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Free Online Course on Drawing Nature, Science and Culture

University of Newcastle, Australia is offering free online course on Drawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101. Students will learn essential skills and techniques that form the base for creating accurate and stunning replications of subjects from the natural world.

In this six-week course, applicants will learn how to see and draw nature like an illustrator. Build observational and visual interpretation skills in an interactive and enjoyable way. This course will start on June 28, 2017.



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Course At A Glance 

Length: 6 weeks
Effort: 3-6 hours pw
Subject: Art & Culture
Institution: University of Newcastle, Australia and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on June 28, 2017

Providers’ Details

The University of Newcastle (UON) has delivered education to talented students from diverse backgrounds, developed professional leaders of the future and harnessed the capacity of world-class research to foster innovation and deliver impact in its regions and across the world.

About This Course

Whether an aspiring scientific or medical illustrator or someone who enjoys drawing nature’s wonders, this first-of-its-kind MOOC course is for you. The field of Natural History Illustration is about observing and illustrating subjects from nature, science and culture, with their linkages to the environment being central.

Our natural world is a fascinating place. Being able to observe and replicate it through illustration provides insights into life that can change how we think about ourselves and our surroundings.

You will learn essential skills and techniques that form the base for creating accurate and stunning replications of subjects from the natural world. This art and culture course is suitable for people looking to enter the illustration discipline as a serious pursuit or just looking to explore a passion.

Why Take This Course?

This online course will teach you enduring skills that can be used in many different ways. Join us to explore, observe and draw the natural world and become part of a scientific tradition steeped in history.

Learning Outcomes

  • Core scientific observational skills
  • Field drawing and sketching techniques
  • Concept sketch development
  • Composition for natural history illustration
  • Form, proportion and structure essentials
  • Drawing and rendering techniques


Dr. Andrew Howells

Dr. Howells is convenor of the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration program for the University of Newcastle. In his thesis Andrew developed a tool for the visual assessment of the body condition of Asian Elephants.

Dr. Bernadette Drabsch

As a lecturer in Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle Dr. Drabsch focuses her research on prehistoric art in society, art creation as a ritual process and indigenous rock art of Australia.



How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

Apply Now