Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program


The Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program provides a solid foundation in scientifically accurate drawing based on observation and fine art techniques.

In the course of this Certificate program, students will:

  • Acquire skills in drawing and/or painting accurately and beautifully.
  • Develop techniques needed to re-create amazing detail, natural color, and convincing form.
  • Gain knowledge of basic morphological features of plants.
  • Learn the elements of successful composition for scientific illustration or for fine artwork.
  • Through electives, learn business skills for artists and the history of botanical art.
  • Develop a personal aesthetic and a strong artistic identity.
  • Enjoy access to the exceptional collection of botanical art in the Garden's LuEsther T. Mertz Library and the library of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

These required classes provide a strong, well-rounded foundation that prepares the student for higher-level classes. All classes can also be taken singly.

Required Courses

COURSE (in Recommended Order) CODE         HOURS
Botanical Drawing I: Methods and Materials
BIL 301   18
Botanical Drawing II: Developing Your Skills
BIL 302  P  18
The Basics of Visual Composition
BIL 421
Botanical Drawing III: Focus on Flowers
BIL 303 P 18
Plant Morphology for Botanical Artists
BIL 300 P
Botanical Watercolor I
BIL 331 P 24
Practical Aspects of Botanical Art*
BIL 392 P 10
Plus one of the following:       
Internet Tools for Creatives, Part I: Social Media*
BIL 394   5
Internet Tools for Creatives, Part II: Website*
BIL 395   5
Pen and Ink
BIL 400 P 18
Colored Pencil
BIL 415 P 18
Elective Courses     54

*Courses offered in the Fall-Winter Season

**Plus a final project that meets Certificate standards

P = Courses with a prerequisite before you can register


Elective Courses

Students seeking a Certificate may focus their electives on watercolor, colored pencil, drawing—or they may choose a natural science concentration. Elective courses build on foundation skills and allow the student to tailor their direction of study.

Elective course offerings vary with every catalog season.