It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teaching at El Charco del Ingenio

Since 2009 the instructors from Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Illustration have been travelling in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico to teach one-week workshops at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden. This is an important part of the collaboration between our institutes. Our activities in San Miguel are also one of the projects within the Center for Global Initiatives.
See pictures from the most recent illustration workshop by clicking here. This workshop was focusing on birds, studying bird anatomy, physical characteristics. Observing the birds in motion and then drawing the subject either at rest or in flight. The majority of the students were Spanish speaking and the instructor was Randy Raak.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Power of Storytelling - Sequential Art

(Liz McCauley's character page in process, please click to enlarge)

Following the 2-hour presentation about Visual Storytelling and Science Through Sequential Art at the annual GNSI-conference last week, David R. Clarke led a very successful extended weekend workshop at Denver Botanic Gardens. 
The goal was to develop a one-page comic strip, but at the end of the third day all participants had laid out a 16-page story about topics such as invasive species in Hawaii to a frog who becomes a yoga teacher. 
The class will stay in touch and give a progress update and a possible publication of the material. It was a refreshing  experience for scientific illustrators who often focus to the minute details.
Please see more pictures from the workshop by clicking here.
(different yoga poses pretended by the  Yogy Frog and drawn by Charlotte Ricker; please click to enlarge)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

GNSI Annual Members' Show, Boulder 2014 - People's Choice

(Best B/W: Randy Raak, Graphite - Secretary Bird)
Over 120 GNSI members attended the Annual GNSI Members Exhibit opening which was held on Monday night, July 14 at The University of Colorado, Boulder Natural History Museum in conjunction of the 35th Annual Meeting and Conference. At that event everybody was encouraged to vote for their favorite piece in the five different categories. The results were announces last night at the Annual Banquet:

1. Best Black and White: Randy Raak, graphite - Secretary Bird
2. Best Color: Heidrun Snyder, colored pencil - Western Painted Turtle
3. Best Mixed Media: Barbara Harmon, graphite, watercolor and digital - Hanford Reach National Monument Flipbooks
4. Best Digital: Nicole Fuller: Plant and Animal Biodiversity Color Wheel
5. Best 3D: Gary Hoyle, epoxy clay over styrofoam core - Male Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)
(Please click here to see all the 'winners')

This scientific illustration exhibit including 81 high quality pieces is on display until September 25, 2014 and strongly recommended.
(Best Color:   Heidrun Snyder, colored pencil - Western Painted Turtle)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Beginning of the Summer 2014

(Papaya illustration by Alice Pearson)
In February 2014 we had a course focusing on how to handle a specific illustration project. This time around we were refreshing our signage in the conservatory. Now the new signs are up in the appropriate locations and the result is very pleasing. When you are visiting the Gardens next time, please stop by the conservatory and see them all. 
More images from our recently completed courses can be viewed by clicking here.   
From "Drawing on Tradition: Realism and Rory McEwen" by Anne-Marie Nishi

Friday, June 27, 2014

From Hunt to Tachikawa

1. Hunt 104; 2. Hunt 102; 3. Tachikawa G; 4. Brause 66EF (nibs are not in scale)

In addition to Rotring Rapidograph .25 and .35 technical pens we use four different nibs at our second level Pen and Ink class:
1. Hunt 104: Finest superfine art pen for the fine hair lines and smallest details.
2. Hunt 102: This superfine and flexible nib is said to be America's most popular art pen, also called Crow Quill
3. Tachikawa G: This nib produces a variety of lines from very fine to bold depending on the amount of pressure. This chrome plated nib is also used for Copperplate and Spencerian scripts.
4. Brause 66 EF: Very flexible nib giving thick down strokes and fine thins. This nib is also called Arrow Nib and it has been manufactured by the German company Brause since 1850. It has a high ink capacity.

Please see some of the practice pieces with the nibs by clicking here.

(Deanna Gammon's first practice piece with the nibs)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Phone and Voice Mail is back on!

(Noreen Goetz, watercolor pencil)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Workshops and Field Trips at the GNSI conference

You can now register to attend only a workshop or field trip without attending the GNSI core conference.

Also, please note that in connection with the GNSI conference a related workshop: Sequential Art: Visual Storytelling with David R. Clarke is taught at Denver Botanic Gardens , July 18-20, please click here for more information and to register (only 4 more seats available, GNSI members get the Gardens' member price, please call 720-865-3653).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Garden Cycle by Chihuly at Denver Botanic Gardens

Part of the Monet Pool Fiori by Dale Chihuly (please click to enlarge)

Denver Botanic Gardens is pleased to host an edition of the Garden Cycle by Dale Chihuly during the coming six months (June 14 - November 30, 2014, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. weekends). This is the Rocky Mountain Region's first outdoor installation of the artwork by Chihuly. This spectacular exhibit is free for the Denver Botanic Garden's members.
Blue and Purple Boat and Walla Wallas by Dale Chihuly at our Japanese garden (please click to enlarge)

School of Botanical Art and Illustration offers a related illustration class: Garden Landscapes and Sculpture, July 14-18, 2014 (9 a.m. - noon). Please follow this link for more information and to register (only five more seats available).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer and Fall Courses open for Registration Today!

(by K. Genoff-Campbell)

Our Summer and Fall course registration opens today June 10th, 9 a.m. Please follow this link (all courses appear on-line at 9 a.m.) for a successful registration. We have only 12 seats available for each course offering and the courses sell out fast!

Good Luck!

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Margaret Flockton Award - Congratulations to Lucy Smith!

(Nepenthes petiolata by Lucy Smith, Kew U.K., please click to enlarge)

Margaret Flockton Award commemorates the contribution Margaret Flockton made to Australian scientific botanical illustration. The annual award is very competitive, this time 34 illustrations from ten different countries were submitted for consideration. The winning image of Nepenthes petiolata was drawn by Lucy Smith from Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Lucy will receive AU$5000 for first prize. This was her tenth time to participate and previously she has won the 2nd prize three times and has received 5 Highly Commended Awards. 
Edmundo Saavedra Vidal from Mexico received the 2nd prize (AU$2000) for the superbly rendered dandelion, Taraxacum officinale. Read more about 2014 Margaret Flockton Award and Exhibition by clicking here.
(Taraxacum officinale by Edmundo S. Vidal, Mexico, , please click to enlarge)