What is Natural Science Illustration?
Put simply, natural science illustration is “art in service of science”. The artist “uses scientifically informed observational, technical, and aesthetic skills to portray a subject accurately.” (The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration, by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators). Illustrator, Diana Marques, refers to herself as a “Visual Science Communicator”. This title aptly describes the key role of a scientific illustrator — communication! Shapes, anatomy, details, and concepts that cannot be conveyed with words alone, and are often ambiguous in photographs, are visually described by the artist with clarity.
Gretchen Halpert's Scientific Illustration Distance Program
Scientific Illustration Distance Program, or SIDP, is an online distance course offered by Gretchen Halpert in four 10-week sessions. The course is designed not only to teach students the art and conventions of scientific illustration, but also the skills for professional business practice.
To discover more about Gretchen, as a botanist, biological researcher, scientific illustrator, artist, and teacher, follow www.gretchenhalpert.com.
SIDP Session 1
This introductory course builds drawing skills with the use of graphite.
Recently I completed SIDP Session 1. I would like to offer you my thoughts. SIDP 1 has excellent progression, moving through material logically, from what is introductory to that which is more advanced. Gretchen communicates the subject matter with clarity and offers evaluations that are sensitive to individual development. She makes the most of every opportunity to prepare students for professional work. Classes, delivered via Skype, allow for students to practice presentation and to learn from one another’s work through assignment evaluations. The course length is ideal – long enough to see growth, yet short enough to fit into the rest of life. And for Gretchen, . . .
Thank you for filling the need for instruction
in scientific illustration through distance education!
My visual description of Session 1,
a ten week progression
Tone, Form & Proportion
Foreshortening / Perspective
Tools include: 0.2 mm Pentel HB mechanical pencil, Canson transparent transfer paper, divider, clear 6” ruler, large box, thread, plexi-grid with 1 cm squares, 01 Pigma Micron
Bringing These All Together
Symphyotrichum novae-angliae New England Aster
Research into Anatomical Structure
Bombus impatiens Common Eastern Bumble Bee
Final Assignment - Fully Rendered Tonal Composition
To discover when the next SIDP Session One begins, or
for information about all of Gretchen’s SIDP sessions, follow
Gretchen Halpert Distance Program