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Botanical Art

Adult Education at Filoli: Floral Design ClassesNarcissus Tetee Tete by Dorothy Hunter, 2014 Certificate Program Graduate.©

The Botanical Art program at Filoli has long been an essential part of our mission to interpret and preserve the history of this country estate. Whether it's through one of our two–to–five day classes, the Certificate Program, the Filoli Florilegium or the annual exhibit, artists continue to be inspired by the plant collections at Filoli.

Our students say it best:
“John is a wonderful instructor, presenting many new and different techniques. Love his demos.” From Master Watercolor Class with John Pastoriza–Piñol

“Excellent class in every way. Thank you!” From Introduction to Botanical Art

“Class was wonderful, positive, and organized – a joy!” From Drawing Plants in Perspective.

“Nina is a very good instructor – positive, encouraging, relaxed, and skillful.” From Colored Pencil I.

“Bruce is a wonderful instructor – all class participants had good success.” From Pen And Ink.

“I like Martha’s friendly attitude and help…great handouts…I gained confidence.” From Graphite Pencil I.

Students talk about our primary instructors:
Catherine Watters — “Catherine is an excellent teacher and makes even a beginner feel good and able to finish projects.”
Lee McCaffree — “Lee’s class was wonderful, positive, and organized. A joy! She’s great with the newbies.”

2017 Classes

How to Register

Use the link below each class to register or call 650–364–8300, ext. 508, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Refund Policy

Click here for our Education Programs Refund Policy.

Filoli offers a broad variety of botanical art classes for all levels of experience. It is not necessary to enroll in the Botanical Art Certificate Program to participate in these classes; however, prerequisites must be completed.

Class materials lists are available upon registration or can be downloaded in advance under the class description. Biographies for all instructors are available under each class title and will toggle open when you click on the instructor’s name and then close when you click a second time.

Unless otherwise indicated, these classes take place in the Roth Room on the second floor of the historic House. Access to this classroom is by stairs only. For questions about accessibility, please contact the Education Office by email to classes@filoli.org or by phone at (650) 364–8300, ext. 233.

With the exception of Introduction to Botanical Art, all classes listed below are part of the
Botanical Art Certificate Program and are noted by month using the following key:

R Required Courses

E Elective Courses

JanuaryJune

There are no Botanical Art classes scheduled this month.

Pen and Ink R
Techniques: Field Studies E
Roses R
FebruaryJuly
Graphite Pencil I R
Techniques: Drawing Simple Flowers E
Watercolor Essentials: Washes and Glazes E
Colored Pencil: Seed and Pods E
Orchids E
Colored Pencil II E
Textures, Patterns, and Details II R
Watercolor II R
MarchAugust
Introduction to Botanical Art E
Botany through Drawing R
Studio Time E
Watercolor I R
Color Mixing for Artists R
Graphite Pencil II E
Introduction to Botanical Art E
Watercolor Essentials: Dry Brush and Finishing E
Fruit from the Orchard E
AprilSeptember
Composition: Plan without the Pain E
Colored Pencil I R
Textures, Patterns, and Details I R
Drawing Plants in Perspective I R
Watercolor Essentials: Bulbs and Roots E
Watercolor III R
Master Class: Elegant Botanical Painting E
Watercolor III R
Studio Time E
Drawing Plants in Perspective I R
History of Botanical Art R
Labeling, Matting, and Framing R
Portfolio: Presenting Your Artwork R
Colored Pencil Textures E
Watercolor Essentials: Highlights and Reflective Light E
MayOctober
Watercolor Essentials: Painting Leaves, Veins to Edges E
Vellum: Tulips E
Techniques: Drawing Complex Flowers E
Studio Time E
Watercolor Essentials: Dry Brush and FinishingE
Colored Pencil Taster Day for Beginners E
Colored Pencil Master Class: Tactile Textures, Tips and Tricks E
Olives by Martha Kemp

Olives by Martha Kemp.©

Graphite Pencil I R

Wednesday, February 1, Thursday, February 2, and Saturday, February 11, 2017,
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Martha Kemp

From crisp details to flawless continuous tone, it's all about control. This workshop will explore the use of a lead holder and 2mm lead (actually, graphite) for exercises in rendering the texture, details, and volume of leaves, flowers, and everyday specimens from the grocery store’s produce department. It's almost like sculpting on paper.

Fee: $275 for members; $330 for non–members.

Poppies by Lee McCaffree

Poppies by Lee McCaffree.©

Techniques: Drawing Simple Flowers E

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Botanical paintings start with a good drawing. Students will work in graphite to create basic flower drawings which can be adapted to a painting. Simple flowers will be broken down into parts to understand petal and flower form from different perspectives. This is an opportunity to practice more drawing for all levels.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members

botanical art piece by Lee McCaffree

Primula by Lee McCaffree.©

Watercolor Essentials: Washes and Glazes E

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Most botanical works use washes as a base. Students will work to understand and implement the flat washes, graded washes, and color change washes as they apply to natural subjects. By practicing washes, the role of water in the brush, in the pigment, and on the paper can determine the wanted results. Learn to identify the reason for why or why not the washes are successful. Glazing in layers will give more color variation and depth to a painting. Good practice for novices.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members

buckeye pod by Nina Antze

Buckeye pod by Nina Antze.©

Colored Pencil: Seed Pods E

Thursday, February 16, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Nina Antze

Explore the fascinating shapes and textures of seed pods. Learn to carefully observe, draw and paint them in great detail. You will choose from a variety of seed pods or you are welcome to bring your favorite ones.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members

Orchid

Orchid by Catherine M. Watters.©

Orchids E

Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

The elegant shapes and vibrant colors of Orchids make them fascinating subjects to paint. Learn to skillfully observe, draw and mix vibrant colors to capture the beauty and luminous quality of these intriguing plants.

Fee: $160 for members; $190 for non–members

strawberry by Catherine Watters

Strawberry by Catherine M. Watters.©

Introduction to Botanical Art

Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

Have you admired botanical art but questioned whether you could do it? If so, this is just the class for you. This two–day hands–on workshop introduces traditional botanical art skills, such as plant observation, drawing, color mixing, and watercolor painting using leaves, flowers, and fruit as models. No previous art experience is needed.

Fee: $180 for members; $215 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Botany through Drawing

Students enjoy studying the anatomy of flowers.

Botany through Drawing R

Friday, March 10, 2017, 9:30 am–4:00 pm;
Fridays, March 17 and 24 and April 7, 2017, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Studying botany increases your understanding and ability to be a successful botanical artist. By understanding the structure of stems, leaves, flowers, and roots, an artist can be more creative in arranging an accurate plant portrait. Each class will explore a different aspect of plant structure and growth, as well as plant families and nomenclature. Students exhibit what they have learned through a series of drawings. Those enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each class.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

additional class time

Trichostemai by Lee McCaffree.©

Studio Time R

Saturday, March 11, 2017, 9:30 am–1:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

This studio format is for students who would like to get the extra help they need. Bring your work–in–progress and/or homework assignment to get instruction and guidance with your drawing and painting techniques.

Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non–members

Seed Pod by Lee McCaffree

Seed Pod by Lee McCaffree.©

Watercolor I R

Thursdays, March 16 and 23, 2017, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm,
and Thursday, April 6, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Transparent watercolor is the traditional medium of botanical art. This beginning course serves as the foundation for painting in watercolor. It covers the basic materials such as papers, brushes, and paints. Students learn techniques through exercises using different washes and application of paint on wet and dry paper. Dry brush work used for accuracy and detail is covered. These methods are applied to basic plant forms as students develop their skills. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

Learn how to get the colors you want

Learn how to get the colors you want.

Color Mixing for Artists R

Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Susan Fisher

Color mixing is a necessity for all artists. This class teaches students to mix the colors they want, not the ones they end up with through trial and error. Learn an easy system for combining colors consistently to achieve the broadest possible spectrum for any “wet” medium, including watercolor, gouache, acrylics, oils, inks, alkyds, and egg tempera. This understanding will help students move to a much higher level of achievement. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each class.

Fee: $325 for members; $390 for non–members.

artwork in progress

 

Composition: Plan without the Pain E

Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4 and 5, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Susan Fisher

Does the idea of composition seem dull? Find out why it can be just as much fun as drawing and painting. There is a way to create terrific compositions and make each one unique and visually appealing. This proven method is fun to do and it will always give good results. Raise your enthusiasm and improve your work. The lasting advantage to this two–day workshop is the confidence boost guaranteed to bring excitement to the planning stage of your artistry. The material offered in this class is for any artist (not just botanical artists) interested in creating better two–dimensional work. This course will provide an in–class opportunity to see the impressive Highgrove Florilegium book at Filoli.

Fee: $220 for members; $265 for non–members.

Colored Pencil Drawing by Nina Antze

Cherries by Nina Antze.©

Colored Pencil I R

Thursday, April 13 through Saturday, April 15, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Nina Antze

This workshop focuses on learning and practicing colored–pencil techniques while making study pages for future reference. The first day of the workshop will include a lesson on the different types of pencils and papers, color theory (including a color wheel to learn about color bias) and hands–on learning of basic colored pencil techniques such as building–up color and blending. Continue your studies on day two by drawing, creating, and modifying greens, using grisaille techniques for shading and forms. Complete your three–day study by adding a flower or seasonal fruit from the Filoli Garden and practice finishing techniques like burnishing and clean–up.

Fee: $275 for members; $330 for non–members

Nuts by Catherine M. Waters

 

Textures, Patterns, and Details I R

Fridays, April 21 and May 5, 2017, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm;
Friday, May 19, 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

This class continues to explore botanical painting skills to illustrate plants with more accuracy. Patterns of color, textures, and other plant surfaces are practiced using color, washes, negative space, and dry brush work. Representation of highlights, hairy and fuzzy surfaces, airy plants, shiny surfaces, and succulents are challenges when maintaining the form of the plant subject. Using more advanced techniques gives the artist the confidence to try more complicated plant portraits. Students enrolled in the Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

a botanical art student begins a drawing

 

Drawing Plants in Perspective I R

Saturdays, April 22 and May 6, 2017, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm;
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

This foundation course teaches students to accurately draw plants by observing basic botanical shapes and structures and illustrating them in great detail with botanical accuracy. Each of the three sessions focuses on one shape to emphasize and develop observation and foreshortening skills. Students learn to interpret hidden edges to achieve a believable drawing and work on shading skills through value contrast to create three–dimensional shapes. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

Crokus by Lee McCaffree

 

Watercolor Essentials: Bulbs and Roots E

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Tangled roots and bulbs with many layers can add dimension to your flower paintings. The representation of a bulb’s layers and earthy tones will be practiced. Students will draw roots in three dimensions with overlapping to create depth that can be added to bulbs. Techniques include dry brush and washes.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members.

By Lee McCaffree

Fall Maple by Lee McCaffree.©

Watercolor III R

Wednesdays, April 26, May 3 and 17, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

This advanced class continues the development of watercolor skills while focusing on painting complex forms. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

painting by Heeyoung Kim

Prairie Crabapple by Heeyoung Kim.©

Master Class: Elegant Botanical Painting E

Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Heeyoung Kim

As students, we always contemplate what makes a botanical painting elegant. Some decisive qualities, among many others, might include flowing lines, good proportion, perfect edges, and complexity without a cluttered look, simplicity with well planned space, three dimensional form, and details. Heeyoung will share her unique approach in painting preparation, watercolor techniques, and a few simple tricks to improve painting quality instantly. Using seasonal flowers from the Filoli Garden practice the instructor’s approach and techniques while rendering your subject.

Fee: $425 for members; $510 for non–members

Pipevine by Lee McCaffree

Primula by Lee McCaffree.©

Watercolor Essentials: Painting Leaves, Veins to Edges R

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Leaves form the background for most paintings. It is essential that you spend the time to make them accurate or they will distract from your focal point: a flower or fruit. We will work on their form, texture, and veining with shadows, highlights, and different colors. Students will use washes, as well as dry brush and lifting, as well as leaving veins unpainted.

Fee: $90 for members; $95 for non–members

Tulips by Catherine Watters

Tulips by Catherine Watters.©

Vellum: Tulips E

Friday and Saturday May 12 and 13, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

After learning dry brush techniques and luminous effects of painting on vellum you will be ready to capture the graceful beauty of Filoli tulips. A variety of exquisite subjects will be cut from the garden. The instructor will have several sizes of vellum for you to purchase. You can also bring your own vellum if you wish. Please contact the instructor if you have any questions.

Fee: $160 for members; $190 for non–members

red ruffled azalea

Red Ruffled Azalea by Lee McCaffree.©

Techniques: Drawing Complex Flowers E

Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Botanical paintings start with a good drawing. Students will work in graphite to create a basic flower drawing that can be adapted to a painting. Complex flowers will be broken down into simple parts to understand growth pattern and perspective. This is an opportunity to practice more drawing for all levels.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members

additional class time

Trichostemai by Lee McCaffree.©

Studio Time E

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 9:30 am–1:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

This studio format is for students who would like to get the extra help they need. Bring your work–in–progress and/or homework assignment to get instruction and guidance with your drawing and painting techniques.

Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non–members

Pen and Ink Drawing

Fics semivestiva by Bruce Wilson.©

Pen and Ink R

Thursday, June 15 through Saturday, June 17, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Bruce Wilson

The basics of pen–and–ink techniques are taught through an engaging curriculum of lectures, demonstrations, and hands–on exercises. Begin your studies with a historical overview of pen and ink followed by a demonstration of the basic techniques and creation of a tone scale with stippling technique and line drawing. Continue your studies on day two through technique exercises, including hatch and crosshatch, while illustrating a leaf using these techniques. On day three you will learn texture techniques while selecting a variety of textured subjects and making three small drawings.

Fee: $300 for members; $360 for non–members

additional class time

Trichostemai by Lee McCaffree.©

Techniques: Field Studies E

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Observational sketches used as studies for future paintings are very important when working in the field. Students inspect plants by looking at the parts and posture, both of which are important when making an accurate painting or drawing. Color notes will be made by matching colors to a plant on location in the garden. The documenting of a plant’s information enables students to create a record of details while allowing them to really get to know the plant.

Fee: $80 for members; $90 for non–members

bright pink rose

 

Roses E

Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Filoli’s rose garden has more than 600 plants, including hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, shrub roses and modern English roses. A wide selection of flowers will be available for you to choose from. Through thoughtful instruction lean how to accurately render these garden delights.

Fee: $160 for members; $190 for non–members

tower of gold drawing by Nina Antze

Tower of Gold by Nina Antze.©

Colored Pencil II E

Thursday, July 13 through Saturday, July 15, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Nina Antze

Apply the techniques you have learned in Colored Pencil I to a variety of natural subjects, including fruits, leaves, and flowers. Try out new surfaces and papers and expand your repertoire into watercolor pencils and their possibilities as background and surface texture. We will continue our color explorations and apply them to live specimens, developing study pages focusing on value, detail, and composition.

Fee: $275 for members; $330 for non–members


student painting a specemin

Rosa rugosa by Cathering M. Watters.

Watercolor II R

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm;
Thursdays, August 10 and 24, 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

This intermediate class further develops students’ skills in mixing colors, washes, and layering. Students work on highlights, shading of simple and complex forms, and painting white flowers and transparent subjects. Students enrolled in the Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

Angel Trumpet by Catherine Watters

Angel Trumpet by Catherine Watters.©

Textures, Patterns, and Details II E

Friday, July 21, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

In this follow–up class to Textures, Patterns, and Details I, you will explore several unusual textures and learn the techniques to paint them with stunning realism.

Fee: $95 for members; $115 for non–members.

Graphite Drawing of Anenomes

Anemones by Martha Kemp.©

Graphite Pencil II E

Wednesday, August 2, Thursday, August 3 and Saturday August 12, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Martha Kemp

This class is for those with experience in using the lead holder and will focus on creating crisp details and flawless continuous tone, plus developing total control of the drawing tools. Subject matter will include dry leaves, cones, nuts, and grocery store produce items. The goal is to demonstrate competency in using the lead holder to render realistic forms and textures.

Fee: $275 for members; $330 for non–members.

Pear

Red Ruffled Azalea by Lee McCaffree.©

Introduction to Botanical Art

Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Have you admired botanical art but questioned whether you could do it? If so, this is just the class for you. This two–day hands–on workshop introduces traditional botanical art skills such as plant observation, drawing, color mixing, and watercolor painting using leaves, flowers, and fruit as models. No previous art experience is needed.

Fee: $180 for members; $215 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Fern by Catherine Watters

Fern by Catherine M. Watters.©

Watercolor Essentials: Dry Brush and Finishing E

Friday August 11, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

Bring life to your subjects by mastering the finishing touches! Dry brush techniques are essential to capture the fine details of your botanical subjects.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Winter Banana by Lee McCaffree

Winter Banada by Lee McCaffree.©

Fruit from the Orchard E

Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

The orchard at Filoli covers 6.8 acres and contains heirloom fruit varieties of both familiar and uncommon fruits. With more than 620 trees, it’s an eclectic connoisseur’s collection of European and American varieties of fruits. Capture one of these in your botanical art. Students will pick fruit they can draw and paint. Light and form, shadows and textures will be emphasized as well as colors of the ripening fruits and leaves.

Fee: $180 for members; $215 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Lemon by Catherine Watters

Lemon by Catherine Watters.©

Watercolor III R

Fridays, September 8 and 29, 2017, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm;
Friday, October 6, 2017, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

This advanced class continues the development of watercolor skills while focusing on painting complex forms. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

additional class time

Trichostemai by Lee McCaffree.©

Studio Time E

Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

This studio format is for students who would like to get the extra help they need. Bring your work–in–progress and/or homework assignment to get instruction and guidance with your drawing and painting techniques.

Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non–members

students receive guidance from Lee McCaffree

Students receive guidance from Lee McCaffree.©

Drawing Plants in Perspective I R

Wednesdays, September 13 and 20, 2017, 9:30 am–4:00 pm
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

This foundation course teaches students to accurately draw plants by observing basic botanical shapes and structures and illustrating them in great detail with botanical accuracy. Each of the three sessions focuses on one shape to emphasize and develop observation and foreshortening skills. Students learn to interpret hidden edges to achieve a believable drawing and work on shading skills through value contrast to create three–dimensional shapes. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are given homework assignments in each session.

Fee: $235 for members; $280 for non–members

antique botanical art print

Canavalia rosea from the Banks’ Florilegium.

History of Botanical Art R

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

This class is an in–depth study of the rich history of botanical art from its early beginning through the 20th century, including its recent revival and the important role it plays today. Participants will view a collection of originals, copper plate engravings, and books focusing on major botanical artists such as Maria Sybilla Merian, Georg Ehret, and P.J. Redouté. Historically significant events, such as the Age of Exploration, and important Florilegiums will be presented. Students enrolled in the Botanical Art Certificate Program are required to write a paper on their favorite historical botanical artist.

Fee: $65 for members; $80 for non–members.

labeling, matting and framing

Labeling, Matting, and Framing R

Wednesday, September 19, 2017, 9:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

Labeling, matting, and framing are all essential elements in completing and presenting your artwork. This class teaches students the various ways to label their botanical artwork and demonstrates matting and framing techniques in a range of styles from the traditional to the contemporary. Mats and frames will be available for practice. Please bring one completed painting and a digital camera for class activities.

Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non–members

labeling, matting and framing

Portfolio: Presenting Your Artwork R

Wednesday, September 19, 2017, 1:00 pm–4:00 pm
Instructor: Lee McCaffree

How you present yourself and your artwork is very important. This class includes instruction on how to write a biography, a resumé of exhibitions, and an artist statement. Photographing and reproducing artwork are also discussed. Please bring your portfolio and artwork for class activities. This class prepares students for the Botanical Art Certificate Program portfolio presentation.

Fee: $50 for members; $60 for non–members

Monkey Hand Pod

Monkey Hand Pod by Nina Antze.©

Colored Pencil Textures E

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
Instructor: Nina Antze

Explore a variety of textures and how to represent them in colored pencil. Take a look at how to show fuzzy areas, shine versus soft surfaces (like buckeyes and their pods), hairy stems and leaves like sunflowers, while using a variety of techniques including impressed line, pencil resist and playful color mixing.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members

Ranuncula

Ranunculus by Catherine M. Watters.©

Watercolor Essentials: Highlights and Reflective Light E

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

Capture the glow of your subject by balancing highlights, shadows, and reflected light to make it luminous. Find out how to skillfully observe, measure, and draw your subject, followed by careful and accurate color mixing. You are then ready to paint and capture the elegant shape, bold colors, and textures using proper lighting to make your subject come to life.

Fee: $80 for members; $90 for non–members

Fern by Catherine Watters

Fern by Catherine M. Watters.©

Watercolor Essentials: Dry Brush and Finishing E

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Catherine M. Watters

Bring life to your subjects by mastering the finishing touches! Dry brush techniques are essential to capture the fine details of your botanical subjects.

Fee: $80 for members; $95 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Jeanaerot Peony by Ann Swan

Jeanaerot Peony by Ann Swan.©

Colored Pencil Taster Day for Beginners E

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Ann Swan

Enjoy this whistle stop introduction to the materials and the techniques Ann uses to produce her vibrant, contemporary illustrations with colored pencils. She will guide you through the minefield of materials and their uses, and will demonstrate the basic techniques of layering, burnishing and underpainting and with some individual attention that will launch you into the exciting world of colored pencil. Be warned, it is addictive!

Fee: $145 for members; $180 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Muscatel Grapes by Ann Swan

Muscatel Grapes by Ann Swan.©

Colored Pencil Master Class: Tactile Textures, Tips and Tricks E

Wednesday, October 18 through Friday, October 20, 2017, 2017, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm;
Instructor: Ann Swan

Immerse yourself for three days with Ann while she demonstrates a variety of techniques to help you create realistic textures for blooms, velvety petals, strong highlights, surface patterns, hairy stems and furry leaves, and to make your colors leap off the page. Ann will demonstrate a variety of techniques including underpainting and layering into wet baby oil to help you create truly luscious, rich, clean colors and banish the greys. Learn how to use the neon and fluorescent colors to create luminosity and added vibrancy. Discover how important planning is, when and in what order do you underpaint, blend, use resist and/or emboss. This workshop enables you to try out all these techniques which, when mastered, will add depth, realism and interest to your finished color pencil work.

Fee: $425 for members; $510 for non–members. Fee includes all materials.

Botanical Art Certificate Program

Botanical Art Certificate Program image

Lewesia cotyledon hybrid ‘Sunset’ by Patricia A. Mark, 2014 Certificate Program Graduate.


The Filoli Botanical Art Certificate Program offers a unique, in–depth study of botanical art through challenging, integrated, and comprehensive courses. The curriculum includes the systematic study of artistic skills and concepts, basic botany, and botanical art history. A certificate will be presented upon successful completion of coursework (180 classroom hours plus homework) and presentation of a portfolio and final project. This program is for the serious student who wishes to develop knowledge and skills in botanical art.

Enrollment in the Certificate Program is not necessary to participate in these classes; however, prerequisites must be completed. To enroll in the Certificate Program, please complete the enrollment form. Credit hours for each class are indicated under the class description.

Certificate Program enrollment includes a student handbook and course material binder, classroom materials and handouts, and instructor consultation time (up to four thirty–minute conferences annually).

Program details and materials lists can be downloaded in advance under each course description. The primary instructors and curriculum developers are Lee McCaffree and Catherine M. Watters. Biographies for all instructors are available under each class title and will toggle open when you click on the instructor’s name and then close when you click a second time.

R Required Courses

E Elective Courses