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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
1. RISD Nature Lab Workshop

Jeanette and I had a great day yesterday at the Rhode Island School of Design. This art school is famous for its Nature Lab, a collection of 80,000 study specimens. Neal Overstrom, director of the collection, told me that this is not really a natural history museum. The specimens are here to be studied by the art students.  


For our workshop, each student checked out an item from the lab: stuffed chipmunks, a squirrel, sheep skulls, beaver skull, fox skulls, insects, fish, an owl, and a wild turkey. Each of them drew a study of their specimen in watercolor pencils, and then drew them again with an imaginative transformation, either anthropomorphism, a scale change, or a vehicle design using biomimicry.

Most of the students were in Jean Blackburn's scientific illustration class or Lars Grant West's creature design class, so they were primed for this sort of thing.

In the evening, I gave an illustrated talk about the steps I use for making scientific and imaginative illustrations, followed by a 10-minute demo portrait sketch of Jessie.
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Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop and the presentation, and to the students and faculty who hosted.
Previous post on RISD, with a tour


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