Art Classes

Winter and Spring

January 15 - June 19, 2017

Art Classes are currently in session!

Now is the time to register for the spring sessions to assure you have a place. There are deadlines for registration, so don’t delay. Register for classes by downloading the Class Registration Form PDF


Connecticut Natural Science Illustrator art classes are conducted at the Yale Peabody Museum on a year round basis. The art classes are 3, 4, 6, and 8 week sessions. Highlights of our current classes listed below.


We also have a Certificate Program in Natural Science Illustration



Drawing II    Advanced Graphite, Light on Form

#201 Sundays, 1/15 - 3/12, 10 am –1 pm  (no class 2/19)

Instructor:  Susannah Graedel   8 weeks  $360

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

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.    


Drawing I (offered twice)

#101A Saturdays, 2/11 - 4/15, 1:30-4:30 pm (no class 3/4, 4/1)

Instructor:  Linda Miller    8 weeks   $360

#101B  Thursday evenings, 3/2 - 4/20, 5:30-8:30 pm

Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko   8 weeks  $360

Anyone can draw! Practice working with the classical tools of drawing such as memory, gesture, and contour. Strengthen your observational skills while learning to portray natural science subjects using graphite, charcoal and conte crayon. Learn about value, form, perspective, structure, and composition. Drawing is the foundation for all art work. This course is a prerequisite for many other courses.

Watercolor II

#258 Tuesdays, 2/7 - 3/28, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko   8 weeks  $360

Prerequisite:  Watercolor I

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.

Botanical Drawing

#259 Saturdays, 3/4 - 4/15, 10 am-1 pm (no class 4/1)

Instructor:  Jan Prentice    6 weeks  $270

An additional fee of $15 for flowers, payable to the instructor on the first day of class.

Prerequisite:  Drawing I or permission from the instructor

Working with live, fresh flowers offers an exceptional opportunity to develop observational skills, increase understanding of the light source, value, and shading to create the illusion of form, depth and space.  We will work on a new flower each week, first studying and understanding the parts of the plant and then creating a detailed portrait.  This class will give you a solid foundation for Botanical Watercolor, beginning on April 22.


Drawing from the Peabody Dioramas

#157 Mondays, 3/6 - 3/27, 10 am-1 pm

Instructor:  Linda Miller   4 weeks    $180

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.


Vertebrate Anatomy for Artists

#261  Monday evenings, 3/13-4/3, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Instructor:  Rebecca Gelernter   4 weeks   $180

Prerequisite:  Drawing I or permission from the instructor. 

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. Prerequisites: Drawing I


Insects Writ Large in Graphite

#217 Fridays, 3/31 - 5/5, 10 am –1 pm

Instructor:  Susannah Graedel    6 weeks  $270

Prerequisite:  Drawing II or permission from the instructor

Registration deadline:  Wed. March 15

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.  Prerequisite:  Drawing II or permission of the instructor.  


Drawing and Painting Feathers

#104 All-day Workshop, Sunday, 4/2, 10 am-4 pm

Instructor Dorie Petrochko   $90

Feathers have healing powers!   Learn the structure of feathers and how to portray them authentically in watercolor, scratchboard and colored pencil.  Open to beginners as well as experienced artists.


Drawing and Painting Gems and Minerals

#260 Tuesdays, 4/4 - 5/9, 10 am-1pm

Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko   6 weeks   $270

Prerequisite:  Watercolor I

Explore the fascinating world of gems and minerals by drawing and painting

rare specimens from the Peabody Museum’s collection. We will render these specimens in graphite, watercolor and colored pencil and execute several small  detailed paintings suitable for your portfolio or mineral collection. Open to all levels- some drawing experience helpful.

Colored Pencil I

#241  Wednesday evenings, 4/5 -5/24, 5:30-8:30 pm

Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko   8 weeks   $360

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

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 pencils and blenders. Demonstration and individual attention is given at each class.  


Watercolor I

#244 Thursdays, 4/6-5/25, 10 am - 1 pm

Instructor:  Linda Miller   8 weeks   $360

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

Watercolor is a medium that creates 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.


Drawing and Painting Birds

 #205  Sundays, 4/9 - 5/21, 10 am-1pm (no class 4/16)

Instructor:  Dorie Petrochko   6 weeks   $270

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

This six-week class focuses on avian anatomy, sketching and drawing from mounted specimens and skins, visiting the Yale Peabody Museum Bird Hall and incorporating reference images and videos to expand our knowledge. We will work in graphite, colored pencil and watercolor to best interpret bird behavior and coloration.  Prerequisite:  Basic Drawing


Botanical Watercolor

#252  Saturdays, 4/22-6/3, 10 am - 1 pm, (no class 5/6)

Instructor:  Linda Miller   6 weeks   $270

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

Enjoy painting flowering plants in watercolor using traditional techniques. Emphasis will be on first creating accurate, structural botanical drawings observed and rendered from live plants. This course is a great follow-up to Botanical Drawing which meets on the six Saturdays before this class starts.



#263  Mondays, 4/24 - 6/19, 10 am -1pm (no class 5/29)

Instructor:  Jan Prentice   8 weeks  $360

Prerequisite:  Drawing I

Learn to identify the elements of composition (line, value, shapes, forms, color,space, texture) and the principles of composition (balance, contrast, movement, emphasis, pattern, proportion, unity).  Once understood, these elements and principles are applied for more effective and deliberate composition of individual works of art .

Introduction to Paleo Art

#262 Monday evenings, 4/24-6/5, 5:30-8:30 pm (no class 5/29)

Instructor:  Rebecca Gelernter   6 weeks   $270

Prerequisites: Basic Drawing, Animal 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 paleoart, 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.


Completing Course Projects, Open Studio

#255 Each session $45

Susannah Graedel, Tuesday 5/16, 10 am-1pm       

Linda Miller, Tuesday 5/23, 10 am-1pm

Jan Prentice, Saturday, 6/10, 10am-1pm                

Dorie Petrochko, Saturday, 6/17, 10 am-1m

This is a chance to finish those class final projects that you may have in a drawer just waiting for completion! A CTNSI instructor will be available in each session to give help so you get them done. Each session is priced separately, so students may come to as many as they wish. All students are welcome, whether or not they are considering pursuing a CTNSI certificate program.

Register for classes by downloading the Class Registration Form PDF

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