Scientific drawing is a technique,
not art. It is both representation of the object and scientific interpretation.
It may show structures that a photo would not show, like a dark element
in front of a dark background. It may emphasize structures considered important
by the scientist. At the same time, it always remains as close to the object
This series shows four steps,
beginning with the original (1: a male spider palp as seen under the microscope),
then the tracing of contours using a camera lucida on a compound microscope
(2), adding of shadows and degree of sclerotization, using a dissecting
microcope (3), and final illustration after editing in Photoshop (4).
I use simple copy paper, a hard pencil for the contours and a soft one for the shadowing. This saves a lot of time in comparison to stippling with ink, but it is not done quickly either: I spend about one hour on a drawing like the one shown here.
Click here to download a Powerpoint presentation containing this sequence in higher resolution.