Cornell University Department of Horticulture
This six-week online course for beginners (seven including the
introductory week) teaches you how to use plants as the subject of art
with easy approaches and many visual examples. Because you take the
course online, you can access it whenever you want and complete the
lessons at your own pace.
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
Introduction to Botanical Illustration 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. The deadline
for submission of all assignments will be on the Friday of each week.
To get the most out of the experience, you should expect to spend 3
to 4 hours per week on the lessons and assignments. The course is
offered through Moodle, an easy-to-use online interface that you’ll
view through your personal computer’s web browser, or print out to use
elsewhere. No additional software is required, but you will need a
scanner to submit your assignments.