Basic Botanical Drawing with Mary Ellen Carsley

  • 17 Oct 2015
  • 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Maryland Naturalist Center 6908 Belair Road Baltimore Maryland 21206
  • 9


Registration is closed

This workshop explores the fundamentals of drawing using plants as the focus of study. Open to students of all experience levels the workshop includes basic drawing techniques with a study of values to capture form.  Basic plant anatomy, botanical illustration techniques as well as simple color theory and an exploration of composition principles in both Eastern and Western art traditions will be discussed.  Field sketching and practical exercises for self-study will be discussed.  A variety of dry and wet media will be used and exciting mixed media techniques introduced.

Teacher: Mary Ellen Carsley, Professional Artist/Illustrator and Visual Arts Coordinator at Severn School, is an experienced professional illustrator and art instructor.  Trained initially as an architect, she later studied classical realistic drawing and painting techniques at the Schuler Atelier.  Her illustrations have appeared in Nature Conservancy Magazine, the publications of the Smithsonian Institute, and Pew Charitable Trusts as well as many other museums and research institutions, both nationally and internationally.  Her works have been included in the collections of the Library of Congress and National Building Museum.  A dedicated visual arts instructor, Mary Ellen has lectured and taught at the Carnegie Institute, Corcoran College of Art and Design, and Catholic University.  She is a member of the Walter's Art Gallery Teacher's Advisory Committee and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and holds degrees from Catholic University of America and Johns Hopkins University.  Recently, she completed illustrations on her eighth book.

Plants Required: assorted live wild flowers, and summer plants, also a variety of herbarium specimens.  There will be plants available if you can't bring your own.

Materials List:

• Your sketchbook (instructor's favorite is a spiral bound hard cover 9"x12" for both wet and dry media)

• 2 2H pencils

• 2 2B and/or 4B drawing pencils

• Small pocket pencil sharpener

• One set of permanent ink felt tip drawing pens various nib sizes (recommend Micron brand)

• 3-4 stumps and tortillions (thin tightly rolled paper used for blending)

• Small plastic 6" ruler

• 1 kneaded eraser

• 1 pink pearl eraser

• A convenient tote for your supplies


• 12-24 count set of pastel or colored pencils

• Small watercolor set with palette

• 1 set of assorted watercolor brushes, student grade

(for reference see Dick Blick Art Supplies on-line 06189-1069)

Cost: Members of the Natural History Society of Maryland $120; non-members $145. Become a member (individuals, $25) at  (Hint: this is a great time to become a member!)

Class Size: 8-18 students; aged 15 years and older. If we don't reach the minimum by October 3rd, we will cancel the class and send you a refund, so tell your friends.