Drawn to Nature Class Series

Drawn to Nature: Beginner Drawing for Adults

Participants ages 14+ of all artistic abilities and levels of experience are invited to sketch and draw in these beginner-level drawing classes. Join esteemed Teaching Artist in Residence Janice Tanton in this free and on-going series to explore different drawing and mark-making techniques. Using various materials and supplies, participants will explore basic drawing tools and exercises in this facilitated class. All classes encourage artistic exploration and conversation about the ways in which we interact with the cultural and geological landscapes of Banff National Park, with themes of Truth & Reconciliation woven throughout. 

Class locations vary. Please be sure to check details and register in advance.

Banff Centre wishes to thank its generous partners in this series: Banff Park Museum, Cave and Basin National Historic Site, The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Town of Banff and Banff Public Library.


With support from:



Beginner; little to no experience required; adults and participants ages 14+ are welcome. Please note this class is not suitable for children.

*Please note that similar techniques and activities will be taught every class, classes are not progressive. 

Course Outline

Each Drawn to Nature class will take participants through basic drawing techniques.

Sample class curriculum may include:
-    Intro to mark-making
-    Drawing material exploration (using different mediums: conte, pencil, etc)
-    Line, Value, Contour, Shading, Texture
-    Composition, viewpoints and perspectives
-    Still life (may include figure drawing and landscape)
-    Timed exercises and open exercises 
-    Opportunity to learn and engage with a working artist
-    Conversation and dialogue to connect subject matter with place

*class content will vary at the discretion of the Teaching Artist in Residence.


Free. Advanced registration is required for each class. 

*Participant numbers are needed to gather the proper amount of supplies.

*Drop-ins welcome but materials will be subject to availability. It is recommended that drop-in participants bring their own art supplies.

How to Register

Registration for all Drawn to Nature classes is completed online through individual event pages. All Drawn to Nature events will be listed on the Banff Centre Events Calendar. Simply find the date that you wish to attend, and select 'Get tickets' from the sidebar menu. Once classes are full there is no waitlist or cancellation list available. 

Once you have successfully registered you will receive a confirmation email from our Box Office outlining the details of the class.  

What's Included

Art supplies are provided for registered participants*.

Each participant will be provided with the following materials for use during the class. All materials and supplies, with the exception of finished work, must be returned at the end of the class.

-    Sketching Pencils: HB, B, H
-    Eraser (vinyl and rubber)
-    Conte (black, white, brown, burnt sienna, etc)
-    Sketching paper (newsprint)
-    Drawing paper (90lb or more)
-    Clipboard or drawing board
-    Clips, pencils sharpeners and extra materials available on site

If you would like to bring your own materials and supplies, a limited selection is available at Bow Valley Basics, located at 317 Banff Avenue (Cascade Plaza).

*Drop-in participants may use materials as they are available, and are not guaranteed. Drop-in participants are encouraged to bring their own art supplies.


Showcase your work!

The drawings and sketches produced from these sessions are invited to display in a Community Exhibition at the end of the year. The display and exhibition are optional and often held during the months of November, December, and January. Community Exhibitions have been previously showcased at Banff Centre and the Banff Public Library. 

Event Dates & Times

Drawn to Nature occurs multiple times per month. Please visit our events calendar for all dates.

*Please be sure to confirm the location as venues change


Janice Tanton is an interdisciplinary artist, with a focus on drawing and painting. She is an Alumna of Distinction (Creative Arts & Design) from Durham College, she also studied at the University of Windsor BFA (Acting). Janice continued her interest in the arts, working professionally in theatre, film, music, vocal performance and graphic design, culminating in the launch of her own art, publishing and design company in 1989.

In 2005, Janice moved with her family to Treaty 7 Territory in the Bow Valley where she accepted a position to serve as Program Manager for Indigenous Leadership at The Banff Centre. Setting aside a successful art career to devote time to her family and her new role, Janice discovered artistic inspiration and support through close relationships with faculty and participants from indigenous communities from across Canada and Australia. She is greatly honoured to have been adopted as the daughter of Elder Tom Crane Bear of the Siksika Nation (NAAF Culture and Spirituality Award Recipient), initiated into the pow wow dance circle, is a tipi owner, has been given the Blackfoot name Iniskim-Aki (Buffalo Stone Woman). She was appointed by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and the Premier of Alberta as a member of the First Nations Women's Council on Economic Security for the Government of Alberta and served three years on this Council.

Janice has taught painting and drawing at Red Deer College (Summer Series), The Haliburton School of Fine Art (Sir Sandford Fleming College) and in various programs offered by Banff Centre. 

Janice Tanton was appointed Banff Centre’s first Public Program’s Teaching Artist in Residence beginning January 2018.

For addtional inquiries please contact Public Programs | public_programs@banffcentre.ca