Student Success Stories

Pam Thompson’s Milkweed, progress through receiving feedback on the Art Feed, with a note ‘There is always an ugly stage. KEEP GOING!’


For more than 5 years, Draw Botanical has fostered a community of 200+ artists (of all skill levels) sharing a love of creating botanical art. We don’t just teach botanical drawing. We encourage slowing down, exploring plants on a micro level (almost as if you were an insect!), and prioritizing your JOY! Especially in this world that can feel overwhelmingly fast and busy, like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of everything that needs your attention, it’s important to remember to practice self-compassion. You are a human being, and you deserve to spend (at least some) time pursuing your passion, making your heart happy.

Botanical drawing is beneficial to all who practice, but many in our community have reported that discovering their joy in botanical art has been truly life-changing. There are those who simply find that enjoying 10+ minutes of drawing every day brightens their mood, and there are others whose passion leads them to pursue further instruction and certification


Wendy Hollender & Pam Thompson, Draw Botanical Instructors


One such success story is one of our talented instructors, Pam Thompson. Raised in the middle of nowhere, this aspiring artist developed a deep curiosity about the woodland plants that surrounded her, but Pam didn’t discover her love of botanical art until 2017 when she attended a workshop with Wendy! She tells it best:

“After earning my PhD in Chemistry, science consumed my life, and art was just something I enjoyed occasionally at museums, but I didn’t have the time or brain space to continue to draw. A lot of anxiety accompanied having kids, so to cope, I started foraging gourmet mushrooms to get myself back to nature. After harvesting a particularly interesting morel one day, I came inside and searched, ‘how to draw a mushroom.’ I got my feet wet with Botanical Basics, learning how to achieve a full range of tones to create realistic 3D forms, one skill at a time. My first workshop with Wendy was when I really fell head over heels in love with botanical drawing. It satisfied both the scientific and the creative parts of my brain while keeping me grounded in nature. I love getting to know each of my subjects intimately, like dear friends. It’s always exciting for me to study a plant’s structure and learn the unique adaptations and quirks that plants have developed to survive. “


Nightshades by Pam Thompson


“As someone with crippling social anxiety and fear of public speaking, the Draw Botanical community has been a safe place for me to stretch those atrophied muscles. I started with participating in the Art Feed before chiming in during webinar discussions, and now, I’m talking for hours in front of students while teaching zoom workshops! I still get nervous before a class, but once we start investigating the day’s subject, the anxiety melts away

Like much of our community, I had a completely different life before discovering botanical art. I remember what it’s like to begin learning, to start something new. Those aha! moments that eventually become second nature are still fresh in my mind. I am still learning and am enrolled in the Botanical Illustration Program at the New York Botanical Garden. I hope that this encourages those of you just dipping their toes into this new challenge to keep practicing!”


Our community has numerous brilliant artists whose experiences speak for themselves:

“Drawing with you has led me back to the worlds I loved since childhood: exploring in nature, admiring what’s all around/being a citizen scientist, and making drawings!” –Sheila Y.

“I have always loved to draw and paint, but I had fallen into a rut and had not made time to create art for years. The Draw Botanical video lessons and community have given me the structure and encouragement that I needed to get back into a consistent drawing practice. Learning Wendy’s botanical drawing techniques via the video lessons has enabled me to create beautiful artworks that I had not known I was capable of before. With the support of the Draw Botanical community via the Art Feed and the monthly Zoom webinars, I have found the confidence to share my art with others and have even sold one of my artworks in a gallery exhibition. This is a dream come true for me! But most importantly, I just get so much enjoyment from botanical drawing, and I can’t imagine life without this daily practice now.” – Jill A.


Sugar Starfish by Jill Amadei


“The decision to sign up for Wendy Hollender’s on-line video classes has been life changing for me. The learning process is accessible… with in depth learning examples which I return to again and again for inspiration. I anticipate the monthly on-line meetings with excitement and nervousness, but the challenge is what I need to get drawing, and the community of other students is essential to my creative process. Drawing can be a lonely pursuit but listening to Wendy’s instructional videos helps me through the mental and technical process of creating. My drawing skills have greatly improved, as well as my observations of plants and understanding of botanical art and botany. Wendy’s team works together to give positive and critical feedback for moving forward, and I enjoy the process of working with them with the goal of completing the course in my own time.” –Susanlora M.

“I had no idea how much I could learn through seeing other’s art and hearing the discussion about it. That’s been my best resource for learning since I finished the basics course… I’m learning to draw and drawing to learn… I look at the world differently as I go on walks. I look forward to the intellectual challenge of drawing a new thing. I sometimes save work I’m unhappy with to remind me it’s a process… It’s good for us to be beginners at something. It’s good for our brains and our humility. I’ve enjoyed the process of being a beginner.” –Sara S.



THANK YOU all for being part of the Draw Botanical family. We’ve seen the world change so much in the last five years, but the Draw Botanical community has been a refreshing constant in our lives. We are thrilled to continue hosting this talented hub of creatives! In order to continue providing at the caliber you’ve grown to expect, we need to make some small adjustments to our subscription programs (including the addition of an option to join our community for the year!).

As of September 1, 2022, our subscription offerings will be as follows:
The Practice of Botanical Drawing Online Course ($50/month OR $500/year)
Botanical Basics Online Course ($35/month)
Community Subscription ($20/month OR $200/year)

We truly value your commitment and participation and hope that you will stay involved as we move forward together. We believe in the power of connecting with nature, and we know that (once you try it) you will too! So please share this with everyone in your lives that you think might benefit, and assure them that they can try it for FREE for the first week to ensure their joyful experience before committing to a purchase.

If you have any questions, please contact us. 

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