The Practice of Botanical Drawing Course Overview

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

She has developed this online drawing course as a way to encourage botanical drawing as a “practice” and a routine, part of life. The course offers ongoing lessons and support for students to encourage them to draw month-to-month.

Topics covered in The Practice of Botanical Drawing Course include:

  • Basic light source on a three-dimensional object
  • Smooth toning using a complete range of values from light to dark
  • Using grisalle technique and then layer color on top
  • Drawing overlaps
  • Rendering a three-dimensional round form
  • Spiral patterns in nature
  • Drawing leaves with net veining
  • The structure of flowers form and function
  • Flower shapes
  • Taking apart flowers, studying reproductive parts
  • Basic perspective of flowers and measuring accurately
  • Complex flowers with multiple petals and dramatic light source using a cup as a model
  • Studying plants outside in the garden
  • Identifying and drawing plants by families to gain understanding of plant patterns and similarities in plants in the same family using 9 plant families that comprise over 75,000 plant species.
  • Complex overlapping and embossing techniques
  • Adding a background
  • Creating a composition – understanding focal point
  • Color theory and color matching and mixing
  • Developing a botanical composition for a card or print
  • Creating original decorative designs from your illustrations
  • Documenting a tree or woody shrub throughout the seasons
botanical drawing illustration colored pencil branch wendy hollender

LESSON 1: Drawing a Branch in Color

botanical drawing illustration colored pencil acorn wendy hollender

LESSON 2: Drawing an Acorn in Color

botanical drawing illustration colored pencil leaf wendy hollender

LESSON 3: Drawing Leaves

wendy hollender botanical illustration illustrator artist art drawing color
botanical drawing workshop class illustration wendy hollender

Have you ever wanted to draw botanicals with a community?

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

I consider the introduction to the techniques of botanical drawing a gift in my life, and it is my passion to share it with you in my online drawing courses. 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 Practice of Botanical Drawing Online Course encourages students to continue to draw during their busy lives on a regular basis.

Observing nature’s quiet beauty, structure, and color is a wonderful way to learn to draw and experience nature at the same time.

The discipline of botanical illustration encompassed a series of techniques that should be practiced over and over again. The materials used are portable and simple making this a stress-free way to work. My approach in my online drawing course is always to describe form first, color second. Draw indoors or outdoors, creating a simple workspace that does not require much set up or clean up.

The key elements that we will learn in the online botanical drawing course are: Value, consistent light source, perspective, plant structure, and use of realistic color.

The community aspect of this online drawing course is a great motivator. You are encouraged to post your work, view other students’ work, and get involved in the discussion around the lessons. A monthly webinar is our virtual, real-time classroom critique of the month’s work, and students love participating and receiving feedback this way.

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:
    • Lessons 1-16
    • Worksheets
    • Videos
    • PDFs
    • Community forum
    • Monthly webinar
  • The format of the program:
    • You will be able to download all PDFs. Videos cannot be downloaded. If you prefer a hard copy of the lessons and videos, we offer Printed Lessons and Videos on USB in the Shop.
    • The course can be viewed on mobile devices with a wireless connection
    • To attend a live webinar, you must be able to run Adobe Connect (or the Adobe Connect App), Flash Player, and have a reliable internet connection. To watch a recorded webinar, you will need Flash Player.
  • 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?

Through botanical drawing, you will experience the relaxing and meditative quality of drawing from nature. If you slow down and practice these techniques in a colored pencil illustration, 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. Observing nature’s quiet beauty, structure, and color is a wonderful way to learn to draw and to experience nature at the same time. Plants can be used to learn drawing in a systematic way. The discipline of botanical colored pencil illustration encompasses a series of techniques that should be practiced over and over again. I think they are easier to learn by practicing drawing techniques and using colored pencil rather than working in watercolor in the beginning.

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

I will show you what a sharp pencil looks like, what exactly a “range of values” is, and how to measure a flower.  I will encourage you to slow down with your colored pencil illustration, observe closely, and then gently begin to take pencil to paper in a methodical but relaxed pace. This approach makes it possible for anyone to learn the techniques of botanical drawing and is valuable for the beginner and the experienced artist alike.

If you consider yourself a beginner, I encourage you to practice the basics first: check out the BOTANICAL BASICS Program.

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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.

Students in the online drawing course range from complete beginners to seasoned artists and illustrators. One of the benefits of online learning is the community support and mentorship, and the ability to network with artists from around the globe.

Watch a video about The Practice of Botanical Drawing 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.”

“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.”

“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!”

“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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