Drawing,  Natural History Illustration,  Nature Journal

Me finding my “thing”: Natural History Illustration

…taking the chance…

In February 2019, I heard the first time about a free course in Natural History Illustration from Newcastle University in Australia. The faculty offers a free online course to give everyone who is interested the opportunity to get a peak into this very interesting study subject. The course lasts 6 weeks, where the basics of natural history drawing are taught.

Actually it is for free to make a certification of the course.
So I had completed the first course in May 2019, but without a certification option. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I would get certification because I didn’t think I was good enough.

My worries at the time were unfounded because the faculty started entirely on a beginner basis. Now I’m doing the course again, only this time I’m taking part in the certification. Who knows how long the faculty will have this offer, I thought, and was annoyed with my decision at the time that I didn’t get the certification the first time.

…getting better and know it…

In the end it turned out that the repetition of the course (not everything is the same, there are differences when you do the certification) paid off in week 2.

A lot has happened in the period from May 2019 to September 2019. I learned a lot about observative drawing from Newcastle and I would like to show you my pictures from then and now to show you the extreme difference:

My first observation drawing in May 2019
Observations drawing in August 2019

I think the differences can be seen very clearly. I was very surprised at my own progress in such a short time. It’s fascinating how you can improve if you stay tuned.

Observative drawing has definitely become one of my favorites because I enjoy immersing myself in details. Something that I would like to expand and refine more in the future.

…the thing with the basics…

Good mentors teach the basics at the beginning. Unfortunately, I have rarely seen, whether in art courses or in schools, that the teachers actually introduce and teach the use of different media and tools deeply. Mostly this was always a surface talk. (Maybe I chose always the wrong courses).

I have to admit that the Newcastle course taught me for the first time how to really deal with the basics. Sad, but true – and great luck at the same time. Better late than never, I say.

This is exactly why the topic of tonal experiments with pencil is the topic in the first week. And that’s what happened:

In the picture above you can see my tonal experiments in May 2019. When I look at it now, I don’t wonder why pencil drawings were always something I ran away from. I didn’t know how to do it. Buying a nice drawing set is cool, but the knowledge how to use it is a complete different thing.

Tonal experiments in August 2019. The handling, the stroke and the mastery of the pencil technique has improved a lot.

And I even dared to make more of it and implement the basis in objects.

Week 3 is coming and I’m really looking forward to it. Was it worth doing the course again? I think the pictures speak for themselves.

You want to try it, too:
Find the link for the course of the Newcastle University here: ++click++

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