Colorful Botanicals

Drawing and Painting Realistic Flowers

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The Colorful Botanicals course teaches you the essentials of drawing and painting colorful flowers, including a survey of various media and techniques you can use to capture the beauty of plants, including graphite, colored pencil, watercolor, and mixed media.

I’ll teach you all you need to know about the anatomical structures of plants so that you can really observe plants from a botanist’s perspective and capture their forms accurately in your sketchbook.

This course includes a diverse library of tutorials that introduce you to a variety of common and colorful plant families including orchids, lilies, bird of paradises, passionflowers, columbines, poppies, heliconias, sunflowers, cacti, and more!

You’ll be able to apply what you learn in this course whether you are sketching wildflowers in a meadow, painting exotic plants at an arboretum, or drawing a bouquet of flowers at home.


"Christine's classes are a lot of fun. Her teaching style is good at relating what she's teaching to what I've already learned so I really remember it more. Learning the parts of the plant and different plant families has helped me to learn about my local plants while hiking and nature journaling. It has also helped me as an artist to see what is important in my flower paintings."

- Heather Crellin, online student

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Your Instructor

Christine Elder
Christine Elder

Hummingbirds Are My Passion!

I've been lucky to observe and sketch dozens of species of hummingbirds throughout the Americas, from Streamertails in Jamaica, Swordbilled Hummingbirds in Ecuador, and Shining Sunbeams in Peru to the Anna's hummingbirds that grace me with their presence in my own backyard!

I love helping people discover how easy, fun, and satisfying it is to sketch and paint the natural world.

I’ve taught sketching courses for over two decades, both as local classes and abroad at festivals and conferences in the U.S., Jamaica, Mexico, and Honduras.

I can proudly say that my students routinely tell me, “This is the best drawing I’ve ever done!”

As a professional biological illustrator, I’ve worked on numerous projects for books, magazines, scientists, and museums.

I’ve also led international nature sketching holidays to such exotic locales as Mexico and Honduras.

My favorite media include pencil, pen, watercolor, and gouache. I also enjoy digital art techniques using my Cintiq tablet.

My formal education includes Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology as well as a graduate certificate in scientific illustration.

I reside in central Oregon, where I love to hike, ride horses, and take my nature journal into the mountains where I love to sketch and paint the wildflowers, birds, and mammals I see..

“Christine is such a wonderful teacher. She knows her field really well and is very generous with her time and information. Her classes are top of the line and so much fun.”

—Lorna Cahall, student

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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"Life's a journey and nature holds fascinating stories that are waiting for you to experience. Plants are diverse, beautiful, and an important part of our ecosystem. With Christine as my guide, I have learned much about the ecology of plants both familiar and new. Her extensive knowledge of art techniques brings flowers to life on the page. In just over an hour, Christine brings the secret world of plants alive, and clearly demonstrates different ways to draw them in your own style. Her boundless energy makes the classes fun for both kids and adults. "

- Diane Wong-Kone, online student