• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

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Online Course – 8th Edition

Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration 1: Traditional Techniques

September 26th-30th, 2022

This course will be delivered live online

This course will be taught using a combination of live (synchronous) sessions on Zoom and tasks to be completed in between live sessions on the Slack platform.

Live sessions will be recorded. Recordings will be made available to participants for a limited period of time. However, attendance to the live sessions is required.


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Course Naturalistic and Scientific Illustration

Course overview

This course offers a broad introduction to scientific illustration applied to Biological Sciences, and to a lesser degree, Palaeontology.

Practical examples will be selected based on the applicants’ interests and suggestions. This course is of intermediate level, some basic experience with illustration is recommended.

See the full program here


This course is of intermediate level, some basic experience with illustration is recommended.

All participants must have a computer (Windows, Macintosh)  Webcam and headphones are strongly recommended, as well as a good internet connection.

Materials that you will need to follow the course:

Graphite pencils (2H, HB, and 2B)
A drawing block (A4)
Normal eraser
Grade eraser (if possible)
Stump (if possible)
Calibrated black marker (2 or 3 different sizes, e.g. 0.1 and 0.4)
Drawing paper (thicker than the ones in the block)
A brush, not very large.
Carbon dust or a nail file to make carbon dust from the pencils
Tracing paper
A small object in a light color (or light gray)
A vegetable (e.g. a bell-pepper)
A lamp




September 26th-30th, 2022

Schedule and Course length

Online live sessions Monday 26th, Wednesday 28th and Friday 30th of September; from 15:00 to 19:30 (Madrid time zone).

The rest of the course will be taught with recorded classes and assignments, to be done between live sessions the week of the course.

40 hours

13.5 hours of online live lessons, plus 7 hours of recorded lessons, and 19.5 hours of  participants working on their own, with tutored drawing exercises.

Live sessions will be recorded. However, attendance to the live sessions is required.

This course is equivalent to 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) at the Life Science Zurich Graduate School. The recognition of ECTS by other institutions depends on each university or school.




Places are limited to 16 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end.

Testimonials for this course

Introduction to Naturallistic and Scientific Illustration (onsite) – 3rd edition.

“I really enjoyed this course, I think it was an excellent experience from many aspects. First of all the teaching of Oscar with his enthusiasm to pass his knowledge forward, and his patience and insights. The organization was amazing too.”

Introduction to Naturallistic and Scientific Illustration (onsite) – 2nd edition.

“The course was very well run and the teaching was excellent. Each day we learnt new illustration techniques, for which all the materials were provided. The course has inspired me to include scientific illustrations in my PhD thesis. Thank you very much Sole and Oscar!”

Oscar Sanisidro instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Oscar Sanisidro
Kansas University / Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
United States of America / Spain

Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis

Transmitting Science


  • Drawing basics: Halftone rendering, textures, transparency object shadows, reflected light and cast shadows.
  • Drawing tools and media:
    • Line and ink: Basic techniques, rendering styles.
    • Pencil: Basic techniques, examples.
    • Carbon dust.
    • Scratchboard.
    • Color.
  • Examples and subjects of scientific illustration.
    • Illustrating plants, animals and geological features.
    • Illustrating animals in their habitats.
  • References in scientific illustration.
    • Use of 3D scanned specimens as a reference for scientific illustration.
    • Other sources of information: photography, microscopy, camera lucida.


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until August 1st, 2022):
  • 366 €
    (292.80 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after August 1st, 2022):
  • 476 €
    (380.80 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • The price is VAT included.
    After registration you will receive confirmation of your acceptance in the course. Payment is not required during registration.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.