Botanical Art for the Curious ForagerWith Margaret Saylor
Saturday, March 9, 2024
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Learn the basics of botanical art in this fun workshop as we observe, document, and illustrate plants and fungi found while foraging. Keeping a sketchbook is a wonderful way to build discipline in your art practice and allows for experimentation in mediums, such as graphite, watercolor, and Micron pen. Build upon your work long after the class has concluded!
Materials: (all suggested, never required)
A good quality sketchbook, preferably with hot-pressed watercolor paper (Hahnemuhle) or Stillman & Birn Zeta series. Size and binding are totally up to the student.
Brushes: best results are from a watercolor sable brush with a very pointy, springy tip, but any brush will work as long as it has a point (DaVinci long point watercolor brush #4; Raphael #8408)
Paint: a selection of basic watercolors is fine! If you plan on building a palette for botanical art, start with six colors, two of each color bias. For example: Scarlet Lake (orange-red); Permanent Magenta (blue-red); Lemon Yellow (green-yellow); New Gamboge (orange-yellow); Ultramarine Blue (red-blue); and Cerulean (green-blue). They can be tubes, pans, it doesn’t matter. I like W&N or Daniel Smith.
Palette: a porcelain palette for mixing
paper towels or microfiber cloth for wiping brush
water vessels, two small ones
graphite, HB, 2B, 2H, and sharpeners
kneaded eraser, Tombow mono zero eraser
Subjects: An assortment of foraged objects from nature. You can use photos of mushrooms as long as they are your own pictures or copyright free.
Margaret Saylor is a working studio artist who creates paintings and drawings inspired by mushrooms and fungi. She teaches botanical painting in person and online, emphasizing the importance of observation, good drawing skills, and enthusiasm. A graphic designer, Margaret holds a BFA from Kutztown University and a certificate with distinction in botanical art from the New York Botanical Garden. Since 2013, she has been the editor and designer of The Botanical Artist, a quarterly journal published by the American Society of Botanical Artists. One of her paintings on vellum, Rabbit’s Foot Fern, will be included in the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation’s 17th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration in Fall 2024. Botanical art is a beautiful fusion of art and science. In Margaret’s practice, she is drawn to mushrooms, fungi, and their surrounding environment. She works on calfskin vellum or deerskin parchment, using watercolor sparingly and graphite primarily to create ethereal and intricate representations of her subjects, achieving the desired level of crispness, highly defined detail, and exacting interpretation of botanical subjects that she strives for in her work.