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Sami Bayly Scientific illustration workshop

Explore the art of scientific illustration with artist Sami Bayly as she unfolds the mysteries behind the detailed medium of watercolour and the intricate technique of stippling. Violet Eyes Entomology will provide students with real-life specimens to illustrate, that have been meticulously pinned and posed, giving them a life-like quality.

Sami Bayly Scientific illustration workshop taxidermy
Sami Bayly Scientific illustration workshop musuem

Having studied a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration (Honours) at the University of Newcastle, Sami Bayly has worked with watercolour as her preferred medium throughout recent years, having completed 60 illustrations for her first book, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals.

After having worked on replicating a range of textures, such as skin, fur, feathers and scales throughout the book, as well as being experienced in running scientific illustration workshops, Sami is excited to bring her class to Melbourne in 2020.


During this workshop, you will receive first-hand advice from Sami about the different approaches to watercolour painting, including a variety of techniques, such as: choosing the perfect shade through limited colours; which brushes to use for certain areas and textures; why to not use brown or black for the shadows; and how to create form and highlights, along with many more tips and tricks along the way. Sami’s understanding of fine art mediums and techniques will be passed onto students to ensure that their practice of scientific illustration can continue well after the workshop has finished.


This workshop is unique in its approach, as real-life specimens will be used as reference instead of photographs when illustrating, an age-old tradition that that can be traced back for centuries (See works by Maria Sibylla Merian). Choosing from a range of butterflies, moths, spiders and scorpions, students will put this skill into practice and explore its benefits, studying form, proportions and colours in order to create scientifically accurate illustrations.


A range of high-quality art materials (paints, paper, pencils etc) will be provided, making it an ideal class for beginners who have not yet had the chance to dabble in watercolours or stippling. The class is also suitable for students who’re experienced in the field, who wish to further their abilities and be surrounded by a like-minded community with an interest in natural history.  


Past students are welcome to bring their specimens they have pinned in previous classes to this workshop. 

A seasonal grazing board will be provided for this workshop.

Scientific Illustration Class
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