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Header of the course Introduction to Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration


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Course Poster

Introduction to Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration
This course offers a broad introduction to scientific illustration applied to Biological Sciences with some remarks in Palaeontology. It includes general elements in the production of a scientific illustration for editorial publishing. It is also intend to show a look at the most current technological advances in the field like basic computer graphics applied to science illustration and 3D modelling. Practical examples will be fitted according to the feedback of the applicants.



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

Course director:


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

(Transmitting Science, 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).




Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), C/ de l’Escola Industrial, 23, 08201 Sabadell, Barcelona (Spain). How to arrive.


Monday 12th May 2014.

- Theory:

  • Scientific and naturalistic illustrations: Generalities and comparison.
  • Scientific illustration versus photography.
  • General drawing workflow.
  • Sketching and approaches to naturalistic illustration.

- Afternoon Practice: Field sketching (naturalistic illustration) and a first approach to scientific illustration.



Tuesday 13th May 2014.

- Theory:

  • 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).

- Afternoon Practice: Graphite rendering practice.

Wednesday 14th May 2014.

- 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.

- Afternoon Practice: Improving traditional media drawings.


Thursday 15th May 2014.

- Theory: 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.

- Afternoon Practice: 3D modelling of an organic example.


Friday 16th May 2014.

- Theory: Examples and subjects of scientific illustration.

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

- Afternoon Practice:

  • Post production.
  • Labelling and assembling the illustration in a scheme.

Course length:

40 hours on-site.


Monday 12th to Friday 16th May 2014:

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.

Number of places:

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


Life Science Zurich Graduate School Logo

This course can be validated by 1.5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) by the Life Science Zurich Graduate School, Zurich, Switzerland.


Reduced registration fee until January 31, 2014: 375 €. Full registration fee after January 31, 2014: 525 €. Participation fees include 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.


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, the full course 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 can stay in Barcelona city or Sabadell. Information about Hotels and Hostel in Sabadell here.

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). For information on External Financial Support, please check the link.


For further information contact:


Transmitting Science Logo Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) 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

Registration Form

  • Do you need an invitation letter for processing a visa?
    (list of countries in which visa is required to visit Spain).


* Discounts are not cumulative.