Tag Archive | Botanical Artists of canada

Toronto Botanical Garden Workshop — June 2019

I was back at the Toronto Botanical Garden on June 15 & 16 for another two-day botanical drawing workshop titled The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing. The workshop featured graphite as a drawing medium in botanical art. Students were given step-by-step instructions along with exercises on gesture, contour drawing and blending techniques to produce realistic botanical drawings. The projects for the workshop included a Fuchsia and Daffodils .

Above: The classrooms and lecture rooms at the Toronto Botanical Garden.

About the Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located in Toronto’s Edwards Gardens and is a gardening education and information centre. Termed “The little garden with big ideas,” the TBG opened in 1958 and features a superb collection of themed “city-sized gardens.”

Above: Krinkled White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) features large slightly fragrant blossoms with white paper-like, crinkled petals and and a central burst of golden stamens.

Edwards Gardens is a public park, owned and administered by the City of Toronto, whereas the Toronto Botanical Garden is a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to disseminating horticultural and gardening information to the public. Alexander Milne, a Scottish miller, settled his family and built his business on the site that we now know as Edwards Gardens in 1817. The land stayed in the Milne family for over a hundred years. Subsequent owners made some improvements to the property, but the area eventually became over-grown and weed-ridden. In 1944, a Toronto businessman, Rupert Edwards, bought the property to fulfill his dream of creating a magnificent country garden with wide open spaces and plenty of room to move and breath.

Above: Perhaps the tallest of the ornamental onions, Allium giganteum has a striking globe of tiny star-shaped lilac-purple flowers. 

Edwards transformed the property into a glorious garden, boasting one of the largest rockeries in Canada, a private 9-hole golf course and a safe haven for wildlife. Ten years later, when the city began to encroach upon the property, Edwards decided to sell. Wanting to preserve the estate as a public park, he sold it to the then Metro (Toronto) Council.

In 1956, Edwards Gardens was opened to the public and the Garden Club of Toronto shared Milne House facilities with The Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The Garden Club wanted to establish a facility which would provide horticultural information to the public and to that end, the Toronto Botanical Garden was established.

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located at 777 Lawrence Avenue East at Leslie Street, in Toronto, Ontario.

Phone: 416-397-1340

The gardens are open year-round from dawn until dusk and admission is free of charge. Check out their website to see what is happening!

www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca

Allium giganteum

Above: Golden yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)

The Workshop

The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing

The drawing process  starts with a series of gesture sketches and exercises to establish a good composition. Once the basic composition of the subject has been decided, the next step is to produce a simple geometric framework of the plant as a base for developing the drawing. When the sketch is completed over the geometric lines, a final contour drawing completes the process prior to applying graphite tonal values.

Many layers in graphite create a high contrast drawing.

Light H (hard) graphite pencils form the initial tonal base.

Below: First the basic geometry of the subject is established, then the contour or line drawing, followed by tonal rendering in graphite.

With step-by-step instructional pages, demonstrations and individual attention given to each student, developing drawing skills necessary for botanical art becomes relatively easy.

Student project shown next to a copy of my completed fuchsia drawing.

Below: Completed student drawing.

Below: Blending stumps and/or tortillons and a kneaded eraser work hand in hand with the H and B graphite pencils.

Below: Completed fuchsia drawing.

The next project on the second day of the workshop featured Daffodils, completed using a hatching technique in graphite.

Hatching
Hatching is a technique often used in graphite or pen and ink drawings to produce tone and texture in a range of values by applying small hatch lines or strokes sloping in the same direction. Darker values are built up by closing the gaps between the hatch lines to produce more density in the hatching. Cross-hatching is also used where the lines are crisscrossed over each other to create a different range of darker values.

The sketch is transferred onto illustration board and the first layers of hatched lines are established.

Below: Shows the development of the drawing.

Step-by-step project pages help to create an accurate drawing.

Below: Daffodils and Fuchsia on a 20 x 15 inch #79 Peterboro Illustration board.

Working on detail.

Below: The layers of hatch lines are starting to show contrasting values and three-dimensional form.

Below: Daffodils and fuchsia drawings.

Below: Starting my Kordana Rose drawing.

Detail of the rose flower in graphite.

My completed rose project in graphite.

My next workshop, Flowers & Landscapes in Watercolour is on July 22 & 23 at Southampton Art School & Gallery.

201 High Street, Southampton, Ontario

Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

Toronto Botanical Gardens Workshop — October, 2018

I was back at the Toronto Botanical Gardens on October 13 & 14 for another two-day botanical drawing workshop titled, Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour.

Magnificent colours and textures fill the autumn landscape.

Below: Striking fall asters (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium)

About the Toronto Botanical Garden

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located in Toronto’s Edwards Gardens and is a gardening education and information centre. Termed “The little garden with big ideas,” the TBG opened in 1958 and features a superb collection of themed “city-sized gardens.”

Edwards Gardens is a public park, owned and administered by the City of Toronto, whereas the Toronto Botanical Garden is a volunteer-driven charity dedicated to disseminating horticultural and gardening information to the public. Alexander Milne, a Scottish miller, settled his family and built his business on the site that we now know as Edwards Gardens in 1817. The land stayed in the Milne family for over a hundred years. Subsequent owners made some improvements to the property, but the area eventually became over-grown and weed-ridden. In 1944, a Toronto businessman, Rupert Edwards, bought the property to fulfill his dream of creating a magnificent country garden with wide open spaces and plenty of room to move and breath.

Below: Statues provide striking accents and focal points as you wander around the gardens

Edwards transformed the property into a glorious garden, boasting one of the largest rockeries in Canada, a private 9-hole golf course and a safe haven for wildlife. Ten years later, when the city began to encroach upon the property, Edwards decided to sell. Wanting to preserve the estate as a public park, he sold it to the then Metro (Toronto) Council.

Below: Beautiful roses still bursting with colour and fragrance in mid october!

In 1956, Edwards Gardens was opened to the public and the Garden Club of Toronto shared Milne House facilities with The Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The Garden Club wanted to establish a facility which would provide horticultural information to the public and to that end, the Toronto Botanical Garden was established.

Below: Striking fall colours!

The Toronto Botanical Garden is located at 777 Lawrence Avenue East at Leslie Street, in Toronto, Ontario.

Phone: 416-397-1340

The gardens are open year-round from dawn until dusk and admission is free of charge. Check out their website to see what is happening!

www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca

The Workshop

Floral Portraits with Pen & Ink and Watercolour

Project 1 Bearded Iris: The first step was to sketch the iris using my list of observational techniques to help in the drawing process. Then the sketch was cleaned up and the line drawing transferred onto cold press Peterboro #79 illustration board and toned in graphite (as shown below). It is important to have an accurate representation of the form of the plant in graphite before applying ink.

Below: Once the graphite layer is completed, the work begins applying the first and second layers of ink. Detailed instructional pages are provided to ensure success in the process. The graphite tonal base provides a framework on where to apply the ink. See below:

Below: Completed in pen & ink.

More completed pen & ink examples.

Above: The graphite undertone base has been established and two pen & ink layers are added. Once the pen & ink rendering is completed, the graphite undertone is erased.

Pens used in the project were Micron 005, 01 and 03.

Below: The next step in the process is to create watercolour swatches to match the colours of the original iris. The watercolour washes are going to be applied in very subtle transparent layers, so as not to detract from the intricate pen & ink work. I provided colour swatch handouts based on my initial analysis of the true iris colours.

Below: Completed iris projects in pen and ink and watercolour.

Having completed the iris project it was time to start another pen & ink drawing of a cluster of Poppies.

Same process as for the Iris: Complete a line drawing, then transfer onto cold pressed #79 Peterboro illustration board (One board: 15 x 20 inches accommodated two projects). A tonal rendering in graphite is established before applying the ink.

Below: Iris and poppy on one 15 x 20 inches Peterboro Hi-Art #79 illustration board.

Below: Delicate hatch lines are used more in this project than stippling with dots.

Below: Step-by-step instructional pages guide students through each phase of the project.

My next workshop titled, Brilliant Botanicals of Fall, is on October 20 at the Aurora Cultural Centre in Aurora, Ontario

22 Church St, Aurora, ON

To register contact Michael Spillane at 905-891-8422

Email: michael@spillane-arts.com

Or call the Aurora Cultural Centre at 905-713-1818

Hope to see you all soon!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

Guelph School of Art Workshop April 2016

Guelph Workshop 3 June 2014

Known as “The Royal City,” (named after British Royal Family monarch, King George the IV), Guelph was founded on April 23, 1827, and officially became a town on January 1, 1856. Guelph was chosen as the name for the town because it was one of the family names of British royalty and had, apparently, never been used as a place name before. Guelph is located in southwestern Ontario, roughly 28 kilometres (17 miles) east of Waterloo and 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Toronto. The town is consistently rated as one of Canada’s best places to live and it plays a very important role in the history of Remembrance Day as Canadian physician, soldier, teacher and poet John McCrae who wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” was born in Guelph, Ontario on November 30, 1872.

Guelph School 2

My first botanical art workshop of 2016 started back at the Guelph School of Art (Guelph, Ontario). This was a three-day workshop titled The Fundamentals of Botanical Drawing.

I designed the workshop for students  interested in botanical art and, in particular, for those wishing to learn a range of  botanical drawing skills. Students were given step-by-step instructions on how to progress through botanical drawing projects using graphite/pencil, coloured pencils and pen & ink. We discussed the drawing process when choosing botanical subjects, and I provided exercises on gesture, contour drawing, blending, burnishing and pen & ink techniques.

Day one was spent establishing and completing a botanical project in graphite (see student fuchsia drawing below).

April Workshop 8

April Workshop 6

April Workshop 1

Students worked on a floral project in pen & ink on day two, with demonstrations, one-on-one interaction and detailed instructional handouts. An iris and poppy were the botanical subjects for the day.

April Workshop 14

April Workshop 3

Above: Student working on an iris in pen & ink.

April Workshop 2

Above: Student working on a poppy in pen & ink.

April Workshop 9

Colonel John McCrae, who wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” was born and raised in Guelph. I had drawn the original pen & ink illustration (used for the project above) for Oakville Today newspaper to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Students were introduced to coloured pencil on the final day of the workshop and were shown how to produce stunning effects using this versatile and very portable medium in botanical art. Techniques such as burnishing and layering, along with accurate colour matching, tonal rendering and composition were studied along with completing a step-by-step Cattleia orchid and/or apple project.

April Workshop 20

April Workshop 15

Above: Roz Stevenson working on her apple project using Prismacolor coloured pencils on hot-pressed watercolour paper.

April Workshop 21

Botanical drawings are completed using my step-by-step handout instructional system that allows students to work systematically through each phase of the project.

Below: Alison Strong shows her developing orchid project in coloured pencil.

April Workshop 16

Below: We were honoured to have participating in the workshop Karen Logan who is the current Treasurer for the Botanical Artists of Canada. Check out their website and join up! The information is shown below.

April Workshop 17

April Workshop 10

Botanical Artists of Canada

http://www.botanicalartistsofcanada.org

If you would like to reach our executive, require information about our organization, or to inquire about our activities, please contactinfo@botanicalartistsofcanada.org.

For more information about membership, please contact our membership coordinator atmembership@botanicalartistsofcanada.org.

I will be teaching this three-day workshop again on June 8, 9 & 10 at Southampton Art School.

Southampton Arts Centre
Art School & Gallery
201 High Street,
Southampton, Ontario N0H 2L0
Telephone: (519) 797-5068
Toll Free: 1-800-806-8838

Hope to see you there!

Michael Spillane

http://www.spillane-arts.com

Michael 2 B&W

My next workshop will be on May 23 & 24 at the Toronto Botanical Gardens featuring botanical drawing using coloured pencils.