Technique Sheets

The Techniques Sheets started life as a stapeled collection of photocopied materials from the early articles printed in the GNSI newsletters.  These techniques were completely hand-crafted, yet durable ways of creating art for science communication. The Techniques Sheets II booklet was developed from these originals handouts and printed in 1998. While some techniques, materials, and methods of creating scientific illustration have changed substantially in the ensuing years, the fundamental information for non-digital art creation remains the same or can be adapted to more current approaches (as in the case of the article on airbrush: the techniques explained can be used almost step-by-step in Photoshop). The one constant throughout these pages, demonstrated by all good science illustrators, is the experimentation with materials and methods to solve production challenges. Each new generation of illustrators is faced with this same challenge, no matter what media are currently in use. 

This new edition, Techniques Sheets III tweaks and adds to the classic information provided in previous editions. We are confident the information in these pages remains largely relevant and adaptable to our members in their current work; materials and approaches that are no longer widely used can still be reviewed in their historical context, and useful nuggets extracted. But there is nothing like the pleasure of holding a hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind image that is both beautiful and accurate — a true work of art. For that, these techniques are as important today are they ever were.

Selected original Technique Sheets articles have been archived to make room for newer technologies. These articles will still be available here on the GNSI website very soon. 

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