Intro to Scientific Illustration with Jacki Whisenant
May 29 – July 22 @ 8:30a-12:30p – M/Tu/W

Intro to Scientific Illustration, Art 448, Section 001
4 Credits
Beginning-level special topics course, open to all UW undergraduate and Special students from any discipline, Students supply their own graphic/drawing tablet

Scientific visualization is essential to communicating biological and ecological concepts, presenting information in an engaging way to connect with a wider audience. This class is intended to give an introduction to the practice of scientific illustration for both artists looking to enter a scientific practice and also for science students looking to illustrate their own research or subject of interest. There will be a range of aspects of illustrative practice addressed, from field sketching and spot illustrations to infographics and cross-sections/anatomical diagrams. One week will be dedicated to each of the five natural history collections on campus: Zoological Museum, Herbarium, Insect Research Collection, Geology Museum, Archaeological Museum, to gain perspective on what types of illustration are historically and currently used in each discipline. We will also have guest speakers (from entomology, ornithology, geology, etc.) to explain from a scientific perspective what is useful for an illustration in each field.

The structure of the class will focus on both information design and rendering technique exercises in a variety of traditional (graphite, watercolor, ink) and digital media (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator), and various techniques to ensure accuracy (avoiding camera distortion, quantifying proportion, color matching, etc.). Equally important to image rendering will be information design and effective visual communication, making sure that the information itself is accurate and credited to the source, as a proper scientific practice. Students are highly encouraged to investigate a subject of their particular field of interest, to incorporate into their final projects and portfolio.

In-person studio time that will be divided between practical exercises in rendering subject matter, and studies in scientific accuracy and best practices for reference material and information design. Field trips to relative museum collections will be incorporated into each week. All exercises and projects will be gathered in a final pdf portfolio and/or online portfolio.


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