Drawn to (natural) History

What do the invention of watercolor, one-point perspective, and the rubber eraser have to do with the history of science? 

And what does any of that have to do with learning to sketch?

Making a shadow drawing during a 'Drawn to Natural History' workshohp
Workshop participant creating a shadow drawing

Last week, nearly 20 people joined me to explore the answers to these questions. We made a hands-on dash through the history of art and science.  In addition to an illustrated talk that highlighted both artistic and science technology advances through the ages, we explored a wide range of sketching techniques that even non-artists can use. Even the skeptics in the group were sketching by the end (scroll down for details). Continue reading “Drawn to (natural) History”

Illustrating Ecology…conferences, that is

*Images are from the ‘drawing for scientists’ section I led in a scicomm workshop at ESA’s 2014 annual meeting.

Researchers have demonstrated that drawing (even without training) can help clarify what you know, assist instructors in assessing student knowledge, and enhance public communication efforts. And, there is evidence that collaboration between scientists and artists may result in better science.

Continue reading “Illustrating Ecology…conferences, that is”

Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?

Dear Digit sketch_5

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Dear Digit, I am not an artist or photographer, but I need attractive images for my communications. Since there are lots of images on the internet, I can usually find what I need. I want to do the right thing, so I usually write “photo by Google.” That’s good enough, right?”

Considering how many images are available on the internet today, we have a wealth of options one right-click away. But, there’s a catch.

All images are owned by someone, and it is legally and ethically important to verify you have their permission to use the image prior to using it. In some cases, reproducing and modifying images without the right to do so can actually have serious financial and legal consequences.

So, what’s a communicator to do? Continue reading “Dear Digit: Is saying “Photo by Google” good enough?”

Sketching Tip: 4 time-saving tips that can transform your field sketch from a scribble into a useful scientific illustration

Beetle & Kinnickinnick_post iconDo you enjoy sketching or illustrating your work or field site?

Me, too.

You probably agree that illustrations are like research – they are often more meaningful when shared.

On the other hand, do you dread what it takes to get your sketches into a functional digital format?

So did I. Continue reading “Sketching Tip: 4 time-saving tips that can transform your field sketch from a scribble into a useful scientific illustration”