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Full-Day Traditional Workshops | Full-Day Digital Workshops
Half-Day Traditional Workshops

Full-day Traditional workshops

We have a great line-up this year! Here are the confirmed workshops in the Traditional realm, thus far. — Marlene Hill Donnelly, Traditional Programs Coordinator

Ink Moist Brush Technique

Karen Ackoff

Full-day workshop

Materials list


Image ©Karen Ackoff

Using diluted India ink, one can create gradations and variations in value reminiscent of the most delicate airbrushed artwork. This technique lends itself to establishing soft, smoky tones that range from the palest to areas of rich shadows. Because the ink solution is waterproof, there is no lifting or moving of layers that were previously applied. “Moist brush” technique falls somewhere between dry brush and working with wet washes. The brush holds enough solution to create a stroke that is smooth, but with no puddling of paint. Series of strokes create areas of tone. This technique can easily be applied to working with watercolor, gouache, and other waterproof and non-waterproof media. The workshop will also touch on working with colored inks. This beautiful technique is a versatile and useful addition to one’s repertoire of skills.

Combining Extreme Detail, Wide Color Contrasts, Convincing Volume and Three Dimensionality in Painting Objects in Watercolor

John Cody

Full-day workshop

Materials list

Combining very subtle changes in value over a smooth undulating surface that also exhibits much delicate color variation was the object of last year’s workshop by Dr. Cody. The group worked from the photograph of the muscular back of a need young man. This year the subject presents a similar range of difficulties: the challenge is how to achieve volume and form in painting an object that shows extreme surface detail as well as dramatic variations of color. All participants, including Dr. Cody, will work from the same subject—this time from photographs of highly colored and textured gourds.

Plein Air Chalk Pastels

Patricia Savage

Full-day workshop

Materials list


Image ©Patricia Savage

Come outside into the sunshine, cast off your cares, and paint. Painting plein air is liberating; it forces us "tight" artists literally to take a step back and observe the world with new eyes. We have to focus ourselves quickly and record the scene efficiently. We must learn to simplify and arrange a vision of the landscape. Our workshop day will begin with quick sketches to work out the composition and values. After blocking out the basic compositional shapes onto a neutrally colored ground, you will learn how to apply multiple layers of color to achieve the finished painting. As you are working plein air, you will also be learning how to respond to ever changing light, either working to finish at the time of the desired light, or constantly adjusting as you see something new.

Flower Morphology Lab

Dick Rauh

Hamamelis virginica

Image © Dick Rauh

Full-day workshop, Limit: 15

Materials list

This is a course in Flower Morphology geared for the Scientific Botanical Illustrator. It will be a balance of lecture and hands-on dissection and drawing, and at the finish you will hopefully be introduced into a new and rewarding way at looking at flowers. The day will be broken down into two three hour sessions with a lunch break in-between. I will speak for about fifty minutes, we will take a ten-minute break and then we will look closely and draw examples of two or three families, using dissecting scopes to see the exciting details and to put into graphic practice the basic botanical information we have just learned. We will draw a page for each family, including a habit drawing of the flower and then details of the various organs that make each family distinctive. There will be some coaching in drawing techniques. The lectures will concentrate on flower structure and terminology- the development of the reproductive organs - flower parts – placentation, the inflorescence. The dissection and drawing of examples of Magnoliaceae, Liliaceae, Iridaceae, and three to five other common flower families depending on availability and time.

Scientific & Biological-Based Designs in Leather

Melinda Hodge

Image © Melinda Hodge

Full-day workshop

Materials list

Learn the basic principles and techniques of leather tooling and leather working, while making a small ID wallet/purse, which can be attached to a key chain, if so desired. Participants are encouraged to work in an illustrative fashion, using scientific and biological based designs and patterns. These designs will first be cut into the surface of the leather using a swivel knife, and then be tooled into a low relief, using various “walking” and "stamping" tools. Pattern-making and design transfer, edging, and stitching processes, and the proper application of various dyes and stain will also be covered in this one day workshop. Instructor will provide all necessary supplies: tool sets, pre-cut leather, waxed thread, various liquid solutions, etc. A supply fee of $10 will cover all consumable materials. Participants are encouraged to come prepared with designs suitable for a surface area approximating 2 1/2" x 4 1/2", with the potential to be expanded into a 6" x 4 ½", if time permits. Velcro closures and/or snaps will be provided, although participants may bring small buckles or other closure mechanisms if so desired.

Half-Day Workshops

How to Read Trees

bird sketches

Image ©Linda Feltner

Laura E. Audibert & Linda Feltner, sketching instructor

Morning Workshop: Presentation, walk & sketch

Hike with Laura Audibert, Maine Forester, along a ski path. Identify trees by their bark. Learn to read the story of who uses the tree and for what purpose. Find some woodpecker stashes, identify harmless and harmful denizens under the bark and much more. This hike can be taken as a learning experience on its own or as preparation for the environmental drawing and painting class in the afternoon by Linda Feltner. Wear sturdy shoes. Moderate difficulty, scenic.

A chicken, a duck, and a rabbit walked into a class — a refreshing twist on wildlife drawing

Linda Feltner

Afternoon workshop

Materials list


Images ©Linda Feltner

Peregrine Falcon

Inspired from the morning’s discovery walk with Laura Audibert and Linda Feltner for field sketches of plant or animal, bark or landscape, we will bring them indoors as support material for an illustration. Or, if you didn't make that walk, bring your own sketches and ideas. Live animal models will rekindle interest in life drawing. We will incorporate a variety of research tools to develop artwork that illustrates the animal and habitat, and also the relationship with and adaptations to its environment. Bark, bugs and birds… whatever your interest, we'll loosen up and have fun covering it.

Drawing With Silverpoint

Gerald P. Hodge & Melinda Hodge


Image ©Gerald & Melinda Hodge

Half-day workshop

Materials list

Silverpoint is a drawing technique utilizing sterling silver wire that creates a high-key drawing that develops a lovely, slightly brown patina over time. "Tone" is created from finely layered networks of line, creating the illusion of tone. In addition, silverpoint lends itself to extremely fine detail not possible with traditional pencil techniques. Silverpoint can be used in combination with gouache to add color, and carbon dust to expand the tonal range. Workshop participants will complete a small drawing on coated paper. Supplies will be provided.

Digital Workshops

Ikumi Kayama, Digital Program Coordinator

Full day workshops

Jumping into 2D Animation with Adobe After Effects

Frank Ippolito

After Effects Screen Shot

Image ©Frank Ippolito

Full-day workshop, Limit: 15

These days it is likely that the natural science illustrator will become involved in projects that also require animated support materials. Adobe AfterEffects is a 2D animation program that allows illustrators who are comfortable working within Photoshop to slide directly into animation via a familiar interface. Layered Photoshop and Illustrator files can be imported with their layers (and their settings!) intact and layers can be animated independently or together as a whole. In this hands-on workshop students will learn how to bring their artwork alive using AfterEffects and Photoshop. Each students will use their own Photoshop and/or Illustrator files—or experiment with supplied sample files—and will create one or more animations suitable for web or video viewing.

Special items to bring: Layered Photoshop file(s) the student wishes to animate. Note: each layer of PS files can be animated independently in AE.

What will be provided: Sample files for those who chose not to bring own file(s).

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of computers (MAC or PC) is required. Working knowledge of Photoshop helpful.

Beginner’s Photoshop

Yellow Garden Spider

Image by Steve Buchanan © United States Postal Service

Steve Buchanan

Full-day workshop, Limit: 20

The constant addition of features to all major software packages now comes at considerable cost in efficiency of use and ease of learning. Because Photoshop is primarily a photo editing and print production package, its current user interface is so bloated and inefficient that it is a constant distraction from the visual concentration most artists require for controlled realistic drawing and rendering. This workshop will offer an artist's approach to using Photoshop that relies on a minimal selection of features and settings and strives to get the software out of the way of visual/tactile involvement with the artwork. Participants will set up a working space, fine-tune their tablets and create a simple sketch and color rendering (...or at least get started). Students should bring: Reference material (photos, sketches or small specimens) for the subject of a very small drawing/paintingand a jump drive, if participants wish to take their work home with them.

Level: Beginner

I like to move it, move it! Animating with Flash

David Clarke

Full-day workshop, Limit: 20

With more and more communication and education moving online, animation and interactivity are becoming commonplace. The tool of choice for developing these pieces for the Web is Adobe Flash. Flash is an easy program to learn and yet allows you add multiple layers of information to one image. In this workshop, we will learn the principles of animation and then building on that to add user interactivity. No programming experience is necessary.