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Drawing the Prairie

Schedule and location

Section A: The Prairie Landscape, Thursday, July 23, 2020  (Date changed to August 6, 2020)
Section B: Plants of the Prairie, Thursday, August 20, 2020  Register now
Section C: Prairie Insects and Animals, Thursday, September 17, 2020  Register now

9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Prairie Visitor Station

Fees and Registration

$39.00 member
$46.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 or to be waitlisted ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

Draw the tallgrass prairie, Illinois' most important native habitat. Learn more about this disappearing habitat while practicing your drawing skills under the guidance of a professional artist.

Each session, we will focus on drawing a different aspect of the prairie, including the landscape, individual plants, and the native animals that live there. Attend all three sessions to watch how the prairie changes throughout the season and to build a prairie portfolio. Or attend single sessions to hone your skill on a particular topic.

Bring your favorite drawing supplies and join the challenge in depicting the prairie in art.

Program participants must comply with current public health guidelines as required by the Governor of Illinois, which include social distancing and the use of face masks when indoors and when social distancing is not possible outdoors. For more information on the Arboretum’s guidelines, please watch the video at https://www.mortonarb.org/visit-explore/plan-visit/know-you-go-visit-information.

Course number



Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the Nature Artists’ Guild.  She has degrees in Scientific Illustration and Entomology and has been teaching at the Arboretum since 1999.  She enjoys sketching with friends and exploring new media and ways to depict her favorite subjects.

Course details

  • Notes:
  • This program will take place outdoors. Check the forecast and dress for the weather. If rain is forecast, bring rain gear. We will be walking off-trail, so wear long pants and close-toed shoes. 
  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, water, and the following sketching supplies: pencil/pen, eraser, and sketchbook.
  • Optional: any colored media supplies they're comfortable carrying (i.e. watercolor or colored pencils), something to sit on, and a hat. 
  • Limit 8
  • Prerequisites: Foundational drawing skills and experience working with graphite

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies\