Intro to Scientific Illustration - 4 Credit Course

Event Date: 
May 29, 2018 - 8:30am to July 22, 2018 - 12:30pm

4 cr - Art 448 (Special Topics)

Summer 2018: May 29-July 22Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Non-university students may register as a "special student" to take the course through the UW-Madison website:
Only requirement: a keen interest in some aspect of the natural world

Jacki Whisenant (Master's Certificate in Sci. Illustration - CSU Monterey Bay, GNSI member since 2015)
Scott Hartman (17+ years experience as a professional paleontological illustrator)

In-person studio time that will be divided between practical exercises in rendering subject matter, and studies in scientific accuracy and best practices for reference material and information design. Field trips to relative campus museum collections will be incorporated into each week. All exercises and projects will be gathered in a final pdf portfolio and/or online portfolio.

Scientific visualization is essential to communicating biological and ecological concepts, presenting information in an engaging way to connect with a broad audience. This class is intended to give an introduction to the practice of scientific illustration for both artists looking to enter a scientific practice and also for science students looking to illustrate their own research or subject of interest. There will be a range of aspects of illustrative practice addressed, from field sketching and spot illustrations to infographics and cross-sections/anatomical diagrams. One week will be dedicated to each of the five natural history collections on campus: Zoological Museum, Herbarium, Insect Research Collection, Geology Museum, Archaeological Museum, to gain perspective on what types of illustration are historically and currently used in each discipline. We will also have guest speakers  (from entomology, ornithology, geology, etc.) to explain from a scientific perspective what is useful for an illustration in each field. 

The structure of the class will focus on both information design and rendering technique exercises in a variety of traditional (graphite, watercolor, ink) and digital media (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator), and various techniques to ensure accuracy (avoiding camera distortion, quantifying proportion, color matching, etc.). Equally important to image rendering will be information design and effective visual communication, making sure that the information itself is accurate and credited to the source, as a proper scientific practice. Students are highly encouraged to investigate a subject of their particular field of interest, to incorporate into their final projects and portfolio.


Event Type: 
Intro to Scientific Illustration - 4 Credit Course