Botanical Illustration Class

Naturally Creative! Fall/Winter Series
Preston Montague

  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014 – 6:30 pm8:00 pm
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – 6:30 pm8:00 pm
  • Tuesday, December 2, 2014 – 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Develop your child's observation, drawing, and writing skills using nature as a muse!

Students learn to draw as well as develop writing, creative thinking, and keen observation techniques using nature as a subject with local artist and landscape designer, Preston Montague.

In each class, students will draw plants and animals en plein air, identify plants, and discover plant and animal relationships in the gardens of the JC Raulston Arboretum. They will use creative writing to expand upon the plant and animal world found in the gardens building their imagination. At the end of the series, students will have an image they created that can be used for a family holiday card.

This program is three classes. All three classes are included in the registration fee. Students are asked to bring a sketchbook to the classes. All other supplies needed for the class will be provided.

Botanical illustration spelling 'Nature'

Naturally Creative! Course Outline

Class I – Drawing, Observation, and Note-taking Techniques

Within the context of the garden, students will learn basic drawing and note-taking techniques in pencil, as well as learning the art of "seeing," rather than "looking." By developing these more complex observation and recording skills, students will be better able to express themselves visually, and become more competitive in the classroom.

Class II – Color Theory and Creative Thinking

Students will learn the basics of color theory and how to apply that theory to create brilliant, full-color images with color pencils. Students will also begin applying imagination to their observation and note-taking skills to develop creative writing.

Class III – Putting It All Together

Students will apply their newly acquired knowledge of drawing, observation, and writing techniques to create beautiful botanical illustrations with creative narratives.

Example of student's illustration

Preston Montague

Preston Montague is an artist, educator, and landscape designer who developed a passion for the natural world while growing up in the rural foothills of Virginia. Currently, he works in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he focuses on projects that strengthen relationships between people and nature. Preston received his Master's degree in landscape architecture from NC State University and holds bachelor 's degrees in horticulture and fine art. His latest body of work, NATURE, is a series of didactic botanical illustrations designed to promote natural science literacy using art and storytelling. Preston's work can be found at

Suggested for students 9 to 13 years old.
$75.00 for three class series for members, $90.00 for nonmembers. Students will need to bring a sketchbook for use in the class.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our new registration e-store.
Although we understand that unexpected things happen, cancellations made less than five days prior to the program will not receive a refund. A 15% administrative fee per participant per class will be deducted from refunds.
JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Please contact Elizabeth Overcash, children's program coordinator, at or (919) 513-7011.