Botanical Arts and Crafts

Botanical Arts and Crafts

The Art of Science. The Science of Art.

Get in touch with your inner artist by taking a class in botanical drawing, painting, or photography or by attending one of our hands-on, nature-inspired craft workshops. You will find options for all interests and skill levels. These classes, taught by accomplished, professional artists, will not only allow you to increase your skills but will also enhance your understanding of the natural world.

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Program Information

Location: Most classes will take place at BRIT or at the FW Botanic Garden. Some classes and workshops will be taught off campus and/or may include field trips to other locations around North Central Texas.

Cost: Class tuition varies depending on the length of the class and materials needed. Please see the individual class listings for exact prices.

Who should attend: GROW Adult Education workshops are open to and suitable for all interested members of the general public. 

Nice to Know: Since you never know where GROW Adult Ed might take you, we recommend that participants dress comfortably in clothes that are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor adventures. A sweater or light jacket is a good idea in case the A/C is working too well and closed toe shoes are always a good idea. Please check individual class listings for any specific requirements and, as always, don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at a GROW Adult Ed class soon! 

Point of Contact

Laura Northern Venhaus

Director of the Libraries and Research Public Engagement

Get in touch with your inner artist by taking a class in botanical drawing, painting, or photography or by attending one of our hands-on, nature-inspired craft workshops. You will find options for all interests and skill levels. These classes, taught by accomplished, professional artists, will not only allow you to increase your skills but will also enhance your understanding of the natural world.

Upcoming Events

Masterpieces and Microscopes

The micro-wonderland of Plants

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Using BRIT's state of the art microscopes, you'll journey into the micro wonderlands of plants! By looking through the microscopes and projecting enlarged views, your imagination will be energized and ready to create a large mixed media drawing that may resemble anything from a surreal landscape to abstract art. All you need is a frame and you will have some modern art for your home or office along with a very interesting conversation piece!

Instructor Delia deVer, originally from Mill Valley California, moved to Texas after studying visual art at the California College of the Arts. During an artist residency in Marfa, TX the open spaces of the region spoke to her interests in abstract and nature inspired work and she gained an appreciation for the unique art culture found here in Texas. deVer returned to California in 2012 and worked with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Angeles Gate Cultural Center, and Engage, inc. in addition to teaching private lessons.

deVer is a trained dharma artist in contemplative arts. Her art and teaching style are informed by both western and eastern approaches to life and art. deVer works out of her studio in Fort Worth, Texas bringing unique programs to organizations, teaching private lessons, and offering weekend creativity retreats that combine mindfulness development and art making experiences.

This class will take place at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Teen Workshop: Botanical Drawing & Watercolors

Session One

More Info >

Do you have a teen that loves to draw and paint? Then join us for this two day teen workshop where students will cover the basics of botanical drawing and botanical watercolors with instructor Samantha Peters. Students will learn drawing skills that can be applied to any subject and complete a botanical drawing and watercolor of a subject of their choosing. On Day 1 students will learn basic observational drawing skills, with an emphasis on correct proportion. Students will learn basics of perspective, contour drawing, value, continuous tone, lighting, and shade to create form. On Day 2 students will learn basic watercolor techniques, including creating flat and graded washes, dry brushing, and basic color theory. 

Instructor Samantha Peters is a science illustrator based in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, leaving once she realized illustrating her study guides was more fun than actually studying them. Afterwards, while living in New York City, she discovered a love of botanical art through classes at the New York Botanical Garden, and decided to pursue science illustration full time, attending the graduate program in Science Illustration at California State University, Monterey Bay. Samantha currently works in the graphics department at the Dallas Zoo and is the President of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Texas Group. Member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the American Society of Botanical Artists. 

This class will take place at BRIT.

Please Note: This is a two day class that will take place on two consecutive Saturdays.
Day One - 6/16/2018
Day Two - 6/23/2018.
 

$150 members/$175 non-members

Required Materials:

  • Paints
    Look for professional grade watercolors. Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith are good brands. I prefer tubes, but half pan kits are very good.
    Basic/Primary Palette: Lemon or Winsor yellow, Cadmium yellow medium, scarlet lake, quinacridone rose, French ultramarine, Prussian blue, burnt sienna, neutral tint. 
    Also useful: sap green, quinacridone gold, quinacridone magenta
    You can also purchase a pocket set with 12 or 24 half-pans — look for something with at least two yellows, two reds, and two blues, and buy what you can afford.
  • Brushes
    Round watercolor brushes with good points. Size 0 and 6 are good sizes, but this depends on your preference. Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Sceptre Gold, and Princeton are good brands. Look for a sable or synthetic/sable blend with a good point.
  • Mixing palette
    White porcelain plates are available for a few dollars at Target. You can also use plastic palettes with multiple wells – look for one with a lid.
  • Plastic tubs for water - empty cream cheese or butter tubs work well!
  • Viva brand paper towels
  • Saral graphite transfer paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils: 2H, H, HB, and 2B graphite pencils, or lead with holder.
  • Handheld sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • White vinyl eraser (Magic Rub or similar)
  • Small ruler (clear ones are great!)
  • Drafting tape
  • Drawing Paper: Strathmore 400 series Drawing paper or Stonehenge brand smooth drawing paper.
  • Watercolor paper: HOT PRESS 140 lb or higher — look for Fabriano or Arches brand. (A good paper that works for both drawing and watercolor is Fabriano Studio 140lb Hot Press!)

Introduction to Oil Painting: Botanical still lifes

More Info >

This full day workshop is designed to provide an introduction to oil painting materials and techniques with an emphasis on color mixing. Participants will paint still lifes and botanical specimens from the BRIT collection from direct observation and can complete at least one work. We will discuss tips for working cleanly and safely with oil paint at home, as well. This course is well suited for someone with no oil painting experience, but who has some experience with drawing or watercolor. If you have painted in oils before but would like a refresher and new inspiration from BRIT’s collection, this is also the class for you. Please bring a brown bag lunch and snack, and be prepared for a fun day of painting!

Instructor Devon Nowlin is a Fort Worth native who holds a BFA from the University of North Texas (2004) and an MFA from Texas Christian University (2011). Recent exhibitions include "Casual Luxury Complex" at Artspace 111, "Don't Deny Your Heart" at Stephen F. Austin State University, and "Cult of Personality" at David Shelton Gallery, Houston. Nowlin has taught at TCU, The Modern, and the Rachofsky Warehouse and is currently the Assistant Registrar at the Amon Carter Museum. Nowlin is a co-founding member of the Fort Worth-based art collective HOMECOMING! Committee, whose exhibitions include "Friskt kopplat, halfen brunnet" (Quickly connected, half burned) for the 2013 Texas Biennial and "Post Communique" at the Dallas Museum of Art. Her public works include "Trailing the Trinity," commissioned by Fort Worth Public Art for the Clearfork Main Street Bridge and the "Look Book Fort Worth" photographic series for the Westbend development on University Drive

Required Materials:

I teach the use of a “limited pallet.” You will see that there are no greens, purples or blacks on this primary list; we will learn to mix them from this limited color selection. 37ml tubes are sufficient but you may benefit from buying a 200ml tube of white.

  • Cadmium Red (or Hue)
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Thalo Blue
  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Lemon Yellow (or Hue)
  • Cadmium Yellow (or Hue)
  • 37 ml or 200ml Titanium White

In addition to paint, you should bring:

  • 1 small glass jar with lid
  • 3 small thin rags (old t-shirts are great)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • 2 primed canvases, 11 x 14 to 16 x 20 inch size is suggested

Brushes, painting mediums, and paper palettes will be provided, and during the course we will discuss other useful supplies for continuing your painting practice at home.

This class will be held at BRIT.

$85 members/$95 non-members

Teen Workshop: Botanical drawing & watercolors

Session Two

More Info >

Do you have a teen who loves to draw and paint? Then join us for this two day teen workshop where students will cover the basics of botanical drawing and botanical watercolors with instructor Samantha Peters. Students will learn drawing skills that can be applied to any subject and complete a botanical drawing and watercolor of a subject of their choosing. On Day 1 students will learn basic observational drawing skills, with an emphasis on correct proportion. Students will learn basics of perspective, contour drawing, value, continuous tone, lighting, and shade to create form. On Day 2 students will learn basic watercolor techniques, including creating flat and graded washes, dry brushing, and basic color theory. 

Instructor Samantha Peters is a science illustrator based in Dallas, Texas. She received her B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin and attended the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, leaving once she realized illustrating her study guides was more fun than actually studying them. Afterwards, while living in New York City, she discovered a love of botanical art through classes at the New York Botanical Garden, and decided to pursue science illustration full time, attending the graduate program in Science Illustration at California State University, Monterey Bay. Samantha currently works in the graphics department at the Dallas Zoo and is the President of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators Texas Group. Member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the American Society of Botanical Artists. 

This class will take place at BRIT.

Please Note: This is a two day class that will take place on two consecutive Saturdays.
Day One - 7/28/2018
Day Two - 8/04/2018. 

$150 members/$175 non-members

Required Materials:

  • Paints 
    Look for professional grade watercolors. Winsor Newton and Daniel Smith are good brands. I prefer tubes, but half pan kits are very good. 
    Basic/Primary Palette: Lemon or Winsor yellow, Cadmium yellow medium, scarlet lake, quinacridone rose, French ultramarine, Prussian blue, burnt sienna, neutral tint.  
    Also useful: sap green, quinacridone gold, quinacridone magenta 
    You can also purchase a pocket set with 12 or 24 half-pans — look for something with at least two yellows, two reds, and two blues, and buy what you can afford.
  • Brushes 
    Round watercolor brushes with good points. Size 0 and 6 are good sizes, but this depends on your preference. Windsor Newton, Daniel Smith, Sceptre Gold, and Princeton are good brands. Look for a sable or synthetic/sable blend with a good point.
  • Mixing palette 
    White porcelain plates are available for a few dollars at Target. You can also use plastic palettes with multiple wells – look for one with a lid.
  • Plastic tubs for water - empty cream cheese or butter tubs work well!
  • Viva brand paper towels
  • Saral graphite transfer paper
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils: 2H, H, HB, and 2B graphite pencils, or lead with holder.
  • Handheld sharpener
  • Kneaded eraser
  • White vinyl eraser (Magic Rub or similar)
  • Small ruler (clear ones are great!)
  • Drafting tape
  • Drawing Paper: Strathmore 400 series Drawing paper or Stonehenge brand smooth drawing paper.
  • Watercolor paper: HOT PRESS 140 lb or higher — look for Fabriano or Arches brand. (A good paper that works for both drawing and watercolor is Fabriano Studio 140lb Hot Press!)