Natural Science Illustration Program

The Yale Peabody Museum’s Natural Science Illustration Program, begun in 2010, provides both beginner and professional artists opportunities to learn a wide range of art techniques focusing on nature and natural science illustration. Our skilled and experienced instructors provide personalized support in small classes to help you develop your abilities and discover new ways of encountering art and nature. The Peabody’s collections and outdoor locations provide endless subjects for drawing, painting, and sketching. Take an individual class or complete a sequence of classes to earn a Certificate in Natural Science Illustration.

Register using our online form for upcoming classes or browse the course catalog for a full list of offered courses. For information about course content, prerequisites, materials, and other details contact the instructor listed for each course by email directly. Contact us with registration and payment questions.

Currently, all courses are virtual and will meet online, unless noted otherwise.

Students pursuing a Certificate in Natural Science Illustration study botanical and zoological art in a variety of media, including graphite, pen and ink, watercolor, mixed media, oil, colored pencil, and digital graphics. Requirements for the certificate include core and elective courses plus a final class project that shows artistic proficiency in the concepts and techniques taught in each course.

On completion of the certificate students will have a certificate portfolio that reflects the training provided by experienced professional artists and that is endorsed by the Peabody. Certificates are awarded annually and recipients are recognized with a public exhibition of their work.

Core Courses

  • Drawing I & II
  • Pen & Ink I
  • Composition & Design
  • Colored Pencil I
  • Watercolor I
  • Business Practices for Natural Science Illustrators
  • Digital Techniques for the Artist
  • Plant Morphology
  • Illustrating Vertebrates
  • Portfolio Development

Sample Elective Courses

  • Field Sketching
  • Botanical Illustration
  • Oil Painting
  • Insects Writ Large in Graphite
  • Painting Birds
  • Advanced Digital Graphics
  • Watercolor II
  • Painting Gems & Minerals
  • Painting with a Digital Tablet

 

Enrollment Eligibility

  • Courses are designed for adults. All participants must be at least 18 years of age. There will be no exceptions.

Course Prerequisites

  • Courses numbered 200 and above require Course 101 Drawing I as a prerequisite. Check individual course descriptions for additional prerequisites.

Location of Classes and Course Information

  • All classes are currently offered online via Zoom. When in-person classes resume locations will be included in the course description.

Cancellations & Course Changes

  • Courses may be canceled for low enrollment or for any other reason. Registrants will be refunded 100% of the course fee or can receive credit toward a future course.
  • The Yale Peabody Museum reserves the right to reschedule courses, withdraw or modify a course, and substitute instructors at its sole discretion. The Museum will make every effort to notify students of such changes in advance.
  • In case of class cancellations because of inclement weather, the instructor will make every effort to contact students by email or phone in a timely manner. However, it is the registrant’s responsibility to check with the instructor to confirm whether a class will meet. Instructor contact information is provided to enrolled students before the first class of each course.

Registration & Payment

  • Register and pay for courses using our online form. Contact us with any questions about registration and payment.

Refunds

  • No refunds will be given to registrants who cancel fewer than 30 days before the course start date. A full refund will be issued for courses cancelled by the Peabody Museum.

Reproduction Rights

  • On registration, the Yale Peabody Museum requests permission to photograph both the student’s image or likeness and the student’s artwork created in each course, along with the rights to reproduce these for educational and publicity purposes. The Yale Peabody Museum will not use such images if the student does not grant permission.

Summer/Fall 2022

  • NSI 177X: Digital Techniques Workshop: Want to Build a Website? Start Here!

    Are you considering creating an online portfolio or a website? This course is for those who have yet to have their own online space or are looking to reboot their outdated website. Since everyone's needs and goals will be different, this course will guide the students one step at a time to narrow down what type of website service/platform would match their needs while considering comfort levels in the digital space.

    Instructors:
    • Ikumi Kayama
      ikumikayama@gmail.com
    2 weeks; 4 hours total

    Digital, Workshop

    $80.00


  • NSI 267X: Digital Topics: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop for Natural Science Illustrators

    In this virtual 8-week course, students will take their completed illustrations in a traditional medium and manipulate them for publication in Adobe Photoshop. The famously complicated and ever-changing Photoshop palettes and tools will be discussed and the tools most often used by professional scientific illustrators will be covered. After taking this workshop, the students should have a working knowledge and a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop.

    Instructors:
    • Ikumi Kayama
      ikumikayama@gmail.com
    8 weeks; 24 hours total

    Digital

    $480.00


  • NSI 177X: Digital Techniques Workshop: Want to Build a Website? Start Here!

    Composition of website code and torosaurus photo

    Check upcoming courses list for availability.

    Are you considering creating an online portfolio or a website? This course is for those who have yet to have their own online space or are looking to reboot their outdated website. Since everyone's needs and goals will be different, this course will guide the students one step at a time to narrow down what type of website service/platform would match their needs while considering comfort levels in the digital space.

    Instructors:
    Ikumi Kayama
    ikumikayama@gmail.com

     

    2 weeks; 4 hours total

    Digital

    $80.00


  • NSI 267X: Digital Topics: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop for Natural Science Illustrators

    Composite image of an owl in Adobe Photoshop

    Check upcoming courses list for availability.

    In this virtual 8-week course, students will take their completed illustrations in a traditional medium and manipulate them for publication in Adobe Photoshop. The famously complicated and ever-changing Photoshop palettes and tools will be discussed and the tools most often used by professional scientific illustrators will be covered. After taking this workshop, the students should have a working knowledge and a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop.

    Instructors:
    Ikumi Kayama
    ikumikayama@gmail.com

     

    8 weeks; 24 hours total

    Digital

    $480.00


Office of School & Teacher Engagement
+1 203 432 3775 peabody.education@yale.edu

Contact the Education Office for questions about registration and payment.  For questions about course content, prerequisites, and other details please contact the instructor listed for each course.