News Stories from February 2014

Botanical Illustration: What to illustrate in Winter February 22nd 2014

Story posted: 22. February 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Botanical and scientific illustators are bound by the seasons; everything flowers in a mad rush in May, and I hear natural history illustrators across the land and in the US wailing because there's never enough time to draw the profusion of flowers in season before they go over.  It's a similar scenario in autumn, when fruits and nuts are everywhere; but when winter comes, what can a botanical illustrator draw?

First, remember that not every plant loses its leaves and lies dormant over winter.  All the evergreens are still available for study, and the wintery gales help bring…

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Category: News of current projects    Comments: 1    Viewed: 2635

Scientific Illustator at Home: Wildlife enounters on the doorstep February 14th 2014

Story posted: 14. February 2014 by Lizzie Harper

As a natural science illustrator, I spend my working life surrounded with bits of plants, boxes of insects, and endless books and photos of reference of animals.  Obviously, whenever I can I work from live specimens I do (and my freezer will testify to the dead specimens I have on hand…); but tight deadlines and practicalities often make this impossible.  Which means that when I get to see an animal in the wild, it’s really exciting.

This week, I saw a live otter, nonchalantly crossing the road in front of me.

I recognized it, screamed with excitement, nearly…

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Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 2    Viewed: 2785

Scientific Illustator Out and About: Natural History Museum Spirit Collection Tour - February 7th 2014

Story posted: 7. February 2014 by Lizzie Harper

Finding myself in London, I visited the Natural History Museum and took myself and assorted (older) children on one of their wonderful Spirit Collection tours .  This is a behind the scenes look at some fo the enormous collection of animal specimens held in the Darwin Centre at the mueum, most of which are pickled in ethanol or formalin.

I've tried to illustrate this blog with my own pictures, but I have few illustrations of animals pickled in jars, so you'll have to use your imaginations...

The first stop was to peer through the window of a room where beetles are set…

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Category: Scientific Illustrator out and about    Comments: 2    Viewed: 2765