Botanical Basics Course Overview

WENDY HOLLENDER, renowned botanical illustrator, outlines her highly successful drawing techniques in three published books. In addition, she hosts extensive teaching workshops around the globe.

This online course for beginners has been developed to encourage botanical drawing as a “practice” and a routine, part of life. Lessons and support are ongoing, and students are encouraged to draw month-to-month.


Topics covered in the Botanical Basics Course include:

  • Light source
  • Art supplies
  • Render tonal layers with colored pencil. Three Tones- dark, midtone, highlight
  • Nine tones from dark to highlight
  • Continuous toning from dark to highlight
  • Create continuous blended tones on an arc tone bar (a section of a cylinder)
  • Render a tonal bar with correct light source on a cylinder
  • Turn a cylinder into a branch with correct light source
  • Draw a sphere with correct light source
  • Render a sphere with a reflective highlight and cast shadow
  • Draw a tomato in continuous tone with correct light source
  • Blend color tone bars matching the color of a branch and a tomato
  • Add color to your branch drawing
  • Add color to your tomato drawing
  • Practice drawing shapes that overlap, like roots
  • Draw the surface pattern of an apple, an onion, and a petal
  • Learn to use cross-contour lines to apply pattern to forms
  • Methods for combining watercolor and colored pencil
  • Techniques for drawing rolling and twisting forms
wendy hollender botanical illustration illustrator artist art drawing color
botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender

Have you ever wanted access to a meditative drawing routine?

Hi. I’m Wendy Hollender. I believe nature is a perfectionist when it comes to the arrangement of color and form.

The introduction to the techniques of botanical drawing have been a gift in my life, and it is my passion to share it with you. My repertoire includes three published books, and my illustrations appear in established publications. Additionally, I have taught workshops to thousands of students from all over the world.





The Botanical Basics Online Course is designed for the student that has little free time but still wants to learn botanical drawing and colored pencil drawing. “Slow drawing” allows you to draw in small manageable chunks of time, about 30 minutes per session.

Botanical Basics is filled with 30-minute exercises. I encourage you to do them all—even if you think you already understand the concept—and repeat them until you feel confident. As a result, you may find that the practice and repetition of these basic exercises is like warming up for an athlete. Your hand-eye coordination and muscle control will improve as your body becomes accustomed to drawing. The act of slow drawing with colored pencils is quite gratifying, and you may use it as a daily meditation to relax and create a routine of drawing on a regular basis.Save

Key elements that we will learn in colored pencil botanical drawing are: Value, consistent light source, perspective, plant structure, and use of realistic color.

As I draw, I always describe form first and color second. Once the form is rendered in a neutral tone, using a single primary light source, I then add color to the tonal drawing. This technique is demonstrated in the first set of lessons in Botanical Basics. By the end of the first series of colored pencil and botanical drawing exercises for beginners, you will draw from real plants and turn a simple geometric form of a cylinder and a sphere into a branch and a tomato. Finally, as your core skills increase you will learn to draw perspective and plant structure.

Draw indoors or outdoors, creating a simple workspace that does not require much set up or clean up.

Through botanical drawing, you will experience the relaxing and meditative quality of drawing from nature. I am here to help you make drawing a practice that becomes habit!

I encourage you to give it a try!



How does the program work?

  • Sign up anytime. After you purchase the program, you’ll receive immediate access to:
    • All Current Modules and Lessons
    • Instructional videos
    • Community forum
  • Program Format:
    • Videos cannot be downloaded and will not be provided on DVD, so you must have a reliable internet connection to view them.
    • The course can be viewed on mobile devices with a wireless connection
  • Email updates with additional lessons and techniques as they become available
  • Exclusive invitations to botanical drawing workshops and retreats with Wendy Hollender
learn to draw online technology botanical illustration drawing class
botanical illustration art online classes drawing flower colored pencil peony wendy hollender

Do you find yourself yearning for a deeper connection to nature?

As a result of botanical drawing, you will experience the relaxing and meditative quality of drawing from nature. If you slow down and practice these techniques, not only will you learn to draw, but you will experience a close and personal relationship with the cycle of life, exploring plants and flowers on a micro level, almost the way an insect does.

You might ask yourself, “What if I can’t draw?”

Step-by-step, I will reveal the secrets of drawing plants, at a relaxed pace that will give you the opportunity to absorb the skills and develop the confidence to draw. First of all, observing nature’s quiet beauty, structure, and color is a wonderful way to learn to draw and to experience nature at the same time. Because I encourage drawing from live subjects, the study of plants can be used to learn colored pencil and botanical drawing in a systematic way.

The discipline of botanical illustration includes a series of techniques that should be practiced over and over again. Encouragement of this repetitive practice, as well as the use of colored pencils rather than watercolor, alleviates the tension traditionally associated with botanical drawing for beginners. I recommend portable and simple materials to make this a stress-free way to work.

I use a step-by-step approach to education.

First, I will show you what a sharp pencil looks like, what exactly a “range of values” is, and how to measure a flower. Botanical Basics includes encouragement to slow down, observe closely, and then gently begin to take pencil to paper in a methodical but relaxed pace. Anyone can learn the techniques of botanical drawing this way, and these lessons are valuable for the beginner and the experienced artist alike.

botanical illustration beginners basic classes wendy hollender drawing color art sketchbook
botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender

Have you drawn before, but find yourself wanting feedback and guidance to continue?

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, we’ve got something for you.

Because our students range from complete beginners to seasoned artists and illustrator, this online botanical drawing course offers community support and mentorship, and the ability to network with artists from around the globe.

Watch a video about the Botanical Basics course

botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender
botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender
botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender


“The 2016 Year of Botanical Drawing experience was all I had hoped for. The quality of my art has improved and drawing has finally become an integral part of my daily life (and not just something I kept meaning to do). The videos, print lessons, assignments, feedback (from you, Vern, and the community), and monthly webinars all combined to provide the right level of instruction and motivation. Thank you again.”
-Marjorie Webb, CPSA

“Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for posting all your fantastic drawings. They are an inspiration to me and I am so grateful for this program and all of you!”

“Wendy, your play-by-play on this months videos was extremely helpful and much appreciated. Another terrific class. Many thanks to you and Vern.”

“I’m continually amazed at the fabulous work everyone is doing, and I love that we’re all learning from each other. “

“I got together with our local drawing group on Saturday, and it was so fun! We were so engrossed in our work and sharing tips, etc. that we forgot to take pics!”

“Wow! I am so appreciative and humbled by your feedback! All I can think is that I have been able to progress this far because you are such a gifted teacher. I am loving the work we are doing and am so glad that I decided to take this course. I should also mention how inspiring the work of all the other students has been. This is a great way to learn and be a part of a community.”

“My Sketchbook has become like a diary to me. This class has brought me so much joy! I find I am far more observant and mindful than ever before! I look forward to drawing times. They are so peaceful for me.  …I have found this class life changing!”

“Wendy, you out did my expectations and thank you so much for the real-time drawing. I love watching you as you work and the reminders and explanations you give for each step are wonderful!”

“Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Your commentary is immensely helpful and answered so many questions I had.”

“I’m still trying to catch up, but don’t want to rush myself as I so love spending the time with these assignments.”

“Wow! I don’t quit know how to reply to your very generous comments except to say Thank You! And not just for your feedback on this post but for all of the time, hard work, and excellent instruction you have given us over the last eight months. It has all been incredible. I have always been in love with botanical art and to be able to begin to develop my own skill at this art form in such a short time has been so exciting! You are a wonderful teacher”!


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