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How is a Conifer Cone like an Artichoke? - Online

Registering as Guest.

Minimum age:
Skill level:
Total cost:
Start date:
End date:
Beginner to advanced
June 11, 2021
June 13, 2021
10:00 - 2:00

Workshop Overview

Learn how to draw a Douglas fir cone, which is one of the more complex conifer cones. Working from life, we will go slowly, step-by-step, first learning some different ways of capturing an outline of our subject, then finding and recording its interior patterns, then bringing these elements together in one drawing. We will pause to learn about the Fibonacci sequence, a predictable numeric formula and type of pattern found throughout the natural world. Then we will adding value to create a sense of three-dimensionality. The work can be done with graphite or colored pencil. If time, we'll explore adding color.

About the Instructor(s)

Janet earned the NY Botanical Garden's Botanical Art certificate in May 2015. A 1989 graduate of Parsons School of Design, she has worked as an editorial art director and graphic designer for many magazines and book publishers, including Newsweek, Workman Publishing and until 2012, Tin House. A few years after a move from New York to Portland, Oregon in 2009, she discovered fellow botanical art lovers in the area and helped form Oregon Botanical Artists, now an active group there ( She currently teaches Botanical Drawing classes at Oregon Society of Artists in Portland.

Materials List: Students Bring

• Drawing board - a smooth, sturdy surface to work on. And something to raise the board so that it tilts slightly toward your face. (I use a small table easel, but you could also use a medium sized bath towel rolled up and secured with a couple of rubber bands, or a yoga block, or a thick book.)

• 3 grades of graphite pencil (1 pencil each, in 2B, HB, and 2H) Any good brand such as Tombow MONO, Derwent, Staedtler, Caran d'Ache Grafwood, etc.

• Pencil Sharpener

• Strathmore 400 Series Drawing paper, natural white, medium surface. 9"x12" or larger - pad, or at least 3 sheets

• Canson Artists Series Tracing Paper, 25#

• Small kneaded rubber eraser and a white plastic eraser

• One or 2 Douglas Fir cones in relatively good shape

• A feather or something to brush away eraser crumbs

• Artists tape or 3M Blue painters tape (or other easily-removable tape)


• Eraser shield

• Plexiglas plane (9x12" or larger)

• Wet erase pen

• Magnifying glass

• Colored pencils if you're interested in working in color

*Email me with any questions about supplies - I can send photo references for most items listed. Also, the Plexiglas plane and wet erase pen are recommended for beginners.

Materials List: Provided by Instructor(s)

• A pdf of handouts for the class will be emailed about a week prior to the start of the class

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