Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101 (Free Course starting Aug. 14th, 2019)

(Leah has shared this one before: https://www.smartermarx.com/t/free-online-course-natural-history-illustration/422 but it is running again!)

Play Video: Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101

Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101

Learn how to see and draw nature like an illustrator. Build observational and visual interpretation skills in an interactive and enjoyable way.

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  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Effort: 3 to 6 hours per week
  • Price: Free
    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD
  • Institution: NewcastleX
  • Subject: Art & Culture
  • Level: Introductory
  • Language: English
  • Video Transcripts: English

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About this course

Whether an aspiring scientific or medical illustrator or someone who enjoys drawing nature’s wonders, this first-of-its-kind MOOC course is for you.

The field of Natural History Illustration is about observing and illustrating subjects from nature, science and culture, with their linkages to the environment being central.

Our natural world is a fascinating place. Being able to observe and replicate it through illustration provides insights into life that can change how we think about ourselves and our surroundings.

You will learn essential skills and techniques that form the base for creating accurate and stunning replications of subjects from the natural world. This art and culture course is suitable for people looking to enter the illustration discipline as a serious pursuit or just looking to explore a passion.

As world-standard instructors, we will show you practical ways to develop your skills from the outset. Step by step, we will cover the fundamentals of Natural History Illustration, from the first observation of a subject in the field to the final replication in the studio.

This online course will teach you enduring skills that can be used in many different ways. Join us to explore, observe and draw the natural world and become part of a scientific tradition steeped in history.

What you’ll learn

  • Core scientific observational skills
  • Field drawing and sketching techniques
  • Concept sketch development
  • Composition for natural history illustration
  • Form, proportion and structure essentials
  • Drawing and rendering techniques

View Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction
Introduction to course and overview of NHI of historical and contemporary practice to set the scene for an immersive skills building experience.

Week 2: Observational drawing
Introduction to Natural History Illustration methods and demonstration on observational drawing.

Week 3: Field sketching and recording techniques
Introduction to working in the field and recording subjects and their environmental surroundings quickly and accurately.

Week 4: The structure of flowers and leaves
Understanding plant anatomy.

Week 5: The structure of mammals and birds
Understanding animal anatomy.

Week 6: Rendering
Creating finished artworks.

Meet the instructors

  • bio for Bernadette Drabsch
    Bernadette Drabsch
    Lecturer, Natural History Illustration University of Newcastle
  • bio for Andrew Howells
    Andrew Howells
    Convenor of the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration program University of Newcastle