Botanical Illustration series
The Horticulture Section of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science offers three online courses in Botanical Illustration:
- Botanical Illustration I: Basic Drawing Techniques
- Botanical Illustration II: Working with watercolor
- Botanical Illustration III: Advanced Techniques
Basic Drawing Techniques is a six-week online course for beginners (seven including the introductory week) and teaches you how to use plants as the subject of art with easy approaches and many visual examples.
A physical distance from other students allows you to express yourself creatively without comparing your work to those around you, fostering confidence and your own individual style, while still providing an opportunity to interact with others online through a discussion forum.
The course is designed for beginning artists of all ages and from all walks of life — from current students, to those who haven't taken a class in a very long time.
- How to observe and approach subjects for drawing.
- How to creatively transfer what you see to paper.
- How to use the elements of line, shape and space constructively to make a composition.
Participants will read very straightforward lessons on six different topics in botanical drawing and observing the natural world. You will advance your own skills through practice and assignments, and reflect critically on your experiences in journal entries shared with your instructor and with other students via an online forum.
Working with watercolor builds on your previous experience with botanical drawing techniques by introducing color into your work, and engages you in self-expression through this process. Advanced Techniques introduces other media and techniques and culminates in the development of a portfolio.
You do not receive Cornell University credit for taking the course. Rather, you will receive a certificate of participation from our Office of Continuing Education. If you are enrolled in a university undergraduate or graduate program and want to get credit for the course, please ask your faculty advisor to work with you to agree on a number of credits, and the certificate will be evidence of your completion. Typically, students interested in this approach consider it as individual study. Others take it for life enrichment.