Botanical Illustration Intensive Gallery

This virtual gallery features works created by students in the course Intensive Study in Botanical Illustration (PLHRT 3250, taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly) during the Spring 2020 semester. The course provides an opportunity for students to take a deep dive into advanced techniques, exploring diverse media such as pen and ink, watercolor, graphite and more. 

Although students in the course this semester encountered the same struggles coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of campus as other students, they made a surprising and exciting discovery: Immersion in drawing and painting could offer solace, stress relief, and an antidote to the challenges of scattered concentration, as well as a break from the intensive time spent on Zoom.

The spirit of one student, Laura Kramer, is a great example: "It's weird to be wrapping up my first year at Cornell in my roommate's basement, especially without access to the art supplies I was supposed to pick up from home over Spring Break," she writes. "On the bright side, though, the plant life upstate is beautiful and I'm learning to adapt to the lack of fancy art supplies. My pieces featured here were done with a semi-broken fountain pen, some half-dried markers I found in my pencil case from middle school, and a set of kids' Crayola markers that my roommate found."

May we all be so resilient.


[Coming soon: The other profiles that got left behind on the old website due to lack of time during the migration.]

Shealyn Otto, Plant Sciences '22

"Botanical illustration has been an amazing outlet to express my love and appreciation for nature. I've adored deeply observing the minute details of the natural world and doing my best to capture its remarkable beauty in a variety of mediums.

"Taking this class has been an incredible experience and through it I've attained proficiency in a skill I'd always dreamed of having, yet never thought to possess."

Visit Shealyn on Instagram: @shea_scribbles.

Sophia May,  Industrial and Labor Relations '20

"My name is Sophie May and I am an aspiring amateur artist from Syracuse, N.Y. In the past, I have mostly focused my creative time on drawing and painting people, using acrylic paint, charcoal or drawing pencils and pens. This semester in Professor Eames-Sheavly’s Botanical Illustration course, I expanded my range of subjects to include the magical world of plants, and also experimented with some new artistic mediums, including watercolor painting and colored pencil illustration.

"It has been such an adventure stepping out of my comfort zone and looking around for new, beautiful subjects to paint and draw! These selections are some of my favorite pieces that I produced during the course."

Selections from Sophia's portfolio include:

View more works from Sophia's portfolio.