Presentations are subject to change! More to come!
A number of interesting presentation topics have been received; however, we can definitely use a few more! So contact Liz Lockett, Traditional Programs Chair or Ben Smith, Digital Programs Chair with your proposals.
Here is a sampling of our current presentations:
Scanning & Printing
Prerequisites: Some knowledge of computers and working with images (types of image of files, resolution) would be helpful, but all are welcome.
This presentation will cover optimal settings for scanning and preparing images for print. File types, resolution and color space will be discussed. Following the guidelines provided, you will be able to create image files that will print well from either a 4-color commercial press or from an archival inkjet printer. Optimal settings for archival prints will be discussed, producing professional results for digital prints and print editions. Handouts with references will be available.
© 2002, Karen Ackoff
Study of hawk. Image prepared for printing, showing registration and crop marks. Drawing by Karen Ackoff, medium: pastel dust, 2002.
Secrets of Composition
Kristie Ellen Bruzenak
Composition can be more than a pleasing arrangement of elements. A series of simple exercises will help participants become familiar with composition secrets used by fine art masters to bring the character of their subjects to life. These techniques have been reflected in scientific illustration history as well, and their secrets can be yours too! Following the exercises and a review of historical examples, participants will use the techniques presented to build a composition for a subject of their choice.
© Kristie Bruzenak 2014 Vitis rotundifolia, Muscadine Grape (Scuppernong), Kristie Bruzenak, watercolor on paper, 2014
Illustration as historical record: drawing from importance
This lecture will examine the importance of illustration in conveyance of critical information from generations to generation, using the homesteading adventure of Tim Christensen in Northeast Coastal Maine. The challenges and rewards of creating from Immersion in the natural world will be discussed, as well as stories and images gleaned from 7 years of living in a tiny off grid cabin in the woods. This will be an entertaining and visually inspiring lecture...
The Insects and Natural History of Eastern State Penitentiary
More than 125 years have elapsed since the summer of 1889 when Henry Skinner, a medical doctor and curator of the Entomology Section at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, visited Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and discovered that an inmate had made a collection of butterflies and moths in the exercise yard attached to his cell. An ongoing biodiversity study of this urban environment, now a stabilized ruin and historic site, began in the fall of 2010. The collision of art, science and natural history within the walls of the prison will form the nucleus of this presentation.
© 2013 GWCowper
Collecting at Eastern State Penitentiary
Fins Into Limbs: The vertebrate transition to land
Jason Philip Downs
For many plant, vertebrate, and arthropod groups, the Devonian Period (405-360 Ma) was a remarkable time of transition from aquatic to terrestrial environments. The modern terrestrial ecosystem, then, was established during the Devonian Period. This presentation will chronicle the Devonian field efforts and recent research results of the Department of Paleontology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Special attention will be paid to TIktaalik roseae, a species from the Canadian Arctic that is represented by well-preserved, well-prepared fossil material that occupies an important position in the fin to limb transition. The fins, their supporting girdles, the braincase, and gill skeleton of T. roseae have yielded important discoveries about the anatomical context of the vertebrate transition to land. This talk will also address how scientific illustration and other artistic representations of T. roseae have been essential in the communication of the species’s value to both academic and public audiences.
© Artist: Flick Ford
Tiktaalik roseae, Flick Ford, watercolor
Pickle's Prints: Learning from Mentorship
Anna Leah Dunham and Brian Dunham, MD
In the summer of 2014, Anna's father made the mistake of telling Anna that one of her drawings was good enough to sell. That fateful sentence is what launched Anna, who was 10-years-old at the time, into overdrive mode. She successfully badgered her father over the next 2-3 months until he reluctantly agreed to help her set up her business: Pickle's Prints. What is remarkable about this story is how driven Anna was when she began to understand what she was capable of producing if she exercised extreme patience. She was no long er drawing and painting like a child: she was functioning at an adult level. Her adventure was further fueled by the idea that not only could she produce artwork beyond her years but also set up a business that would raise money for those in greater need than her.
© 2014, Anna Dunham
Fancy Silhouettes and Drop Shadows
Silhouetted objects on white or solid color backgrounds have been common for decades, but are now more in demand than ever for highly designed textbooks and trade non-fiction. Add a convincing shadow in 3d perspective and you have a standout graphic to draw attention to your content. Learn the ins and outs of the software to prepare fancy silhouettes and drop shadows that do not have that “pasted on" look! Then learn how you can share your newly acquired skills in an online art portfolio, and promote your services with Science-Art.com with your prospective clients.
Science Illustration And Digital Storytelling
M Genevieve Hitchings
The web creates a unique forum for online storytelling, one well suited for explaining complex problems. My entry into the field of science illustration was through graphic design. Working as a web designer I found that illustration, particularly science illustration, when combined with interactivity opened up unique possibilities for presenting clear, digestible bits of engaging information. Essentially, this type of presentation is a slideshow, a series of consecutive images that tell a story or explain a concept, ideally with striking imagery and minimal text. As the interactive world becomes increasingly sophisticated, so do such possibilities for presenting content visually. We are seeing exciting developments in online newspapers and magazines as they experiment with interactive info-graphics and data visualization charts to communicate content. This presentation will highlight the challenges and benefits of designing a linear story in a non-linear environment. Emphasis will be placed on the illustration and its roll in telling a story in a time-based environment that users control.
© 2014, Hitchings
"Field to Studio: The Artwork of Mark A. Klingler, "A Dream Come True: Illustrating the Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C."
Mark Anton Klingler
See how a scientific illustrator goes about depicting the extant world! Mark Klingler created a hundred illustrations for Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C.. He will share insights on the process used to create the images depicting some of critters found in our nation's capital. The parks and gardens of Washington, DC, contain tremendous biodiversity. These include: earthworms, daddy longlegs, bees, butterflies and moths, fish, frogs, turtles, snakes, numerous birds, mammals, plants, trees and mushrooms. Watch an image develop from a sketch to the final full-color plate. With water color and color pencil, each image is crafted to share an insight about the subject.
An avid lepidopterist, his personal research centers on the life history of ghost moths, and he enjoys raising butterflies as part of the MonarchWatch conservation program. He enjoys spending his free time in the garden with his family.
© 2014 Mark A. Klingler/ Johns Hopkins University Press
Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C. with illustrations sharing the wild side of D.C. parks and gardens.
How to Feel Comfortable and Confident Using Photoshop
One of the myths about digital media is that it goes faster than traditional media. While it's true that there's no waiting for the paint to dry and smooth tones can be laid down in 1 second, there are many traps where an illustrator can get stuck in Photoshop. This lecture for advanced beginners and intermediate Photoshop users will describe-how the presenter constructs a digital painting step-by-step from preparing sketches to final touches. -How and when to separate layers, how to efficiently use selections -how to effectively edit and adjust illustrations for later edits and clients' personal tastes -Common Photoshop mistakes that will cost you hours of precious work time -Programmable actions The final artwork is a collaboration between a content expert and a science illustrator solving visual problems to create an accurate image that serves a specific purpose in the scientific community. There are plenty of Photoshop tutorials aimed at photographers and designers, but most don't cover illustration and painting techniques. Don't miss this unique opportunity where Ikumi will show you her tools and tricks to paint her medical and scientific illustration pieces using graphite and Photoshop.
© 2014 Ikumi Kayama. All Rights Reserved
Muscular and skeletal system of the human body for Middle School Science Textbook by Ikumi Kayama. Graphite and Photoshop
Birds-of-Paradise Project Illustrations
Andrew S Leach
Regarding my time at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I will explain how I landed the exciting position and how I contributed to the Birds-of-Paradise Project and other projects like the new All About Bird Biology website. I will discuss my process from working with the scientists and program managers developing context to my illustration techniques.
Wilson's bird-of-paradise icon
One of the iconic 39 species of Birds-of-paradise, illustrated for the website.
GNSI Drawing Tool Kit project
Elizabeth C. Lockett, MaryBeth Hinrichs, and Bethann Garramon Merkle
This is an update on the current progress of the GNSI ToolKit Project. A cooperative project that aims to create basic tools that will enable learners and teachers to tap into a wide range of skills including close observation, which is at the core of all good art and science. Methods and activities developed will encourage children, adults and teachers to use fundamental drawing skills to enhance science learning. We want to update the GNSI membership on the progress thus far and to encourage discussion and participation in the next phase of development and grant writing.
© National Museum of Health and Medicine 2013
Students participating in sketching project at an "Organ of the Month" program held at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD
So, you get a call. A publisher wants you to work on a brand new general biology textbook. Approximately, 600 new illustrations over about a year. Wow! How exciting! But you begin to wonder: How does the publisher parse this kind of job so that the work can be managed?
What happens when a freelance job goes from a couple of scientific illustrations for a book, to 600 new illustrations for a textbook? What are the considerations unique to this kind of job? What strategies are needed to control the visual continuity of this much content, so that the chapter art unfolds in a visually coherent manner?
For this kind of project, there are really two jobs that we can talk about: art development and scientific illustration. The art developer is the one in charge of creating an art program for the book. This includes the creation of ook-wide art specifications based on a number of factors including the level (or perceived level) of the text, the structure, or pedagogy, as described by the author(s), and a number of other factors that help this particular textbook be unlike (and hopefully better!) than other competing texts in the marketplace.
© 2013 Elizabeth Morales
From Electrons to Earth
Public Programming 101: How to create effective educational programs
Earl Edward George Bulwer-Lytton said that "art and science have their meeting point in method." T his couldn't be more accurately apply to science and art programs. But how do you show this method? How to do you take an interactive program idea and make it a reality? In this session, learn the basics of program planning to produce an effective program from start to finish. Seamless programs involve research, planning and evaluation. Through a variety of examples from the National Museum of Health and Medicine, learn the process of creating educational art and science programs.
© National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart
Students participate in an activity involving microscope slides while under the supervision of Juan Bassett, histology technician for the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM), during Forensic Friday on Friday, May 16, 2014. May's Forensic Friday program focused on microscopes and their many advantages in the field of science and medicine.
An Adventure on Eleuthera
W. Scott Rawlins
For a scientific illustrator it was like a dream come true – an opportunity to travel to an exotic location to draw some newly-discovered species of marine creatures. The fact that the location was Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas during the month of December, and that the creatures were giant isopods only made the opportunity more incredible. This presentation is a visual documentation of the entire project – from initial contact to final drawings. It is possible that somewhere during the narration, you will discover a way to make your own dreams a reality.
© 2014, Scott Rawlins
3-D Digital Models of Civil War Bones
Audrey D. Schaefer and Franklin Damann
The relatively recent advancements of computer technologies are instrumental to various fields of study, one being the field of Anthropology. Specific technologies such as 3D modeling and 3D printing have the potential to expand educational opportunities and revolutionize research agendas. The National Museum of Health and Medicine has recently embarked on a project that seeks to create 3D digital models of Civil War skulls and pathological specimens from CT scans. Using bioengineering software, real specimens are transformed into 3D models from CT scans. These models are then edited to produce a final digital surrogate that accurately represents the specimen of interest. After modeling, the data and specimen provenance are made available to researchers and educators.
© Audrey Schaefer 2015
Civil War Skull
Digital sculpture for the naturalist science artist: Adding ZBrush to your work
Pixalogic ZBrush is a digital modeling program that allows artists to sculpt in a way that mirrors the workflow of a traditional clay sculptor. Sculptris is ZBrush's free younger sibling, which you can download and start using in seconds! Though it can be a little scary to start, ZBrush is an incredibly powerful tool for the science artist, especially as scientist partners increasingly have access to digital data sets that they don't know how to visualize, but can add accuracy and power to the science artist's work. Have you ever created a model with Plastilina or even Sculpey to help you create an illustration? ZBrush can be used to create simple elements for complex and accurate scenes that give illustratios an added level of realism...but this time the model can be painted and incorporated right into the final art. We'll take a quick tour through importing data or starting a sculpture from scratch, 3D painting, and exporting a scene to Photoshop. Whether you are a digital wizard or have just started working with Photoshop, I encourage you to try using ZBrush or Sculptris to create some elements of your art!
© Mesa Schumacher 2015
Bones of the hand exported from Z Brush
How a group of undergraduate biology-art students reconstructed a life-sized Deinonychus antirrhopus
Kim V Snipes
In the spring of 2014, my science art directed study student requested that we build a dinosaur together as his senior project. He chose Deinonychus antirrhopus due to its prominent place in the debate in the evolution of birds (are birds the dinosaurs that survived?) and because Deinonychus has a personal connection to Austin College (its co-discoverer is the father of a biology professor). After attending the dinosaur building workshop at the 2014 GNSI Conference, I returned home with the knowledge that it would take more than two people to build a life-size Deinonychus (3 m long by 1.1 m tall). Eight additional biology-art students were recruited along with the help of the sculpture professor and an Austin College alumnus. We started with individual scale models based on the Yale Peabody Museum fossils before moving onto building the life-sized sculpture. An amazing amount of teamwork accomplished a great deal in eleven weeks. I will be presenting our process, problems, and creative solutions that led to the creation of an educational and artistic centerpiece. Biology and Art Departments can work together.
© 2015, Team Deinonychus, photograph courtesy of Wayne Meyer
Austin College's Deinonychus antirrhopus, created by studeBiographiesnt group under direction of Kim Snipes, a life-size sculpture in mixed media of steel, foam, fiberglass, clay, paint, and feathers, Jan-March 2015.
Setting Up the Stage: Rigging, Lighting, and Texturing in 3D
Ben Christopher Smith
Prerequisites: A basic familiarity with 3D techniques is desirable, but in no way necessary.
Setting up the lighting rig and environment for a scene can make or break an animation. This presentation will take you through time-saving techniques to achieve great results without long render times or ponderous sets.
© 2012, Ben Smith
Blood flow in vivo
High Resolution Imaging of the Minuscule to Massive: Photomacrography
Mark R. Smith
The higher resolving capabilities of the electron, confocal and x-ray microscopes have classified these as the go to industry standards for imaging; however, new focus-stacking technologies relating to digital macro photography have since simplified and advanced the use of standard light imaging in order to achieve higher resolving powers down to 0.4 μm. The 2 images generated from these technologies show highly magnified details of colors and structures that represent samples in their most natural form.
The rigorous testing of various wet, dry, animate and inanimate specimens has led to the development of refined techniques and solutions that allow for ∞-100x reflected and transmitted light still and time-lapse imaging or high-definition filming of specimens, which do not need to be altered or prepared for imaging.
The images generated with focus stacking technologies produce data-rich images that are more closely associated with human perception and understanding. This natural representation of scientific objects has more profound implications for the way students understand complex observations, are more likely to resonate with the general public and can increase the level of exposure and outreach of academic programs and natural history museums.
© 2014, Mark R Smith, Macroscopic Solutions
50x Reflected Illumination Photograph of a Pollen Grain from Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), Connecticut. 10-15 Microns in Diameter
Biodesign Atacama: Bringing together art, biology, imagination and technology to envision new species capable of survival in an extreme environment
Sheryl Smith & Gerald Habarth
Sheryl Smith, a biologist and Associate Professor at Arcadia University and Gerald Habarth, a multimedia artist and Associate Professor at West Virginia University, have long envisioned working together on a project that draws on the strengths of their respective disciplines to excite the imagination and take students for Arcadia University to new depth of understanding of the principles of evolution. Drawing from Bloom's taxonomy, through its many incarnations, this couple was inspired to take students out of the classroom to the remote Atacama Desert of Northern Chile, where they apply their knowledge of descent with modification by observing, analyzing, and evaluating adaptations of the flora and fauna to this extreme environment. Approaching deep levels of understanding, students are then asked to assimilate what they have learned and experienced, what they know, and to imagine what is possible. In essence, to create an organism adapted to survive in this environment, and to visualize it through drawings and sketches. Gerald then takes these rudimentary designs to students in his Electronic Media class at West Virginia University, where they bring these designs to life in brilliant 3D animations. Sheryl and Gerald have taken fifty-five students through this journey since 2012.
Pop to the Top- Strategies to get noticed on the Web
Creating websites and web content is only half the battle. Ron Williams will offer you an overview of the services, methods and critical choices you can make to enable the search engines of the world to sit up and take notice of your online content.
© 2015, Ron Williams
A good looking web site is not enough! Search Engine Optimization strategies take it to the next level.
The Natural World Under Glass: At Home with Nature in the 19th Century
Explore the role that natural history played in the everyday lives of people from the 19th Century. During that era an obsession developed with the natural world that has never been surpassed. Images and information from the book, Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession, will be presented.
© 2015, John Whitenight
Creating a social practice centers on creating an atmosphere where the community feels comfortable participating with the project. Most artworks are considered "hands-off," but through audience driven participation and discussion, a deeper understanding of the work is possible. Artist Maryann Worrell will discuss her series of participatory works titled Crisis Farm. This work takes a critical view of environmental issues, strives to start a conversation and enact change, by breaking down the structure of the average garden to its fundamental elements of seed, soil and water. The sculptural installation expresses the limitations of these resources in a multi-layered system and invites the viewer to explore the subject in an interactive manner, fostering bigger questions about the future of food and our part in it.
© 2015, Maryann Worrell