Drawing Your Way to Plant Identification at the New York Botanical Garden

Teaching a three day workshop in the middle of January is a great time to focus on dissecting, studying, and drawing a flowering potted plant. Here is how I approached this recent workshop at the New York Botanical Garden where we had Cyclamen plants as our model.

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Day 1: What to draw first?

We started by reading a detailed description of the plant and the characteristics that make this plant unique. In the case of the Cyclamen it has a tuber from which individual flowers, leaves, and roots grow. The leaves and flowers sprout from growing points on top of the tuber. The roots can grow from many places on the tuber depending on the species. The flowers are unusual. The stem of the flower is bent so that the nose of the flower faces downward. 

Once we understood what makes this plant unique we were able to start drawing all the components. We had plants with lots of flowers so we were easily able to take apart many flowers to use and study up close.

Once we understood what makes this plant unique we were able to start drawing all the components. We had plants with lots of flowers so we were easily able to take apart many flowers to use and study up close.

Day 2: After understanding and drawing plant structure there is more time to focus on the color of the flowers and the patterning on the leaves. 

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Day 3: Study the complete plant by taking it out of the pot and washing the soil away to reveal the tuber and the roots. We were able to plan and start a complete drawing of the whole plant.

One student focused on a magnification of a dissected flower.

Students were able to take their plants home and continue working to finish after the workshop was finished. Three days goes by very quickly!

Students from this class: Please  upload your sketch pages and or completed drawings here for everyone to see!

 

 

An insiders view of a Botanical Drawing workshop at Hollengold Farm

If you are curious about a botanical drawing workshop at Hollengold Farm read on. This is a recap of the recent workshop that just took place on Sept. 19 - 21st, 2014.

Color Harmony - Analogous Colors

Colors next to each other on the color wheel (no more than two primary colors) is known as analogous color. It is usually a very beautiful and satisfying color scheme. Check out these  pics from our garden's harvest this past week of delicious berries. Featured are raspberries, black berries, and blue berries. A delicious sherbet was made after we made a coulis syrup from the berries. The color scheme is pleasing to look at and refreshing and delicious to eat!

Distance Learning

I have been working with some students long distance on critiquing their work, either lesson by lesson or for  more finished work. Here is a recent example of how this process goes and the success that is exciting for me to see in their work.

This is the work of a student from France Named Sophie. I am proud of her ability to improve and grasp concepts in a foreign language!

This is the work of a student from France Named Sophie. I am proud of her ability to improve and grasp concepts in a foreign language!

Individual Lesson Critique from Wendy's Lessons

Here is where you can get a detailed critique, lesson by lesson so that you can get an understanding of exactly what you will need to do to improve your drawing techniques step by step.

The lessons are from Wendy's two books:

Botanical Drawing in Color 

Botanical Drawing, A Beginner's Guide or

 

and  A Year of Botanical Drawing Subscription Program.

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Botanical Drawing Workshop at Hollengold Farm June 2014

Hi Everyone, 
We are excited to announce another 3 day workshop at Hollengold Farm in September. The weather is usually great and many lovely things will be blooming in the garden for inspiration and of course delicious food to eat! Here are some photos from the recent workshop we had here in June.

Daily drawing demonstrations.

Located in the Hudson Valley of NY State.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

Join botanical artist, instructor, and author Wendy Hollender at her home and garden to study the techniques outlined in her book: Botanical Drawing in Color, A Basic Guide to Mastering Realistic Form and Naturalistic Color. Create drawings in colored pencil and watercolor pencil from the plants growing in the gardens at Hollengold Farm. Use a “Grisaille” technique for undertones in a neutral color and then layer color on top to create realistic plant portraits. This technique is very immediate and materials are simple, allowing the artist to work easily in multiple locations, and is especially useful for work in the field. 

Where: Hollengold Farm, Accord, NY
Dates: Friday Sept 19th - Sunday Sept 21stTime: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Farm fresh lunch included.
Workshop price: $300.00 includes lunch.

Sign up here:


Local  Accomadations:
 Star-Lite Motel:
 
www.thestarlitemotel.com 
Phone is: 845-626-7350
Chelsea Motel:

www.Chelseamotel.com 
Phone is 845-626-3551

Daily demonstrations of botanical drawingThe weather was glorious and we were able to work outside all three days.

Will's lunch included home made ice cream with our fresh strawberries.Our daily salads and herbal infused drinks were also very popular.Students were treated to a visit to Carol Woodin's stuido to hear about painting on vellum.

Sign up for the workshop here.


Hope to see you on the farm!
Regards,
Wendy

Dina Falconi author of Foraging & Feasting; A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook took students on a plant walk to learn about identifying edible weeds.