For those who are not looking to go back to school or an education program due to budget concerns, and are looking to self learn, which book or material would you recommend for learning specifically about doing natural science illustration correctly? Thanks!

The Guild Handbook of Science Illustration is the biggest and best.  

This is also good: Scientific Illustration: A Guide to Biological, Zoological, and Medical Rendering Techniques, Design, Printing, and Display by Phyllis Wood.


Thanks Britt!

That handbook is quite expensive.... but I think my local library has a copy in restricted reference section upstairs.... 

Hi, I'm a newbie here.

I was just wondering what materials would be good for a starter ? I like drawing with pens (felt or metal tips I imagine) because the lines are neat, but would that be good ? Also, are  there any recommendations on how to start (like drawing the outlines first or practice shading or something like that ?).


You should start with editable media like pencils and paper, maybe even tracing paper so you can see the flipped view as well.  you can practice shading on an overlay of tracing paper. Then transfer the drawing to a final surface with either projector or a transfer sheet. Then use yoru pens (dip pens, mecanical pens, or possibly even the newer micro pens tha come in several widths) to do the final reawing. Then gently remove the pencil lines with a kneeded eraser.