Winter Botanical Drawing Workshop

with Mira O'Brien (Berlin Drawing Room Founding Director) and Matthias Wilkens (Botanical Expert from Prinzessinnengarten)

Join us for a special winter edition of the Botanical Drawing Workshop. Learn techniques for botanical illustration inspired by the tradition of Naturalists, who recorded their scientific discoveries through detailed painting and drawing. We will be making our own discoveries through a process of close observation guided by Matthias' botanical expertise. Drawing and watercolor techniques specific to the subject matter, such as layering with watercolors in order to capture different textures and the effect of fine detail, will be introduced each week. 

No previous experience required.

Topics will include:

  • Microscopy drawing: with images projected live via Beamer accompanied by scientific explanation.
  • Cross-sections with layered watercolor, see example below.
  • Winter specimen possibilities to draw and paint from: succulents, forced apple blossoms, ferns, orchids, seed pods, etc...

Course Schedule: February 15 - March 15

  • 5 x on Wednesday in the studio from 6 - 9 pm
  • 1 x field trip, Saturday, March 4 from 12 - 2 pm 

Cost: 140

Full version of this workshop will be offered in Summer 2017. 

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in the Glasshouse at the Prinzessinnengarten, painting medicinal plants

in the Glasshouse at the Prinzessinnengarten, painting medicinal plants

Botanical Drawing Workshop: coming Summer 2017

Learn techniques for botanical illustration in this workshop held in collaboration with the Prinzessinnengarten.  Inspired by the tradition of Naturalists, who recorded specimens through detailed paintings and drawings, we will explore the fauna of Kreuzberg.

On Saturdays we meet in the Prinzessinnengarten and work out in the field. Matze, our plant-expert at the garden, will introduce us to the plants. Each week we will focus on a different theme, such as medicinal plants, trees of the garden, etc... These notes can be incorporated into the illustrations.

On Wednesday evenings we meet in the studio, where we will focus on learning new watercolor and drawing techniques. Specimens will be available to work from in the studio, and we will always work from direct observation. Topics might include plant-pressings, cross-sections, succulents, etc...

The drawings and painting we make in this workshop will be more like the field notes kept in the sketch books of Naturalists than the highly polished technical illustrations found in a botany textbook. These recordings are just as much about the subjective process of observation as they are about the recording of scientific data. It is this process of gaining understanding through experience that leaves these illustrations somewhere on a spectrum between art and science. **

Techniques will include line drawing with watercolor tea wash, building up layers with watercolor washes, adding detail with special watercolor effects and paying close attention to oft-overlooked subjects! Find a link to the Supply List here.

Course Schedule: Spring/ Summer 2017!

Mira’s Botanical Drawing Workshop made me enjoy spring so much. It was wonderful to sit in the Prinzessinnengarten, to learn about the plants from the gardener, to focus on their beautiful colors and forms, and to put them down on paper. I also enjoyed the classes in the studio that were a good mix of Mira’s teaching (on various watercolor techniques and art history) and own drawing sessions with calm music in the background. I can highly recommend the workshop – and just signed up for the next one!
— Isabel H. (Botanical Workshop, 2016)
I learned far more in the short time of the Botanical Drawing Workshop than I ever expected. The course combines watercolor and drawing technique with art history and the botanical history of local plant life, which provided a new way of looking at the city of Berlin. It was a really relaxing environment to work in both in the studio and at the Prinzessinengarten. Mira is a wonderful and creative teacher and I can highly recommend her and the course to anyone with interest regardless of skill level.
— Erin R. (Botanical, 2016)