Art Classes

Winter and Spring


Art Classes are currently in session!

Register now for  classes to assure you have a place.  New: Registrations must be received at least 10 days in advance, so don’t delay.

Click here to register online


Yale Peabody Museum's Natural Science Illustration program are conducted on a year round basis at the museum and certain select locations off premise. Highlights of our current classes and workshops are listed below.


Click here to learn more about the Certificate Program in Natural Science Illustration

WATERCOLOR I            
#244 Thursday, 2/1-3/22, 10 am-1pm
Instructor:  Linda Miller, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 1/22

Watercolor is a medium that produces luminous, translucent colors. Practice mixing colors while learning about color theory, and gain experience applying washes and layers when 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. 

#241 Friday, 2/2-3/23, 10 am-1 pm   
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 1/23

Learn to master the tricks and techniques of colored pencil needed to create beautiful detailed drawings. Course concentration will be focused on tonal techniques, color mixing, layering and texturing with various types of colored pencils and blenders. Demonstration and individual attention is given at each class.

Open to all levels.

# 101A, Saturday, 2/3-3/24, 10 am–1 pm
Instructor:  Jan Prentice, 8 weeks

Registration closes 1/24

#101B, Monday, 2/5-3/26, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor: Dorie Petrochko

Registration closes 1/26

#101C, Tuesday eve., 4/3-5/22, 5:30-8:30 pm
Instructor:  Rebecca Gelernter, 8 weeks
Registration closes 3/24

#101D, Saturday, 4/14-6/9 (no class 5/26), 1:30-4:30pm
Instructor: Linda Miller, 8 weeks
Registration closes 4/4

$400 (Peabody member $360)

Drawing I is the foundation course for all sequential courses taken at the Yale Peabody Museum. It is here that the necessary techniques in rendering light on form, value, texture, perspective and composition are taught. Each student will be given individual assignments and critiques, along with a final project, which is due at the culmination of the course.

#136, Sunday, 2/4-3/25, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 1/25

This exciting class focuses on painting with rich, intense water-soluble pigments (watercolor and acrylic) onto damp or dry paper. Manipulative techniques, with colored pencil, inks and pastels in the wet and dry stages of the process 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.

DRAWING II:  Light on Form
#201, Tuesday, 2/6-3/27, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Susannah Graedel, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 1/27

Light it Right!  Make your drawings take shape and pop off the page in 3D.  When depicting specimens in the classroom or images in photographs, it is helpful to be able to intuitively apply the traditional natural science light source to your illustration.  Students will be freed from having to work with special lighting.

#261, Wednesday, 2/7-3/14, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Rebecca Gelernter, 6 weeks
$300 (Peabody member $270)
Registration closes 1/28

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

#157, Monday, 3/5-3/26, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Linda Miller, 4 weeks
$200 (Peabody member:  $180)
Registration closes 2/23

Sketching from our 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.

#268, Saturday, 4/7 & 4/14, 10am-4pm
Instructor:  Betsy Rogers Knox, 2 weeks
$200 (Peabody member $180)
Registration closes 3/28

In this class learn how to apply basic watercolor skills to simple seasonal flowers.
With step-by-step demos we’ll walk through the process of composing a botanical painting. Light source, techniques for layering washes and dry brush detail will be included to round out this strong foundation for successfully capturing the beauty of spring flowers.

#208, Sunday, 4/8-6/10 (no class 5/13 & 5/27) 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Jan Prentice, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 3/29

This course is for beginning and intermediate students who want to learn how to paint realistically in oils.   We will discuss and practice the basics: drawing, evaluating values, color theory and mixing, paint application and more.   This step-by-step procedure gives students a solid grounding for achieving accuracy in any subject matter. Prerequisite: Drawing 1 or permission of the instructor.

#258, Sunday, 4/8-6/10 (no class 5/13 &5/27), 1:30-4:30pm
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 3/29

This course introduces students to more advanced techniques in combining glazes, textures and intense color to create dynamic compositions. Emphasis will be on achieving spontaneity of color, design, and depth of form. Students will learn the technical aspects of mastering watercolor such as correct timing in the dry and wet stages of brushwork, and in producing detailed effects. Critiques and demonstrations   will be shared in every class. 

Prerequisite:  Watercolor I

#251, Monday, 4/9-5/14, 10am-1pm 
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko, 6 weeks
$300 (Peabody member $270)
Registration closes 3/30

This six-week 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 prepared skins from the Yale Peabody Museum’s ornithology collection. We will observe the structure and form of various bird species by sketching birds in the Yale Peabody Museum Bird Hall and from live video cams, working in graphite, colored pencil and watercolor. Hands-on demonstrations, individual guided instruction and critiques are always provided.  

Pre Requisite: Drawing I

#267, Thursday eve., 4/12-5/17, 5:30-8:30pm,  
Instructor:  Rebecca Gelernter, 6 weeks
$300 (Peabody member $270)
Registration closes 4/2

This course will teach the basics of digital illustration using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  We will cover topics such as editing scans of artwork for digital display or printing, the basics of Photoshop painting, and vector drawing.  Students must provide their own drawing tablets (ex, Wacom Bamboo)

#225, Thursday, 4/12-5/31, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 4/2

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, creating textural effects and working closely from museum specimens and still life objects.

Pre Requisite: Colored Pencil I

#252, Friday, 4/13-6/8, (no class 5/25), 10am-1pm,  
Instructor:  Linda Miller, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 4/3

Discover how to paint portraits of flowering plants in watercolor as you observe them in the classroom. Hone your drawing and watercolor skills as you discover the intricacies of different  plants that are blooming in the spring. 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.

#217, Tuesday, 4/17-5/22, 10 am-1pm
Instructor:  Susannah Graedel, 6 weeks
$300 (Peabody member $270)
Prerequisite:  DRAWING II:  LIGHT ON FORM or permission of the instructor
Registration closes 3/30 (note to graphic design:  extra time needed to order insects from supplier)

The intricate structures of insects astonish us when they are magnified.  Create larger-than-life detailed portraits of insect specimens in graphite.  Students will employ microscopy and digital photography to reveal the structural details.  Materials fee due in class.

#267, Wednesday, 5/2-6/20, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Linda Thomas, 8 weeks
$400 (Peabody member $360)
Registration closes 4/22 

Ever wonder how to combine a variety of elements and turn them into an effective composition? In this class we will explore the various ways to make a great statement in both black & white and color! By looking at examples from various artists, as well as sketching from found objects and the Peabody dioramas, you will learn about positive and negative space, object relationships based on size, value and contrast, and foreshortening techniques. There will be homework assignments and a final project. Individual attention and critiques will help with each student’s progress.  All levels welcome but a knowledge of drawing and some experience with color is necessary.  Please contact the instructor directly if in doubt:

#269, Saturday, 5/5-6/16 (no class 5/26), 10am-1pm 
Instructor:  Susannah Graedel, 6 weeks
$300 (Peabody member $270)
Registration closes 4/25

Explore the exquisite secrets of spring and summer flowers through the microscope.  Students will dissect and draw the parts of flowers to produce an artistic botanical “plate.”  The connection between flower structure and type of pollinator will be explored.  Students will be encouraged to accompany the instructor on an optional field trip to the Harvard Glass Flowers Exhibit on Wednesday, June 27. 

#144, Saturday, 6/16 & 6/23, 1:30-4:30pm
Instructor:  Linda Miller, 2 weeks
$100 (Peabody member $90)
Registration closes 6/6

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, 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 duck inside the barn, where we can work from cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. Group critiques and demonstrations will be shared. 

255A, Monday, 5/21, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Linda Miller
Registration closes 5/11

255B, Monday, 6/4, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Susannah Graedel
Registration closes 5/25

255C, Sunday, 6/24, 10am-1pm
Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko
Registration closes 6/14

$50 (Peabody member ($45)

Work on your portfolio for the Certification Program in an open studio format where you will be
able to consult with faculty about all requirements and expectations for the final portfolio.

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.