Natural Science Illustration Workshop • June 12-16, 2017

Whether you want to hone your observational skills and artistic talents to create scientifically accurate drawings, bring art and science into the classroom, or merely illustrate your journal with sketches or watercolor, this workshop is for you. No prior art training is required.

Instructor David Wheeler brings his expertise as an illustrator and his enthusiasm for the natural world into the classroom with his collection of specimen trays, curiosity cases, artifacts, and a gallery of the works by renowned marine science illustrators, as well as his marine and maritime library. For glimpse of what he has to offer, please see this article in The Forecaster.

Past workshop participants have described the workshop as five days of open studio time with a knowledgeable instructor who helps each artist gain skills and confidence at their own pace. Other features of the workshop include:

  1. Elements, principles, basic shapes, forms and structures, construction in nature.
  2. Intensive studies in the art of scientific illustration, often called close observation drawing, or “ the biology of the drawn line.”  In this, participants key in on instruments, microscopic analysis, precision measure, and the will to form.
  3. Sketch and release at nearby tide pools.
  4. “Town Halls”, wherein participants share their developing illustrations.
  5. Visits from DMC biologists.
  6. Experiential projects for teachers: deep sea concerns, our “algae future,” conservancy and design.
  7. Exhibitions of participants’ artwork following the workshop: at DMC and at a chosen marine museum or other venue.

Workshop leader:

  • David Wheeler

Details, Logistics & Registration:

  • Workshop fee $400.
  • DMC room and board is optional and incurs additional fees.
    •  Lodging
    • $25/person/night (student rate, up to 4 people/room)
      Student rate applies to high school, undergraduate or graduate students. High school students are welcome to take the workshop, but must be accompanied by an adult if staying on campus.
      $40/person/night (professional, double occupancy)
      $57.50/person/night (professional, single occupancy as space permits)
    • Meal plan
      $207 full meal plan: Monday breakfast through Friday lunch
      $60 lunches only meal plan; Monday-Friday
  • Travel tips and driving directions
  • The workshop will begin mid-morning Monday and mid-afternoon on Friday. Open studio time with the instructor is optional Monday-Thursday evenings. If you are coming from a distance and need to make travel arrangements, we recommend a Sunday afternoon/evening arrival, and a late-afternoon departure on Friday, or Saturday morning.
  • Registration deadline: April 15, 2017  *Several spaces are still available. If you’re interested please register today!
  • Register here!

For more information or a disability accommodation, please contact the course coordinator, 207.562.8220 or

Illustration by Linda Castor
Illustration by Linda Castor