My interests have always converged on the art-and-science combination (as opposed to the math-and-science relationship you always hear about). I have always enjoyed drawing nature, mostly with pencils and markers. Paint is fickle and difficult to tame (especially watercolor), colored pencils are too delicate… for someone who likes bright, bold, in-your-face colors, markers are the way to go. Besides, when you are illustrating insects, those fanciful colors tend to be more accurate (of course, this is all personal preference, other people with more skill are able to master those techniques!).
One of my marker drawings, a scarab beetle. For sale in my shop!
Over the years I have collected hundreds of sharpies, and got myself a nice set of prismacolor markers. I have sold my work at art shows and in my online shop, and have designed a few t-shirts. But aside from a plethora of high school art classes (and some private lessons when I was in 3rd and 4th grade), I have not had any training. All through undergrad I wished I could take a scientific illustration class, but none were available. McGill didn’t even have regular fine-arts, and I didn’t have time to commute to another university. UConn does not have any scientific illustration classes either, but we do have a full time biological illustrator here in my building. I finally got to meet her, and we clicked right away!
I am currently signed up for a few credits worth of scientific illustration independent study for next semester. I’m incredibly excited!!! Learning techniques from an expert, and working toward better images for my thesis.
Here are some practice sketches for a species I am helping describe. I can’t use these because I had touched the paper beforehand, meaning the markers didn’t adhere to where my oily fingers touched. Did not realize it had screwed it all up until I was done. Oh well… more practice!