Birds and bees in artistic beauty

To celebrate National Science Week, Nepean Science Hub and Penrith Regional Gallery will present two scientific illustration workshops on August 18 and 25 from 10am-4pm presented by Angus Fisher, natural sciences illustrator and lecturer in Fine Arts at The National Art School.

Learn this skill

Learn this skill

A fascinating intersection between science and art, the practice of scientific illustration is an accurate and often artistic visual interpretation of the natural environment and its application to a range of ecological processes and environments.

The first workshop, Birds and Bones, on August 18, will use a range of taxidermy (predominantly birds from the local environment), and skeleton specimens from various sources to depict the forms and biology of each animal.

Plant Studies on August 25 will use specimens from the heritage gardens of the gallery to depict the form, colour, and details included in a variety of plant species.

As natural sciences illustrator and lecturer at The National Art School, Fisher has plenty of experience delivering scientific illustration workshops for diverse community groups. His art practice has always dealt with nature and humankind's relationship with the natural world.

For Fisher, the idea of nature is a not a static term, but an evolving concept. Through the detailed study of history and natural subject matter, his work grapples with the idea of how nature exists, and has existed, in human imagination.

He doesn't only investigate ecology through his subjects, but the evolving attitudes and changing philosophical interpretations of the wider natural world. He utilises traditional working techniques to connect to historical contexts and traditions.

Exploring the use of fine-line pens and watercolour paints on paper, the workshops will focus on making accurate observations and representing the forms and textures in different skeleton specimens and plant species to provide an appreciation of what it takes to draw these amazingly complex and beautiful illustrations seen in textbooks and journals.

The cost of each workshop is $90, including lunch from Café at Lewers. For ages 16+, no drawing experience required. Bookings essential - call 4735 1100 or email

Angus Fisher

Angus Fisher