Art Classes


Sept. 9 - Dec. 14, 2017

Art Classes are currently in session!

Now is the time to register for the fall classes to assure you have a place.  New: Registrations must be recieved at least 10 days in advance, so don’t delay.

Click here to register online

Connecticut Natural Science Illustrator art classes are conducted at the Yale Peabody Museum on a year round basis. Highlights of our current classes and workshops are listed below.


We also have a Certificate Program in Natural Science Illustration

Watercolor I 

#244   10am-1pm    Thurs.    2/1-3/22 

Intructor:  L. Miller


241        Colored Pencil I

#214       10am-1pm    Fri.    2/2-3/23    D. Petrochko
101    A    Drawing I    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Sat.    2/3-3/24    J. Prentice
136        Painting in Mixed Media    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Sun.    2/4-3/25    D. Petrochko
101    B    Drawing I    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Mon.    2/5-3/26    D. Petrochko
201        Drawing II: Light on Form    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Tues    2/6-3/27    S. Graedel
261        Vertebrate Anatomy for Artists    2018 SP    18    10am-1pm    Wed.    2/7-3/14    R. Gelernter
157    A    Drawing from the Peabody Dioramas    2018 SP    12    10am-1pm    Mon.    3/5-3/26    L. Miller
101    C    Drawing I    2018 SP    24    5:30-8:30 pm    Tues. eve    4/3-5/22    R. Gelernter
268        Watercolor Workshop    2018 SP    12    10am-4pm    Sat.    4/7 & 4/14    B. R. Knox
208        Oil Painting    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Sun.    4/8-6/10* no class 5/13 & 5/27    J. Prentice
258        Watercolor II    2018 SP    24    1:30-4:30 pm    Sun.    4/8-6/10* no class 5/13 & 5/27    D. Petrochko
251        Drawing and Painting Birds    2018 SP    18    10am-1pm    Mon.    4/9-5/14    D. Petrochko
267        Digital Illustration Techniques:  Photoshop & Illustrator    2018 SP    18    5:30-8:30 pm    Thurs. eve    4/12-5/17    R. Gelernter
225        Colored Pencil II    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Thurs.    4/12-5/31    D. Petrochko
252        Botanical Watercolor I    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Fri.    4/13-6/8* no class 5/25    L. Miller
101    D    Drawing I    2018 SP    24    1:30-4:30 pm    Sat.    4/14-6/9* no class 5/26    L. Miller
217        Insects Writ Large in Graphite    2018 SP    18    10am-1pm    Tues.     4/17-5/22    S. Graedel
267        Composition    2018 SP    24    10am-1pm    Wed.    5/2-6/20    L. Thomas
132        Flowers through the Microscope    2018 SP    18    10am-1pm    Sat.    5/5-6/16* no class 5/26    S. Graedel
144        Field Sketching on the Yale Campus    2018 SP    6    1:30-4:30 pm    Sat.    6/16 & 6/23    L. Miller
255    A    Completing Course Projects/Open Studio    2018 SP    3    10am-1pm    Mon.    5/21    L. Miller
255    B    Completing Course Projects/Open Studio    2018 SP    3    10am-1pm    Mon.    6/4    S. Graedel
255    C    Completing Course Projects/Open Studio    2018 SP    3    10am-1pm    Sun.    6/24    D. Petrochko





Field Sketching on the Yale Campus

#144 Saturday, 9/9, 10 am-4 pm

Instructor: Linda Miller All-day workshop $90

We will sketch outdoors in the lush vegetable and flower gardens, fields and woods that are
part of the Yale Landscape Lab. Discover medicinal plants, fruit trees, mushrooms, bees and
birds! Bring a light-weight stool, your lunch and water, and simple supplies for sketching and
painting. This course is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. In case of rain
or extreme heat and humidity we will work inside the barn, where we can draw from cut
flowers, fruits and vegetables. Group critiques and demonstrations will be shared.

Drawing II: Advanced Graphite, Light on Form

#201 Mondays, 9/11-10/30, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor: Susannah Graedel 8 weeks $360

Stunning artistry with a pencil!  Create silvery tonal portraits of animals and plants and free yourself from an artificial light source.  Like artists since Renaissance times, students will learn to intuitively portray their subjects with light coming from the upper left.  Through toning in this way, students will bring their subjects to three-dimensional life in intricate detail.  Prerequisite:  Drawing I. 

Vertebrate Anatomy for Artists

#261 Monday evenings, 9/11-10/2, 5:30-8:30 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Gelernter 4 weeks $180

Understanding the basics of anatomy is vital for a science illustrator.  This course will teach the basics of vertebrate anatomy, from the skeletal system to body coverings.  Drawing from Peabody specimens and photos, students will learn how an animal is put together so they can be brought to life with accuracy. Prerequisite: Drawing I

Watercolor I

#244 Thursdays, 9/14-11/2, 10 am -1 pm

Instructor: Linda Miller 8 weeks $360

Watercolor is a medium that produces luminous, translucent colors. Practice mixing colors while
learning about color theory, and gain experience applying washes and layers while using color
in your scientific illustrations and paintings. We will be working with fruits, vegetables, flowering
plants and specimens from the Peabody Museum’s collections. We will have the opportunity to
work from the dioramas on the museum’s third floor and also paint outside. Group critiques and demonstrations will be shared. Individual attention is always given to students’ progress and
developing interests. 

Drawing I (offered twice)

#101A Fridays, 9/15-11/3, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 8 weeks $360

#101B Saturdays, 9/30-11/18, 1:30 pm-4:30 pm

Instructor: Linda Miller 8 weeks $360

Drawing I is the foundation class for all sequential courses taken at CTNSI. It is here that the necessary techniques in graphite rendering: light on form, value, texture, perspective and composition are taught. Practice working with the classical tools of drawing, while strengthening your observational skills. Each student will be given individual assignments and critiques, along with a final project, which is due at the culmination of the course. This class is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Colored Pencil I

#241 Saturdays, 9/16-11/4, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor: Jan Prentice 8 weeks $360

Begin your exploration of color with this approachable medium. In our first few meetings students learn and practice key color concepts: primary and secondary color, local color, color temperature, hue, chroma and value. Armed with this information, students will then learn techniques needed to create beautiful, detailed drawings on a variety of drawing surfaces.  Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission from the instructor 

Drawing and Painting Birds

#251 Sundays, 9/17-10/8, 10 am-1pm,

Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 4 weeks $180

This course will introduce students to the fascinating world of drawing and painting birds. To better understand how birds behave, a basic foundation of avian anatomy will be introduced, using taxidermy mounts and skins from the Yale Peabody Museum’s collection. We will learn how to observe the structure and form of various bird species by field sketching birds on the Connecticut coast and from live video cams. Hands-on demonstrations and field trips will be included, as well as individual guided instruction and critiques. Each participant will produce a finished portrait of their bird of choice in its habitat.  Prerequisite: Drawing I 

Colored Pencil II

#263 Tuesdays, 9/19-11/7, 10 am-1pm

Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 8 weeks $360

Using both traditional and experimental methods, students will master the techniques of colored pencil needed to create detailed and accurate illustrations for portfolio presentation or publication. Course concentration will be focused on refining techniques learned in Colored Pencil I, increasing pigment intensity and working from museum specimens and still life objects. Prerequisite: Colored Pencil I 


Sketching and Painting in Marsh Botanical Gardens
#158 Friday, 9/22, 10 am-4 pm
Instructor: Linda Miller All-day Workshop $90

We will explore the outdoor gardens as well as the lush greenhouses, which are close by the
museum on the Yale Campus. Discover many wonderful plants in full bloom in September!
Bring a light-weight stool, your lunch and water, and simple supplies for sketching and
painting. This course is appropriate for beginning and experienced students. Group critiques
and demonstrations will be shared, and individual attention will be given to each student.

Botanical Watercolor I
#252 Fridays, 9/29-11/17, 10 am-1 pm
Instructor: Linda Miller 8 weeks $360

Discover how to paint portraits of flowering plants in watercolor as you observe them in the
classroom and at the greenhouses. Hone your drawing and watercolor skills as you discover
the intricacies of different plants. Many examples of Botanical Art will be shared. There will be
group critiques as well as demonstrations during every class. There will always be a focus on
individual attention to each student. Prerequisite: Drawing I, Watercolor I or permission from

the instructor.

Drawing from the Peabody Dioramas
#157 Mondays, 10/2-10/23, 10 am-1 pm
Instructor: Linda Miller $180

Sketching from the amazing dioramas on the 3rd floor of the museum is a real joy! We have the
opportunity to sketch the animals and birds in their habitats and learn about how these dioramas
were created. This course is appropriate for beginners and experienced students. Group
critiques and demonstrations will be shared. There will always be a focus on individual attention
to each student.

Pen and Ink I
#230 Wednesdays, 10/11-12/13, 10 am-1 pm ( No class 10/25 and 11/22)
Instructor: Susannah Graedel $360

 The beauty and clarity of natural science drawings in ink have been admired for centuries.  Students will master the techniques of traditional scientific illustration using both crow quill and technical pens to depict the natural world in stipple and line.  Prerequisite:  Drawing I.  Recommended:  Drawing II:  Advanced Graphite: Light on Form.

Drawing and Painting Trees
#114 Saturday & Sunday, 10/14 & 10/15, 10 am-4 pm
Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 2-day workshop $180

This fall, treat yourself to drawing and painting trees outdoors! We will capture trees in their spectacular autumn foliage using graphite, micron pen and watercolor. We will work on the grounds of the Yale Peabody Museum and Yale West Campus and environs. This course is open to both beginning and experienced artists.

Introduction to Paleo Art

#262 Monday evenings, 10/16-11/20, 5:30-8:30 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Gelernter 6 weeks $270

Prerequisites: Basic Drawing, Vertebrate Anatomy for Artists, Colored Pencil I

Note: A laptop computer is required.

Reconstructing extinct animals like dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals is a complex and extremely rewarding process.  This course introduces the principles of paleo art, including anatomy, how to find the resources you’ll need, speculative restorations, and behavioral considerations.  Students will choose one animal to reconstruct, beginning with anatomical studies and culminating in a finished piece depicting the creature in life.

Drawing and Painting Birds, Eggs, and Nests
#265 Saturday & Sunday, 10/28 & 10/29, 10 am - 4 pm
Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 2-day workshop $180

If you love everything about birds, why not challenge yourself by learning to draw and paint avian feathers, eggs and nests. By careful observation and attention to detail, we will create fascinating compositions by using a combination of media: colored pencil, micron pen, acrylic and watercolor. These compositions can be made into beautiful greeting cards or small paintings suitable for framing. Open to all levels.

Drawing and Painting Gems and Minerals
#150 Mondays, 11/6 and 11/13, 10 am-1pm
Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 2 weeks $90

Explore the fascinating world of gems and minerals incorporating specimens from the Peabody Museum’s collection of gems and minerals from the David Friend Hall gallery and the museum’s teaching collection. We will render these specimens in graphite and colored pencil and execute several small mixed media paintings suitable for your portfolio or personal collection. Open to all levels. Previous drawing experience helpful.

Painting in Mixed Media
#136 Thursdays, 11/9-12/14, 10am-1pm (no class 1/23)
Instructor: Dorie Petrochko 5 weeks $225

This exciting class focuses on painting with rich, intense water-soluble pigments (watercolor and acrylic) onto damp or dry paper. Manipulative techniques in the wet and dry stages of the process, using colored pencil, inks and pastels will be used. Figurative and abstract details resembling patterns in nature will be incorporated in the final stages of the painting. These techniques are ideal for creating backgrounds for natural science subjects. Open to all levels.

Butterflies in Colored Pencil
#104 Mondays, 11/20-12/11, 10 am-1 pm
Instructor: Jan Prentice 4 weeks $180

Not sure if this type of art work is right for you?  This is the class to try!  We begin with dried butterfly specimens and then learn how to "relax" the specimen and pin it to a board. Students will learn techniques to create beautiful portraits of butterflies.  Butterfly anatomy will be discussed.  This is a fun course for those with little to no drawing experience! Materials fee (butterflies, pins, boards): $15, payable to the instructor on the first day of class.

An introduction to Botanical Illustration
#266 Sunday, November 12, 10 am-4pm
Instructor: Betsy Rogers Knox All-day workshop $90

In this introductory workshop explore the process of creating a botanical study using seasonal subjects. With demos and a step-by-step approach students will be introduced to the fundamental techniques of Botanical Illustration including identification of plant parts, drawing and toning, color swatches, and watercolor washes. Recommended: Drawing I 

Click here to register online

Please note our new registration policy: Registrations must be received at least 10 days prior to the first day of class.