digital design


I am an illustrator veterinary and I work a lot with the computer. Is there a reference book for develop scientific illustrations which is upgraded to the new tools of digital design (Illustrator, Photoshop) ?, Thanks!


The computer is just a set of tools. You can learn to paint or drive a nail from many sources. It is what tools you chose for the job and how you use the knowledge of science illustration to emply the tools.  I am not poo pooing the idea of Reference books covering Computerbased Science Illustration, but they will be hard to find, since they are not esential to get started.  There is some material in the Last edition of the GNSI Handbook, but that is getting long in th tooth in Computer software years.  Most material is published on line or in Society publications I would think.

You Can find tibits of information in some of the GNSI Journals:

I Don’t Draw Much Anymore: Technology is rapidly changing insect photography and illustration

Studio Tips: Digital-Coquille Technique

Exploring Photoshop’s Selection Tools

Firt you need to know what to acomplish, then you can go anywhere on the web or other book resources to learn how to accomplish it.




I'm not sure if he works with digital tools, but one of our members is a wonderful veterinary illustrator, Les Sealings.  It would be worth contacting him to get some insight and perhaps general mentoring advice.  His website is

Good luck to you.

Sue Williams



I think there has been a misunderstanding because I have not expressed correctly, I am an illustrator and I am also a veterinarian, I work as a scientific illustrator at a veterinary publisher. I work with photoshop and illustrator.

I know many books to draw animals they show traditional techniques (pencil, pastel, graphite) but I do not know any digital painting guide. I just wondered if you have literature about

Thank you very much.

No books devoted digital science Illustration, only a portion of the last edition of the Guild Handbook of Science Illustration, and periodical articles about techniques.  You might check with the and see if they have any suggested references.


Hi Jacob,

I have recently bought a book called 'The Digital Biomedical Illustration Handbook' by Mike de la Flor- which I am working through and finding really useful. Its published in 2004 so uses Photoshop CS, but I have found that its not that difficult to do the same functions in CS5 (what I'm currently using). There may be a slightly different tab or menu name or location for example an option in the brushes panel, but the equivalent is not difficult to figure out, and the technique is what I'm interested in and so far I'm finding the book really useful. It also has a chapter on Veterinary Illustration, and each chapter has a tutorial (for the veterinary chapter it is: 'Fracture of the first phalanx in an equine'.). So far, that is the only book on the subject I have come across thats digital illustration specific to scientific/medical illustration.

I'd also be really interested in seeing some of your work- do you have a website??

Let me know if you have any other questions about the book.




Hi Jacob- glad to hear you are getting the book, its pretty good :)

I just checked out your website- your work is amazing!! I'm wondering, are you self-taught in illustration, or if not, what courses did you do? I am really interested in getting into medical illustration so would be really interested to know.



Hi Emma.

Sorry that I write you later, I have been on holidays.

I studied Veterinary and Arts at the University. I work as a scientific illustrator at a veterinary publisher for 10 years, during these years I have learned by my own digital design tools through books and courses of Adobe Illustrator and photoshop CS. I usually work with a Wacom graphics tablet. I like very much your illustrations.