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Header of the course Introduction to Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration - 3rd Edition


Organising committee



Date and Site


Course length and ECTS



Number of places







Registration Form


Course Poster


Introduction to Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration
This course offers a broad introduction to scientific illustration applied to Biological Sciences, and to a lesser degree Palaeontology. It is also intended to give a hands-on overview of the most current technological advances in the field, such as basic computer graphics applied to science illustration and 3D modelling. Practical examples will be selected based on the applicants’ interests and suggestions.


Oscar Sanisidro instructor at Transmitting Science
Oscar Sanisidro
(Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales - CSIC, Spain).

Organising committee:

Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno course coordinator at Transmitting Science
Dr. Soledad De Esteban-Trivigno

(Transmitting Science, Spain).
Dr. Judit Marigó course coordinator at Transmitting Science
Dr. Judit Marigó

(Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France; and Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), Spain).


A basic knowledge in computer graphics software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator) and in personal computers is strongly recommended. All participants must bring their own personal laptop (Windows, Macintosh, Linux).



Date and Site:

Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP): Premises of Sabadell - Museum

Monday 9th to Friday 13th May 2016.

Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), C/ de l’Escola Industrial, 23, 08201 Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). GPS Coordinates: Latitude 41.547346 (41° 32’ 50.4459’’N), Longitude 2.106325 (2° 6’ 22.7712’’E). How to arrive.



- Scientific and naturalistic illustrations: Generalities and comparison.

- Scientific illustration versus photography.

- General drawing workflow.

- Sketching and approaches to naturalistic illustration.


Practice: First approach to scientific illustration.



- Drawing basics: Halftone rendering, textures, transparency object shadows, reflected light and cast shadows.

- Drawing tools and media:

    • Line and ink: Basic techniques, rendering styles, scratchboard.
    • Pencil: Basic techniques, coloured pencils, watercoloured pencils, examples.
    • Water colour.
    • Camera lucida (procedure and practical examples).


Practice: Graphite rendering practice.

Excursion: Field sketching (naturalistic illustration).


Theory: Introduction to computer graphics.

- Bitmap graphics software: Main tools, layer workflow.

- Chromatic diagrams, bit depth, colour models and channels, image corrections.

- Vectorial vs. bitmap drawing.

- Vectorial graphics software: Bezier-curve drawing, pattern filling, examples.


Practice: Improving traditional media drawings.



- Examples and subjects of scientific illustration.

    • Illustrating plants, animals and geological features.
    • Illustrating animals in their habitats.
    • Palaeoecological reconstruction.

- 3D applied to scientific illustration.

    • How to build basic models.
    • 3D-aided traditional illustration.
    • Use of 3D scanned specimens.
    • Other applications of 3D design software.

Course length and ECTS:

40 hours on-site. This course is equivalent to 4 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end of it.


Monday 9th to Friday 13th May 2016:

9:30 to 13:30 Lessons.
13:30 to 15:00 Lunch.
15:00 to 19:00 Lessons.

  • There will be two coffee breaks each day, halfway through each lesson session.

The schedule is approximate; it is possible that the content of one day may run into the next and a working day may be longer than advertised.


You will find below some testimonials from former participants to previous editions of this course:

Dr. Laetitia Gunton former participant at Transmitting Science“The course was very well run and the teaching was excellent. Each day we learnt new illustration techniques, for which all the materials were provided. The course has inspired me to include scientific illustrations in my PhD thesis. Thank you very much Sole and Oscar!”
Dr. Laetitia Gunton, University of Southampton and Natural History Museum London, United Kingdom (2nd Edition).

More Testimonials.

Number of places:

Places are limited to 20 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.


Reduced registration fee until December 31, 2015: 550 €. Full registration fee after December 31, 2015: 735 €. This includes course material, coffee breaks and lunches.

Former participants will have a 5 % discount** on the current course fee.

We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact us at

Please complete and submit your Registration Form (see below); we will confirm your acceptance by e-mail. If you do not receive any confirmation by e-mail after registration, please contact us at

Cancellation policy:

If you wish to cancel your participation in this course, cancellations up to 20 days before the course start date will incur a 30 % cancellation fee. For later cancellations, or non-attendance, 75 % of the fee will be charged.

If Transmitting Science must cancel this course due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Transmitting Science, you will either be entitled to a full refund of the course fee, or your fee can be credited toward a future course / workshop. Transmitting Science is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred by you as a result of such cancellation. Every effort will be made to avoid the cancellation of any planned course / workshop.


The course will take place in the city of Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain).

You may stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. You will find information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here. It takes about 45 minutes by public transport to arrive to Sabadell from the centre of Barcelona city. The place of the course is about 15 minutes walking from the train stop.

How to arrive to Sabadell from Barcelona city.


Unfortunately there are no internal grants available for this course. However some discounts are offered to people belonging to some of the Associations, Institutions or Universities listed here. If you want to apply to this discount please state the name of your Association, Institution or University in the “Comments” field of the Registration Form (proof will be asked later).

Spanish unemployed scientists, as well as Spanish PhD students without any grant to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount** on the course fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact us at That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


For further information contact:


Transmitting Science Logo
Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) Logo Research School in Biosystematics (ForBio) Logo


Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Castilla y León Logo Colegio Oficial de Biólogos de Euskadi Logo
Colexio Oficial de Biólogos de Galicia Logo Col·legi Oficial de Biòlegs de la Comunitat Valenciana Logo Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) Logo
European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP) Logo Il·lustraciència Logo

Registration Form

  • Do you need an invitation letter for processing a visa?
    (list of countries in which visa is required to visit Spain).
  • Are you going to validate the course in any research PhD School or doctorate?
  • At which University / Postgraduate School / PhD School?


** Discounts are not cumulative.