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GWP Skill Share Series: Digital Naturalist Illustration
Digital Naturalist Illustration led by Nina Sokolov

Before the advent of photography, natural history illustration was used in science to document biodiversity. It was incredibly important to not just capture an interpretation of an organism, but its exact details. The total number of veins on an insect wing, the angle of the mandible, the number and symmetry of flower petals, were all necessary details required for scientists to successfully compare between species.

In this class Nina will be using the app 'Procreate' for the iPad to teach scientific observation skills and sketching and drawing techniques to compose a natural history illustration. The digital medium makes it easy to collage reference material all in one place and to use layers to build detail, however using a digital medium is not required. Students will be asked to observe and sketch out an animal in a variety of poses before focusing on adding detail into one final illustration. A photo composition of an animal will be provided as reference material for the lesson. If you wish to illustrate a specific organism, please come with your own reference images. Open to all skill levels that wish to strengthen their observational and visual interpretation skills of the natural world.

Materials: You will need a drawing tablet of any kind as well as an illustration program. Alternatively if you don't have a tablet you can use graphite pencil and sketch paper (8.5 x 11'').

Additional info:

Events are ADA accessible. Please contact Disability Access Services 510.643.6456 or

Mar 4, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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