Entomological Illustration (Drawing Insects)


Entomological illustration by Vicki Thomas.

The University of Stellenbosch has a museum collection of thousands of local insects varying from the strange and the fascinating, to the beautiful. Vicki Thomas will be offering a 3 day workshop on drawing and painting insects from this collection at Stellenbosch University's Visual Arts Department from 11th to  13th September. The focus of the workshop will centre mainly on butterflies and beetles. The course is open to anyone who is interested, no previous experience is required, and there will be step-by-step tuition with individual assistance.

The principles of drawing and watercolour painting of insects will be the main focus of this workshop over a three day period, including a visit to the Stellenbosch Entomology Department, where students will have an opportunity to select and paint from a whole library of insects.  Simple practical exercises will take the participants through each stage in order to build up to a final, fairly accurate insect painting. These steps will include pencil drawing of an insect using shading to create form; colour mixing and matching and various ways of applying watercolour paints; composition: and some basic entomolgy; all in preparation for a final insect drawing. In addition there will be a short illustrated talk on the history of insect art with the emphasis on Southern African insects.  No previous experience in insect painting is required and students will be given individual attention.


Vicki Thomas is a well-known botanical and entomological artist and teacher, who regularly teaches a module on scientific illustration to the Honours Illustration students at Stellenbosch University. She has taught classes around South Africa and in the UK.  Her botanical artworks are represented in many prestigious collections locally and abroad, including HRH Prince Charles’s Highgrove Florilegium, a collection of paintings of plants from his garden. Many of Vicki’s paintings have been exhibited in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery in Kew, London, and in exhibitions in Japan, the USA, Holland and South Africa. She has been involved with the scientific illustration of plants for botanical journals, as well as insects for many years and has illustrated a book on Plectranthus. Vicki is a founder member and past Chairperson of the Botanical Artists’ Assoc. of S.A. and is a judge on the Kirstenbosch Biennale exhibition. 


An equipment list detailing pencils, paints, etc. will be available on registration, alternatively equipment can be provided for the duration of the course for a small fee.

bumble bee

Entomological illustration by Roberto Millan under the tutorship of Vicki Thomas.

Click on this link for contact and pricing information on the Entomological Illustration workshop and other workshops.

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