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Two Full Days

Layering in Pastel—Patricia L. Savage
Level: Beginner

Patricia will show the layering of color on a rough tooth surface (Sennelier La Carte board), beginning with a hard pastel and finishing with a soft pastel—and discuss the different types of pastels and pastel surfaces and framing and shipping issues. Attendees will explore different types of textures and strokes that can be achieved with the different pastels. Students will spend a considerable amount of time exploring with help from the instructor. Bring: Full set of 96 NuPastel by Prismacolor, any other pastels you want to bring, small object or photograph that you have taken, Ivory soap (non-oily soap for hand washing), small hand towel or old t-shirt, kneaded eraser. Provided: Different colored samples of Sennelier La Carte board.


Beauty and the Sting; Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Honeybee; Papilio glaucus and Apis Mellifera; ©2002 Patricia Linn Savage; Pastel on Sennelier La Carte pastel board; ~9x11".
Full Day

Wildlife Painting in Watercolor — Peggy Macnamara
Level: Beginners welcome.

Peggy Macnamara will teach her unique multi layering watercolor technique for painting wildlife. While painting their own subject, participants will learn the use of many transparent layers to build solid form within strong grays, browns, and vivid colors. Peggy will demonstrate the gradual use of thicker paint and other techniques to create lifelike renderings of birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. Also, the practical solutions to working on large format (40x60”) paper will be discussed.


Zebra; ©2003 Peggy Macnamara; Watercolor; 30x12".
Photo: Nina Cummings



Muscles and Tissues of the Face for Scientific Artists—Gloria Louise Nussse
Level: Intermediate-Advanced

The purpose of this workshop is to give an overview of the muscles and tissues of the face and how this knowledge can be used in scientific and forensic illustration. Human and prehistoric hominid skulls and musculature will be discussed. By the end of the class each participant should have an understanding of how the muscles of the face relate to the skull—especially in relationship to eating and facial expressions. This will be done through lecture, handouts and hands-on participation in class with participants building up clay over plastic skulls. This knowledge can then be applied to anthropological illustrations as well as providing a primer for further study. Bring: Apron or protective clothing, clay tools, small millimeter scale. Provided: Clay and skulls with stands, handouts at a cost of approximately $35 per student (includes shipping of materials to Virginia).


Forensic Facial Reconstruction Exhibit; Homo Sapiens; ©2002 Gloria Louise Nusse; Presentation at California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.
Half Day, Mornings

Setting Up Shop!—Jennifer Fairman
Level: Beginner-Intermediate

This four-hour presentation and open discussion will focus on how to set up a small business from a free-lance scientific illustrator’s perspective. Jennifer will also demonstrate time-saving software for accounting, organizational and archival purposes using QuickBooks and FileMaker Pro. Topics will include: finances, taxes and finding an accountant, organizing, incorporating and much more. The second part of the workshop will include demos of (1) accounting software for free-lancers (Quick Books Pro), (2) a Client-tracking system and (3) an Illustration Archive Database (using FileMakerPro). This demo session will be 1 hour. Attendees will be able to interact with the session’s presenter and be given the chance to try using the databases and software being demonstrated at the end of the concurrent session. Questions and/or comments from the attendees will be welcomed at the end of each of the presentations. In addition, contact information will be made available to the attendees for after the meeting follow-up. Bring: Notebook (handouts provided).



Introducing PowerPoint —Lana K. Johnson
Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: Computer basics, mousing

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentations software package used by speakers to add visuals to their talks. In this hands-on class you will learn how to use this program effectively, starting at the very beginning. We will learn the basic features of this program: How to set up the page and then enter text and graphics; Do a little bit of rudimentary drawing; Cover slide transitions, animation of objects on the slides and how to professionally run the final PowerPoint slide show. By the end of this class you will have created and run a presentation. Handouts will be provided.


Deliver Your Content, In (A) Flash — Cassio Lynm
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of graphic software

The core challenge of every communicator is the process of deciding which techniques are appropriate for different circumstances. Many modern communication challenges necessitate the creation of experiences that are interactive and widely accessible. Knowledge of Macromedia’s Flash is an asset every contemporary scientific artist should have, enabling one to create engaging educational and presentational materials. This introductory workshop will include instructor-led demos and exercises that cover the basics of: Using Flash’s drawing tools; creating/integrating buttons; creating animation/movement; importing/exporting various file formats; incorporating/integrating traditionally-rendered materials! …and…where to go for more information. Time will also be allotted for tangential discussion on the topic of interactivity and appropriate use of new media. Attendees will be encouraged to bring questions and ideas.


Screenshot of Interface; Cassio Lynm; Macromedia Flash.
Half Day, Afternoons

3D for Science Illustration — David Fierstein
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Prerequisites: Basic familiarity with computers and Photoshop

A hands-on workshop covering some of the basics of computer 3D for illustration, including modeling, texturing, compositing, and techniques for realism. Learn how a variety of software packages—which may excel in one area such as mechanical, organic, or landscape modeling—can be used together, capitalizing on the strengths of each. The purpose of this workshop is to explore some of the possibilities of 3D computer illustration and ways in which this powerful set of creative tools might be used, as well as to provide a chance to get hands on and get a feel for working in virtual 3D on a computer screen. Students will create a 3D model of a subject of their choosing (bring a fairly simple object or sculpture to model and/or digitized sketches or photos of orthographic views of your subject)—or use one provided by the instructor to apply texture and shading, and composite and render it on a 3D background.


Parasite Lifecycle & Frog Deformities; Flatworm; Ribeiroia ondatrae; ©2002 David Fierstein; Digital; 4.5x7".
  Procreate Painter Basic Illustration Techniques—Larry Lavendel
Level: Beginner

A survey of basic techniques for creating Computer Illustration/Graphics using Procreate Painter. By following directed exercises the class will explore tools and techniques for producing illustrations. Though most of the tools and techniques have broad use beyond one particular style of illustration, the exercises will be broken down to highlight traditional scientific or paint type illustration. Basic concepts covered will include building and controlling brushes, layering, selections and masking, using color and paper textures, and using wet, dry, liquid and impasto (goopy) media. Basic concepts like resolution and file types will be covered by lecture.


Tan Oak Acorn; Lithocarpus densiflorus; Jennifer Johansen; October 19, 1999; Procreate Painter; UCSC Science Illustration graduate program class assignment.
Full Day

Minimalist Photoshop—Steve Buchanan
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Prerequisites: Rudimentary computer graphics literacy

The constant addition of features to all major software packages now comes at considerable cost in efficiency of use and ease of learning. Many people continue to use old versions of software because their simplicity contributes more to productivity than the recent expansion of features. And since Photoshop is primarily a photo editing and print production package rather than a drawing/painting program, its current user interface is a constant distraction from the visual concentration most artists require for controlled realistic drawing and rendering. This workshop will offer one artist’s approach to “painting” in Photoshop that relies on a minimal selection of features and settings and strives to get the software out of the way of visual/tactile involvement with the artwork. Participants will set up a working space, fine-tune their tablets and create a simple sketch and color rendering (...or at least get started). Bring: Reference material (photos, sketches or small specimens) for the subject of a very small drawing/painting. Something simple…we won’t have time to create anything serious or elaborate!


NatureWatch (detail); Red-bellied newt, Black-spotted newt; Taricha rivularis, Notophthalmus meridionalis; ©2003 Steve Buchanan; Photoshop, CorelDraw, Wacom tablet; 6x12.5" (this detail).


Parallel Line Illustration — Nancy Halliday
Level: All levels

Parallel line shading is a beautiful, classic technique that has no rival in traditional or digital art. Ink lines of varying thickness, applied with a crowquill pen, define form accurately and elegantly in a wide range of subjects. In this class we will concentrate on linear subjects such as grasses. Frequent demonstrations will guide students through a series of exercises to a finished drawing.


Extinct Peccary; Prosthennops sp. Nancy Halliday; ©1980 Florida State Museum.



Stepping into 2D Animation with Adobe AfterEffects—Frank Ippolito
Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Prerequisites: Basic understanding of the computer and Photoshop suggested.

These days it is increasingly likely that the natural science illustrator will become involved in projects that also require animated support materials. While 3D animation software can provide serious horsepower to the digital artist, many of these programs hide behind a complex interface with a steep learning curve. Adobe AfterEffects is a 2D animation program that allows illustrators who are comfortable working within Photoshop to slide directly into animation via a familiar interface. Layered Photoshop files can be imported with their layers (and their settings!) intact and layers can be animated independently or together as a whole. In this workshop students will learn how to bring their artwork alive using AfterEffects and Photoshop. Students will use their own Photoshop files or experiment with supplied sample files and will create one or more animations suitable for web or video viewing.


Screen Capture of AfterEffects Project Window; Frank Ippolito; Adobe AfterEffects and Photoshop.

Scratchboard with Pen and Ink or Graphite—Trudy Nicholson

The workshop will begin with slides and discussion covering materials and tools; planning a composition; transferring a sketch; creating pen and ink textures with ink lines on white, and white lines scratched from ink; creating dramatic effects; balancing lights and darks; corrections; and the use of color. There will be demonstrations of pencil and pen and ink working techniques. Each student will bring simple subjects (such as shells, feathers, fruit, pinecones), from which they will sketch a composition using two or more subjects, transfer their sketches to scratchboard, and start a pencil or pen and ink illustration.


Golden Lion Tamarins; Leontideus rosalia; ©1986 Trudy Nicholson; Ink on scratchboard; 24x17.5".
Full Day

Field Sketching on the Outer Banks — Marlene Hill Donnelly
Level: All levels welcome

Field sketching evokes the truest, most intimate contact possible between artist and subject. It can be simultaneously meditative and highly practical. Along the beautiful, breeze-cooled shores of the Outer Banks, we will stop at three different locales for hours of concentrated field sketching. Our subjects will run from native plants to lighthouses and seascapes. Marlene will teach focusing exercises using graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor to bring a sense of place and time to the pages of your sketchbook. Other exercises will concentrate on creating a page with maximum resource value. Marlene will also emphasize the written word, with simple exercises that can be used every day to expand both the value and the enjoyment of field sketching.


Puuohonau O Honaunau Reef; ©2001 Marlene Hill Donnelly; Pen and ink and watercolor; 5x7".