Natural History Illustration 101 Offered by the University of Newcastle, Australia
Creatively homeschooling parents, eclectic homeschoolers, and Charlotte Mason teachers, you’ll enjoy this free nature illustration course! A few months ago, I shared that I was going to take what I called a “nature journal college course” from the University of Newcastle.
I really loved it!
The course covers botanical illustration, but goes so much deeper than just showing you how the teacher draws objects. Instead, you are encouraged to draw the object as you see it! Also, you’ll learn about natural history illustrators who are helping scientists (an artist will sometimes notice things that are missed in photographs or not noticed by simply viewing an animal).
Guess what? The free natural history illustration course is being repeated! It begins April 2, 2019. The free course is called Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101. It comes to us online, from the University of Newcastle in Australia.
the University of Newcastle
Learn how to see and draw nature like an illustrator. Build observational and visual interpretation skills in an interactive and enjoyable way.
What is in this Natural History Illustration Course
Here is the course schedule:
- Week 1: Introduction to the course
- Week 2: Observational Drawing
- Week 3: Field sketching and recording techniques
- Week 4: The structure of flowers and leaves
- Week 5: The structure of mammals and birds
- Week 6: Rendering (creating finished artworks)
Here is the official introductory video:
What Materials are Needed?
You will need the following materials:
- A good quality A3 sketchpad with hard, smooth paper
- A hard surface to rest your paper on (either a desk, table or drawing board)
- Scrap paper or paper towel to rest your hand on
- A selection of graphite (lead) pencils of varying hardness, ranging from 4B to 2H. These can either be traditional wood-cased pencils or mechanical pencils
- A kneadable eraser and a hard plastic eraser
- A feather or a soft brush to dispose of eraser rubbings
- A few coloured pencils or a small selection of watercolour paints and a small paintbrush (optional)
- Although not essential it is very helpful to have a desk lamp so that your paper and subject are lit well and consistently
Is there a schedule or may I take it at my leisure?
The course begins April 2, 2019, and for the next 6 weeks, the professors will be available to look at the homework. The discussion board will also be open, for students to communicate.
The course will go on for 6 weeks, and the time needed (“effort”) is 3-6 hours per week. You will work on the course at your leisure; there is no set schedule.
When the course is officially completed, you’ll still have access to the course, but will no longer have the ability to turn in homework, receive professor feedback, or participate in the class discussion board.
How to Enroll and Participate in Natural History Illustration 101
The Natural History Illustration 101 course begins April 2, 2019. There’s still plenty of time to register, but do it soon so you’ll be ready!
Once registered, you’ll be able to access the course after it is completed, but will not have the instructor’s input anymore.
You will not receive college credit for taking the free course, but you can purchase a “verified certificate” from EdX. I don’t know anything about what that really means, but you’ll see the option when you sign up.
Enroll for the Natural History Illustration 101 Course at this link.
A money-saving tip: I’m not an affiliate of EdX, but wanted to tell you that I noticed eBates will give you 6.5% cash back – just thought I’d throw that out there, if you wanted to go the certificate way (I simply took the course for free).
What are the material requirements for this course?
Lori Seaborg says
Hi, Shellee! Great question. I just logged into the course I took and copied the materials list. It’s added it to the post. Thanks for asking!
What age is this best for? Highly motivated children or just college-aged/adults? And is it at a specific time or can you watch the video at your leisure?
Lori Seaborg says
It’s a college-level course, so it would definitely be good for high schoolers. I think most upper middle schoolers would do well, also. You’ll watch the videos at your leisure, and can even access the course after it’s officially over. I’ll add that info to the post – thanks for asking!
Please clarify if the course is once a week at the same time or do I access the course at my leisure?
Lori Seaborg says
Thank you for asking! I’ll add to the post that you take the course at your leisure, and can access it even when it is official over.