Teaching Artist Information

Gretchen Halpert member photo

Gretchen Kai Halpert

Scientific Illustrator & Educator

Portland, ME

Primary Medium(s):
watercolor, graphite, pen and ink on paper, film, and scratchboard

Ages / Grades:
15 years to adult

Any distance as long as travel is covered.

Courses Offered:

Several courses are available for groups of up to 12 participants, please see descriptions below. All courses can be adapted to shorter workshops and all workshops expanded to longer courses. New classes and workshops may be designed to meet your needs.

Course Descriptions:

Drawing from Nature
Keeping a field sketchbook will be encouraged throughout this course. Demonstrations, weekly assignments and critiques, and exposure to professional organizations in this field make this an attractive course for those interested in art and science. This course offers the opportunity to learn the basics or to improve skills while relaxing and learning from examples of nature in the company of others. Students use traditional drawing exercises and hone their observation skills as they capture the elements of the natural world on paper. Work is completed in a variety of black and white and color media. The goal of this class is to create depth, contrast, and accurate form while paying attention to detail and composition. New media is frequently introduced while reinforcing the importance of form, value, accuracy, and observation.

Botanical Illustration
Two different botanical illustration classes are offered – one in black and white and the other in color. Both will offer students plenty of opportunities to hone their drawing skills, observational skills, and composition skills.

Pen and Ink Illustration
Become proficient in the age-old media of pen and ink. This class is dedicated to technique, composition and producing portfolio quality artwork. Using crow quill, brush and technical pens on film, bristol board and scratchboard, students learn the techniques of varying line weight, stipple, cross-hatching and washes to create drawings of precision, depth and beauty. Compositions are inspired from direct observation and published references. Tools for developing dynamic and subtle value ranges coupled with strong compositions and interesting subject matter prove invaluable for the illustrator. Previous drawing experience is helpful.

Make Your Own Sketchbook
Making your own sketchbook allows you to choose and combine a variety of papers under one cover. Papers may be selected for watercolor, pen and ink, color pencil, graphite, markers, cray-pas, pastel…With little to no gluing and some basic sewing, participants construct a decorative, sturdy,  hard-cover/soft-spined book. Once participants learn this construction method,  they will be able to make books of any size for any purpose. Examples of other construction designs will be displayed.

There are several other courses offered by Gretchen, which you can read about on her website gretchenhalpert.com.

Course Fees:

Please contact the illustrator for additional information including cost.

Read Gretchen Kai Halpert’s brief professional biography and view her portfolio