Deb Babock: Capturing the outdoors in ink |

Deb Babock: Capturing the outdoors in ink

Deb Babcock

With such short, but spectacular, summers here in the mountains of Colorado, we need to make the most of the days we have in the garden. Perhaps one way we can extend our enjoyment of the plants we grow is to capture them in pencil and ink.

You'll have a great opportunity to do that this summer by enrolling in botanical art and illustration courses at Yampa River Botanic Park.

The Denver Botanic Gardens' School of Botanical Art and Illustration will be hosted in Steamboat for three classes this summer. Each class is held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during a three-day weekend — May 31 to June 2, July 26 to 28 and Sept. 13 to 15. If you missed out on some of the classes taught by local botanical illustrator Barbara Flowers, these classes will give you another opportunity to meld your gardening and artistic skills.

These should be great weekends to capture the beautiful flowers of the season at the Yampa River Botanic Park, and then take your newly acquired skills home to draw the flowers and plants of your own garden or wildflowers along hiking trails.

The first class is botanical illustration in graphite, during which participants will practice line drawing, shading and perspective. It is taught by Randy Raak, a commercial artist and sculptor whose art features botanical and ornithological works.

The second course is field sketching along the Yampa River, the focus of which will be miniature landscape drawings of trees. Instructor Marjorie Leggitt is a professional scientific illustrator who uses traditional and digital techniques to produce illustrations for publications and interpretive exhibits.

Recommended Stories For You

The third class is light on form, during which participants will learn the secret to portraying light and shadow to depict three-dimensional drawings of plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and leaves. Instructor Susan Rubin is an illustrator of numerous publications including gardening books, field guides, seed packets and more.

Each of the classes costs $350 for members of the Denver Botanic Gardens or $400 for nonmembers. A list of supplies will be sent with each class confirmation.

The School of Botanical Art and Illustration offers a Foundational Certificate for students who successfully complete a 15 course set. For more information or to enroll, contact 720-865-3670 or or visit

Deb Babcock is a volunteer master gardener through the CSU Extension Routt County. Contact 970-879-0825 or with questions.

If you go

What: Art and illustration courses

Where: Yampa River Botanic Park

When: 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 13 to June 2, July 26 to 28 and Sept. 13 to 15

Cost: $350 for each class for members of the Denver Botanic Gardens or $400 for nonmembers

Contact: 720-865-3670 or http://www.botanicalillu…