Science Illustration at Evergreen

In 2016 and 2017 I taught workshops and semester-long courses at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Students there craft their own majors, and many are savvy in both the arts and the sciences. The course touched on the history of the practice and introduced methods and materials for making portfolio-ready work. We drew specimens from the campus natural history collections and living things from outdoors.


Remnants of my graphite and ink demos, plus a lemur skull

Remnants of my graphite and ink demos, plus a lemur skull

lichenological illustrators

One workshop I gave was for Lalita Calabria's lichen biology class. Students were already learning about Pacific Northwest lichen anatomy, diversity, etc. I guided them through translating lichens' complex forms into simplified, characteristic shapes and textures. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_f1f.jpg
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1724.jpg
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1727.jpg

the inky underground

The students and I shared a passion for illuminating soil-dwellers, cryptogams, and hidden natural systems. Much of their work revolved around these concepts without much prodding from me. 

Earthstar by Nantz McMillan

Earthstar by Nantz McMillan

Mycorrhizal symbiosis by Alexa Sharrett

Mycorrhizal symbiosis by Alexa Sharrett

Process and product

In the semester-long classes I emphasized critical thinking and experimentation in moving from initial concept to polished final work. As is often the case, a main takeaway was "it takes sooooo long!"

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_208c.jpg
Fly diversity by Claire Bullis

Fly diversity by Claire Bullis

Raspberry leaf graphite texture exercise by Kelsy Flores

Raspberry leaf graphite texture exercise by Kelsy Flores

Quick draw

We also did lots of quick gestural exercises. It was fun to see who liked this way of working more, and who preferred to zoom way in on the bugs. 

Komodo dragon watercolor sketches by Shani Abromowitz

Komodo dragon watercolor sketches by Shani Abromowitz