kolar began her journey into Botanical art in 2003, after receiving a botanical art class from her parents as a birthday gift. She has a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Denise teaches botanical art workshops across the country and currently works for the American Society of Botanical Artists as the Annual Meeting & Program Coordinator. She received the Diane Bouchier Artist Award for Excellence in Botanical Art in 2015 and received a Silver-Gilt medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2011 for her paintings of the hazelnuts of Badgersett Research Farm. Her work is held in the permanent collection of the Hunt institute for Botanical Documentation.

by Jude Wiesenfeld, posted by Deb Shaw

If you were looking forward to taking botanical art classes in 2018, here is the preliminary line up:

Denise Walser-KolarRoots and Leaves on Vellum or Watercolor Paper
February 7 – 9, 2018
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
$300 members/$350 non-members
 
Carrie DiCostanzo, Introduction to Creating Botanical Paintings with Impact using Gouache
Dates to be decided: April 11 –13 OR April 18 – 20, 2018
Location to be decided   
$300 members/$350 non-members
Lesley RandallPen and Ink Drawing of the Aristolochiaceae including a Botanical Talk
May 10 – 12, 2018
Oak Room, Los Angeles County Arboretum 
$300 members/$350 non-members
 
Robert McNeil, subject to be announced
October 3 – 5, 2018
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
$300 members/$350 non-members
The workshops above have been posted on the BAGSC website under ‘Classes’; and on the calendar on the BAGSC ‘Members Only’ website page. Stay tuned for more information on the website, on this blog, and in email blasts to BAGSC members. Additional workshops, lectures, field trips and meeting programs will be announced soon.

by Gilly Shaeffer, posted by Deb Shaw

There are many workshops to be held before the California Native Plant Society 2018 conference begins on Tuesday, January 30, through Wednesday, January 31, at the LAX Marriott.

There will be two botanical art workshops given by BAGSC members:
Gilly Shaeffer will teach “Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques”
Tuesday, January 30, from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

Olga Ryabtsova will teach “Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration”
Wednesday, January 31, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

See complete information about these two workshops below.

Deadline to register January 14, 2018. To Register, go to https://conference.cnps.org/registration/

Introduction to Botanical Art Techniques
Tuesday, January 30, 1:00 PM-4:30 PM
Instructor: Gilly Shaeffer, Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $50 Attending the Conference / $70 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy, Gilly Shaeffer, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Botanical art starts with a good drawing. Through demonstrations and hands-on practice, participants will learn ways to create line drawings of plants. We will focus on the need for close observation when creating botanical art. Class will begin with an overview of the materials used to create botanical art and how they are used, including pencils, drawing paper, erasers, magnifiers, watercolor brushes, paints, and watercolor paper. Next participants will be introduced to shading from light to dark to create three dimensional forms. Exercises will further participants’ understanding of form through creation of their own three dimensional forms. An introduction to the importance of a light source in drawing plant forms will be included. Class will conclude with time to sketch from natural forms so that class participants can apply the concepts presented during the class to their actual plant drawings.

This workshop is designed for people who have an interest in learning more about how to draw and eventually paint plants, and will be taught at a beginner level.

Participants will receive a list of reference books for the beginning study of drawing. Handouts will be provided covering basic points made in the class which will include exercises that can be done at home. A variety of books that are highly recommended in the study of botanical illustration and watercolor will be available to look at during class, as well as recent exhibition catalogues.

Please plan to bring (more details will be provided to registered participants—the cost for these materials should be around $15 for those who do not yet own them):

  • Strathmore drawing paper pad 400 Series
  • Graphite drawing pencils 2H, HB, and 2B
  • Cretacolor brand kneaded eraser

Gilly Shaeffer’ s lifelong interest in art and love of nature drew her to the study of botanical art. Her work has been selected to appear in juried exhibitions at museums, galleries, and gardens throughout the United States. She has taught Botanical Illustration and Watercolor at Virginia Robinson Gardens and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She also teaches Botanical Art Techniques at her home studio on Mount Washlngton in Los Angeles.

Black & White Drawing Techniques in Botanical Illustration
Wednesday, January 31, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Instructor: Olga Ryabtsova, Botanical Artist; Exhibition Chair of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, American Society of Botanical Artists
Registration: $95 Attending the Conference / $125 Not Attending the Conference

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

Matilija Poppy seed pod, Olga Ryabtsova, watercolor on paper, © 2017.

This workshop will focus on black and white drawing techniques. We will review the materials required, and participants will learn about the perception of light, shadow, and contrast in drawing with a graphite pencil, metalpoint, pen and ink. Drawing with all mentioned materials will be demonstrated. Patricipants will draw a sketch from a living plant or fruit or a provided photo with graphite, and start an original work with matalpoint.

This worshop is open to anyone interested in botanical art and drawing techniques. All skill levels are welcome (beginner, intermediate, advanced artists who are interested in metalpoint).

Preliminary list of supplies that participants will need to bring (more details will be provided before the workshop):

  • Graphite pencils 2H, HB, 2B, 4B
  • Sharpener
  • Sketch paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Drawing paper
  • Eraser
  • Board to support paper and tape to hold it
  • Metalpoint wire and holder
  • Portable light lamp (optional)

Olga Ryabtsova was born in Russia, in the town of Dubna about 80 miles north of Moscow. After school, she moved to Moscow to study graphic design and illustration at the Moscow University of Graphic Arts, where she obtained a Master’s Degree. She worked as an Art Director for advertising agencies, and as a photojournalist and commercial photographer. After moving to California in 2015, Olga became fascinated with the native plants of Southern California, the botanical gardens in the area, and botanical art. She works in many different techniques, including watercolor, oil, etching, silverpoint and ceramic. Additionally, Olga teaches drawing to children and conducts workshops for adults.

by Beth Stone, posted by Deb Shaw

Martin Allen’s Techniques Showcase at the 2017 San Francisco ASBA Conference was a great introduction for the class he subsequently taught locally for BAGSC, October 24 – 26, at The Los Angeles Arboretum.

Martin’s method is to work directly from photographs. He takes great care to stage the photos for dramatic lighting and for color accuracy to the point where paint colors can be directly matched to the colors on a printed photo. Although Martin jokes about his limited pallet there is a wisdom to it. He promotes mixing small quantities of the desired color to create a more realistic appearance.

Painting from John Pastoriza-Piñol's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from John Pastoriza Piñol’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. The shiny, reflective areas are masking fluid that has yet to be removed. © 2017 Beth Stone.

My biggest take-away from Martin was the notion of placing “mostly the right color in mostly the right place” from the very beginning. Here are three examples of my paintings from classes within the past year. Hint: both of the Orchid specimens had deep red to nearly black areas.

I call the one from mid-point of John Pastoriza Pinol’s class “my pretty pony” , the other is my first attempt at vellum from Carol Woodin’s class. I eventually finished each of these about two months later.

Painting from Carol Woodin's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Carol Woodin’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Contrast these to the depth of tone achieved on this dandelion bud (~15x) in Martin Allen’s workshop.

The more classes I take, the more convinced I am that there is no right or wrong method. To me the secret is to keep an open mind and amass a tool kit of knowledge that can be applied where it suits the subject matter.

Painting from Martin Allen's BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

Painting from Martin Allen’s BAGSC workshop, 2017. © 2017 Beth Stone.

%d bloggers like this: