Art Courses at the Botanic Gardens

2014-2015 Art Classes 

(For horticultural lectures, please click on the menu choice: Lecture, Programs & Travel)

NEW: 2014-2015 Program Brochure

2014 Spring-Summer Program Brochure

Registration Form

Materials Lists

Instructor bios

Questions? Contact WCBG Friends: or 781-283-3094.



Introduction to Botany through Drawing

Enhance your drawing skills by learning about the structure of plants. Carol Govan encourages you in a non-stressful environment to draw quickly and observe more of the endless variety of plant forms and their adaptations in the WCBG. Experiment with various media to find which is most appropriate for your individual style. Get comfortable making visual notes about your discoveries. Have fun and skip the worry about achieving a perfect drawing. The more you draw the more you see, and you’ll find that your drawings will also improve. Study the growth of one plant at the WCBG over time. Continue to draw at home as you fi nd out what part of a plant you have for dinner. Learn to recognize and record the distinctive plant parts of several major families: orchids, legumes, composites, etc. CBA students: Final course project required.
8 Mondays: Sept. 15, 22; Oct. 6, 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10, 17 BAC 15 111
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Members $250 / Non-Members $295

Seasonal Treasures – Practical Uses

Gather those botanical treasures you discover on walks and bring them to this 2-day seminar with award-winning artist Beverly Duncan, known for her Ashfield Compositions. In your choice of media, envision fresh and compelling ways to compose and paint a small work, reproducible for any number of uses such as note cards, business cards, gift tags, table settings, holiday invitations and more. For intermediate and beyond botanical artists.
2 days: Sat., Sept. 27 – Sun., Sept. 28
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. BAC 15 065
Members $150 / Non-Members $185

Foundations of Botanical Drawing & Painting
All abilities are welcome!

Celebrate the colors of seasonal plants while learning how to realistically depict your subject matter in pencil and then in watercolor with our lead instructor and Education Director, Sarah Roche. Through demonstrations and tutorials Sarah will introduce you to the traditional art and science of botanical drawing and painting. Instructional focus includes observational skills, drawing, composition, design, and watercolor techniques. Th is course is the core of WCBG Friends’ Botanical Art Program.
8 Wed.: Sept. 17, 24; Oct. 1, 8, 22, 29; Nov. 5, 12 BAC 15 101 B
Classes meet weekly 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
8-week session: Members $240 / Non-Members $295

Half-Foundations of Botanical Drawing & Painting

Focusing on the rudiments of botanical art, this Foundations class with Sarah Roche is split between the fall and winter sessions and will focus on two separate four week projects. The content will be similar to the 8 week class, but may offer a solution to those with a tight schedule. Sign up for one or both sessions! CBA students will need to complete both modules for the class to qualify as part of their CBA course requirements.
4 Thurs.: Oct. 2, 9, 23, 30 BAC 15 101i
4 Thurs.: Feb. 26; March 5, 12, 19 (Snow Date: Mar. 26) BAC 15 101ii
Classes meet weekly 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Each 4-week session: Members $150 / Non-Members $190
Package Price for both sessions: Members $260 / Non-Members $325

Watercolor Painting in the Botanic Gardens

Be inspired and renewed by the awesome diversity of natural forms in Wellesley College’s Ferguson Greenhouses. Or use your drawings, memory and imagination to develop ideas in the studio classroom. In this watercolor class suitable for adults at all levels of experience, award-winning artist/educator Susan Swinand offers weekly critiques and suggests projects to spark your creativity and develop your skill in handling watercolors. Lessons will focus on basic design principles, learning to portray what you see, mixing color, and watercolor painting techniques such as applying washes and glazes, wet-into-wet color, achieving hard and soft edges, etc. With our small class size, your individual needs and interests are addressed one-on-one.
7 Thursdays: Sept. 25; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6 WCC 15 201
Classes meet weekly 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Per 7-class series: Members $200 / Non-Members $250