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scientific illustration

mixed media
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by JuliannaKunstler.com


Collect and represent visually information about your choice of topic.

Size: 12x18

Media: watercolor, India ink,
Optional: colored pencils, watercolor pencils

Research scientific illustrations: pay attention to the styles, layouts, use of text, media used.

Pick a topic (plant or animal).

1. Research and collect images, information, facts. Use them for reference.

2. Preliminary sketch. Organize your information in a comprehensive layout. Include You should include at least 4 views of the specimen:

  • For plants:
    • branch/stem with leaves
    • flower / bud (if any)
    • seeds
    • root system
    • close up / microscope view
    • measurements
  • For animals:
    • male and female specimens (2 total)
    • habitat example (desert, underwater, rain forest, etc)
    • global habitat (map)
    • close up / microscope view (skin / feather / scales / eye / claw / paw)
    • young specimen (egg, tadpole, chick, cub, etc)
    • skeleton / bones
    • footprint


3. Use fine pencil lines to position the visuals in your artwork.

4. Designate areas for text (use both English and Latin names)

5. Now you can focus on one visual at a time. Carefully copy what you see. Pay attention to details, colors, and proportions.

6. Use India ink after you paint. Add short descriptions, names, labels, etc. Use cursive.