Expressive Botanical Illustration
Cabrillo Extension Ann Thiermann
Hours: 1:00-4:30 on five Saturdays: Oct 25-. Nov. 22
Drawing & Painting Class Demos: Basic color, shading, and compositional concepts will be
presented that participants can interpret with individualized media. Ann will demonstrate in conte,
pastel, and acrylic washes. You may substitute colored pencils for pastel and watercolor or
colored inks for acrylic washes, but pastel and acrylic will give the most vibrant colors and can
easily be combined. Please no oil. (water-soluble oil OK) You are not required to work in the
specific demo medium but encouraged to try both still life and tree studies in both limited and full
First Session: Bring two to three contrasting colorful squashes that you would enjoy
drawing, and (if available) unusual baskets and colorful leaves from your yard. There
will be a fun fall still life available in the classroom.
Supplies for First Class: black & white sketching material including:
Newsprint and neutral grey or tan charcoal paper; sanguine (earth red), black and white conte;
medium vine charcoal; chamois(blending rag),and white artist's tape or blue painters tape to
attach cover sheets of newsprint.
Supplies below will be discussed first class
PAPER: 1. Newsprint pad (32 LB) approximate size 18" x "24 minimum 11" x 17"
2. Strathmore charcoal or Canson Mi-teintes pastel paper-3-4 full sheets, 19" x 25" or 6 half sheets:
minimum size 12" x 18". Pick grey, deep blue or black, and dark red, tan or dark brown. We need gray or
tan for first session. Turqouise or sky blues (strong complementary colors to the earth fall colors). Pick up
some fun grey-green or unusual colors of card stock- good for quick studies or small studies. Classmates
may want to share. Avoid white or very light colors!
3. White drawing paper, good for graphite, ink wash, and acrylic wash, minimum size 11" x 14". 801b
minimum (you may also use watercolor paper or bristol paper)
Black & White GRAPHITE & CHARCOAL:
One Dark Wash(8B) Derwent Sketching Pencil.
One package(medium to soft) vine charcoal.
Erasers: Kneaded(for charcoal), white plastic or Art gum,(graphite).
One charcoal pencil; 4B or 6B.
Three Conte sticks: Soft: white, black, & sanguine(earth red) or brown (bistre).
One 3" x 4" chamois,(blending cloth) & optional one Tortillon (stump).;
Optional: bottle of brown (sepia ink) and/or 3 values of brown in tombo pens. Optional: Micron
brown or black pen 03, (instructor will provide black ink wash materials). Optional: Japanese
bamboo brush, or watercolor brush with a point, to use with wash pencils and ink.(instructor will
provide bamboo ink wash brushes)
Optional: Spray workable fixative Lascaux and Grumbacher best for pastel. Hair spray is OK for
rough charcoal studies.
1.Drafting Tape or blue painter's masking tape(hardware store) for cover sheets over drawings. 2.Artbin,
fishing tackle or candy box to hold drawing and miscellaneous art supplies.
3.1 exacto knife or single-edge razor (sharpening pastels & conte) and hand-held pencil sharpener.
Erasers: Kneaded for pastel and charcoal, Pentel-Click eraser ZE21 Japan for graphite
& colored pencils. For graphite or colored pencil, use Art-Gum
4. Flat nylon brush for acrylic washes. 1- 1/12 inch
5.Layered clothing for outside drawing, including visor, easel or stool and backing board for work. 6.
Artist tote board 23" x 26"(masonite with clips) & optional large rubber band.
I use a homemade portfolio made from two pieces of foam-core duck-taped together (could also be smooth
cardboard) which serves as a backing board in the field and also protects the artwork.
•(optional). Krylon or Grumbacher workable fixative for charcoal and graphite.
•(optional) for charcoal: rubber gloves, Marianne's SkinSafer, handi-wipes.
Colors: You Pick One or More.
1. Beginners start with Nu-pastels and medium vine charcoal, add a few soft pastel colors.
Purchase a minimum of 36 Nu-pastels from:
a. Jerry's Artarama 1 800-U-artist
b. Daniel Smith 1 (800) 426 7923
c. ASW 1 (800) 995-6778
d. Lenz or Palace in Santa Cruz,
e. Try a set of oil pastels Van Gogh -reasonable, great colors.•
or Derwent or Prismacolor sticks: minimum 12 plus white and medium grey.
(if you can afford more, variety is great. Costco sometimes has great buys)
optional: One colored pencil blender (Prismacolor clear blender)
In combination with the colored pencils and pastel use:
• Acrylic washes: in Indian yellow, yellow ochre, orange, cobalt blue. burnt sienna.
Instructor will provide. Bring acrylics, gouache, or colored inks if you have them. Bristol board or
watercolor paper is best for gouache.
• Optional: Water-soluble colored pencils (Derwent is good) or set of colored marking pens, fine
Supplies: buy @ Palace 1501 41 St., Capitola; Lenz Arts, 142 River, Santa Cruz; or Wild
Rose in Watsonville, 722-4282. @ Crossroads
OUTLINE: Expressive Botanical Illustration
Instructor: Ann Thiermann
SESSION I: Creating dramatic still-life compositions
Slide Presentation: "Still life through the ages"
Review basic shading of cylindrical and spherical shapes to give your veggies volume.
Explore the power of "light effect" to dramatize your composition.
Try the old master technique of "crayon a trois". red, white and black conte on grey or tan paper.
Time permitting: Introduction to ink wash(brushes and ink provided) as a sketching technique for leaves, still life
SESSION 2: Develop still life in color:
Bring you still life material including leaves, color drawing tools(pastels or colored pencils) including conte
and charcoal, and your colored pastel or charcoal paper. Bring white paper and newsprint for ink or acrylic
washes and conte.
Explore the power of complementary colors for reflected lights, background, and foreground.
Explore directional strokes for light effect.
Explore color contour lines over wash drawings.
SESSION 3: Demystify the shapes of the landscape matriarch: the tree.
Slide Presentation: "Fall Color and the tree in Landscape."
Review basic shading of trees including canopy, bark, branches, and silhouette.
Sketch trees in color from photos exploring substitute complementary colors for "brown".
Create a fall landscape with the silhouette of colorful trees using acrylic or ink washes and pastel.
Time permiting, begin our exploration of fall color on campus.
SESSION 4: Fall Plein-Air: Explore Our beautiful colony of campus trees.
Be sure to bring layered clothes, and outside equipment including: backing board and paper, easel or stool,
and your choice of colored media.
SESSION 5: Pulling it all Together: Meet in classroom and refine drawings from the first four sessions.
Optional: return to still life or select on campus trees for sketching. 3:45-4:45: Final critique and potluck
sharing. Invite friends to see our beautiful display of Fall color.