Natural History Illustration 101

Illustration and description of the leaves and tendrils of the grape vine

NewcastleX: NHI101x Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101

This introductory course in Natural History Illustration is offered by the University of Newcastle. It is an online, six week course, focusing on botanical illustration and animal study and anatomy.

The course is available for a very low price (around $50 Australian) if you desire a certificate on completion, or is offered free if you just wish to participate in the assignments and take part in the online forums. Either way, it is very worthwhile.

I enjoyed the exercises and the positive feedback provided by the other students. It is a very friendly and supportive community and I learned new and valuable skills. The time passed so quickly and I would like to explore this field further.

Illustration and description of found natural objects

I saw the rock (top left) at Surf Beach on Phillip Island and I would just clarify that I observed the rock and photographed it. Of course I did not remove it from the beach. The colours were stunning and it caught my eye – it was exposed on the shore line at low tide. I may attempt painting it in colour some time.

Flower study and dissection
Fully rendered drawing of an animal

I chose this gorgeous little numbat for my final piece. Photographic reference was kindly provided by Western Australian wildlife photographer, Rob McLean.

Continue Reading

Field notes

Looking for banksia

This beautiful little banksia was growing very unassumingly in the Coles Supermarket Car Park in Cowes. I parked right alongside it – the leaves were touching my driver’s window. The banksia was in several stages of growth, from the unformed, smooth young cones depicted at left in the above illustration, to budding cones and to the mature cones depicted on the right.

Continue Reading

Elephant what?

My son gifted me this little 100mm x 100mm drawing pad made from elephant dung which he picked up in Thailand whilst on holiday. I have finally made use of it and will do a series of drawings and hopefully my creativity will improve, using this lovely material. I am already inspired, so here are some of my first attempts.

Continue Reading


It’s not so scary after all! Because here I am, unscathed. My WordPress website is up and running and although it took a while to get my head around MAMP and WAMP Servers and MySQL Databases (like, ages) I finally did it.

Continue Reading