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Botanical Illustration: The Art of Seeing, Drawing & Painting Plants. A 2-day workshop with artists Donna Torres and Kathleen Harrison
Occidental Center for the Arts, Botanical Dimensions
Occidental, CA
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This 2-day workshop will focus on the accurate representation of plants in graphite and watercolor. Kathleen will lead the first day of drawing. We will introduce how to see the form of a plant, tools and materials, and each make a graphite drawing of a plant. Donna will teach the second day, teaching specific watercolor techniques used in botanical art, color theory and special techniques to bring life into your plant illustration. You will leave with at least one completed portrait. If space allows, people may register for just one day or the other. If you do not yet have realistic drawing skills, register for the whole weekend, or for the Saturday. Those who attend on Sunday should have a little experience with realistic rendering, or sign up for the whole weekend.

Donna Torres is a Miami-based artist who teaches painting at Florida International University and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  Donnas drawings, paintings and multimedia projects reflect her interest in medicinal plants and shamanism. Her artworks have been exhibited widely in the US and abroad. Her latest projects include illustrating The Nature of Drugs, by Alexander Shulgin, including 25 of her paintings of shamanic plants from all over the world. You may see her wonderful work at

Ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison (founder and program director of Botanical Dimensions), teaches many topics in ethnobotany. She also draws and teaches botanical drawing in various media.

Kat and Donna are old friends, who are delighted to be working together in this way.

Donna writes: "I want to look beyond the surface of things and see what ties everything together. Can paintings give us a sense of hope or a sense of the wonder we experience when all things are new? My recent work focuses on breaking away from a habituated viewing of what is around us and looks for the small details that enrich life."  

Kathleen says: I am continually enchanted by meditation on the true forms of plants. The drawing process transports me out of my thoughts and into the art of perception itself.

What you need:
If you have a set of watercolors and brushes please bring them. Drawing tools and paper will be provided. Please bring a magnifying glass if you have one; as low as 2X is fine. If you have a small portable lamp, this can be helpful. Once you register, you will get a complete list, but BD will endeavor to supply most of the materials.

The class will be held at the classroom adjacent to the Botanical Dimensions Ethnobotany Library, so you will have access to many beautiful books of plant illustrations. We are situated at the Occidental Center for the Arts, in West Sonoma County, about 90 min. drive north of San Francisco.

*Cancellation policy: Full refunds can only be granted if attendee notifies Botanical Dimensions of withdrawal 10 days in advance of the day of the class. If attendee gives less than 10 days notice, we regret that no refund is possible. If Botanical Dimensions needs to cancel a class for any reason, we will notify you as soon as possible (at least 1 day prior to the event) and you will receive a full refund, less the servicing fee charged to you by Brown Paper Tickets.

Please contact us at with any questions.
Registration Options
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Thank you for your interest in this exceptional class and rare opportunity to learn from these artists.


Occidental Center for the Arts, Botanical Dimensions (View)
3830 Doris Murphy Court (Graton Rd & Bohemian Hwy)
Occidental, CA 95465
United States


Arts > Visual
Education > Classes
Education > Workshops

Minimum Age: 16
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Botanical Dimensions
On BPT Since: Jun 11, 2015
Botanical Dimensions

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