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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 10:45:36 -0500
text/plain (70 lines)
>Hi all!
>I would like to know some about technics using pencil and what's the best
>pencils for draw's brand in the market, what's the most useful and what
>kind of paper is the best to draw with pencils or charcoal.
>By other hand, somebody knows about who would like to teach me everthing
>about technics draws to scientific illustration. One thing more, how are
>the jobs in scientific illustration around the world, somebody knows
>about that?
>Katsumi Lemus.
>Departamento de Biosistematica de Insectos.
>Instituto de Ecologia, Xalapa, Ver. MEXICO.
>[log in to unmask]
Dear Katsumi,

Glad you could join us on the GNSI listserv!

While I have not used a pencil on paper for final art in several years (I
mostly use a computer now), I think I can give you several ideas.

1.  At our local GNSI meeting in Washington, DC last night-
 Trudy Nicholson, a well known GNSI member, showed her pencil technique on
Scratch board. She uses an Estee Scratch board (it has a heavy clay
coating) which she scrubs with a fine sandpaper to give it a fine texture.
Then she uses a variety of pencil hardnesses, from 7H to 5B for her
drawing.  The scratch board allows cutting in fine details or making
corrections with a knife.

2.  Maybe others on this list can chime in on which brands of pencils and
paper(or plastic) they prefer to use.  I would say for detailed work I
think Charcoal is of limited use. Wolff Carbon pencils are better if you
can find them.

3. I would recommend you buy a copy of the GNSI Handbook of Science
Illustration. It is the next best thing to having your own personal teacher
for all aspects of science illustration.  It is unfortunately only
available in English.  You can e-mail the GNSI office at [log in to unmask]
for current price and purchase instructions (it is about $85 U.S. I think).

4. The GNSI also offers a Courses and School Programs Booklet (cost is
about $4 U.S. I think), but almost all listings are in the USA.  If you are
associated with an Institution I would highly recommend you convince them
to help you with money to attend a 1 or 2 week course in the USA (the GNSI
offers several opportunities).

5. We currently have 1 GNSI member in Mexico (Elvia Alvarado, Mexico City,
Instituto de Biolgia,UNAM).  GNSI membership is $45 U.S. and $15 more if
you want your Newsletters Airmailed to you.  If you are serious about this
profession, you might consider joining.  The Job market is varied and Most
of us mak our own opportunities, either freelancing or belonging to an
institution, or working in the commercial world using the things we have
learned as a science illustrator (but maybe not applying them directly to
science illustrations anymore). It takes some determination and a love of
doing the art and science.

Good Luck,


Britt Griswold
Graphics And Publications
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 253  Bldg. 8  Rm. N15
Greenbelt, MD 20771

(301) 286-3381
(301) 286-1705 (FAX)
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