5 Botanical Art Projects for #ArtForPublicGardens- May 15-19, 2023

“Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” Leonardo DaVinci

Did you know that many famous scientists were also famous artists? Leonardo DaVinci was one of them. He wanted to understand the world around him and used art to communicate his scientific discoveries to the world. Like DaVinci, our Plant Heroes, Nate and Laura, enjoy studying botany and entomology and use botanical art and photography in their studies.  Join Nate and Laura next week as they create artwork for American Public Gardens Association’s #ArtForPublicGardens.  Read on to learn more about #ArtForPublicGardens and how you and the young learners in your life can participate.  

Participate in 4 Easy Steps

Young girl with strawberry blonde hair holding two botanical art projects she created featuring trees. She is standing in a garden.
Photo taken by Jeanette M. Henderson

Step 1: Chose a theme:
• May 15- Iris
• May 16- Tree 
• May 17- Cactus 
• May 18- Tulip 
• May 19- Bee

Step 2: Visit your local public garden for inspiration.

Step 3: Create your artwork!

Step 4: Post your artwork on your social channels each day according to theme and tag @americanpublicgardens #ArtForPublicGardens

Inspiring Ideas for Each Theme

May 15- Iris 

Art Project: Iris in Symmetry 
Learn how to paint an iris using symmetry. This art project is fun for all ages. 

Supplies needed: tempera paints, paint brushes, and paper

May 16- Tree
We had so many ideas for trees that we could not just pick one!

Art Project: Drawing and Painting Pine Trees

The United States Botanic Gardens has a video series on botanical art and illustrations. One of our favorite videos in the series is drawing and painting pine trees and branches.  This art project is advanced and best for ages 8 years and older. 

Supplies needed: sketching pencils, brushes, watercolor paper, watercolor paints

Art Project: Tree Plant Mandalas

Make a plant mandala out of tree leaves, seeds, berries, sticks, and fallen bark.  Download our Plant Mandala Journal to begin creating you own mandala. 

Supplies needed: Plant Mandala journal and fallen tree parts (seeds, leaves, bark etc.)

plant mandala with green leaves, pink flowers and seeds

May 17- Cactus

Art Project: Cactus Paper Craft

Create your own cactus garden out of construction paper. Make your cactus bloom by adding balls of tissue paper to represent flowers. This project is best accomplished by children ages 7 and above.

Supplies Needed:  colorful paper, markers, scissors, glue, tissue paper

Two botanical art drawings of tulips created with pastel chalk. One tulip is red and the other one is purple.

May 18- Tulip

Art Project: Chalk Pastel Tulip Art Project

Make a bouquet of tulips using pastels and chalk.  This project is fun for all ages. 

Supplies Needed: chalk pastels, white glue, black drawing paper, white pencil crayon, paper towel

May 19- Bee

Art Project: Draw a Realistic Bee

Learn how to draw a realistic bee with all its parts. To make your bee even more realistic check out this field guide to identifying bees. 

Supplies Needed:  paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers

Visit the Plant Heroes Pinterest page for more inspirational ideas!

Written by: Jeanette Henderson, Plant Protection Program Coordinator

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