Life on Stellwagen Bank

This painting depicts the sea life found in and around boulder fields on Stellwagen Bank. The boulders allow small fish to hide from predators. Click image for larger view.


Scientific Illustration

MJ Brush
Scientific Illustrator

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators is made up of a broad and diverse group of talented people. They work with scientists, publishers, and companies to develop comprehensive graphics that clarify and augment text for publications and presentations. This requires a detailed knowledge of form and design, and a broad knowledge of plant and animal taxonomy. Unlike a photograph, a good drawing can illustrate a function or enhance a particular view. It is the illustrator's job to unscramble, unbend, and visually reconstruct an organism in a life-like, clear manner. An artist may use traditional methods or use computer programs to pictorially represent the subject.

Flora and fauna on Oceanographer Canyon

This illustration depicts a typical slope on the wall of Oceanographer canyon with local flora and fauna. It was made after the illustrator reviewed hours of Alvin tapes. Click image for larger view.


The depths of the oceans are dark and mysterious places that are teeming with life. Cameras on the Alvin can illuminate and capture small areas of the depths, but they can give no indication of scope. The illustrator can portray the vastness of the ocean depths in a way that shows the magnitude of the landscape.

For information on the work of a science illustrator, see this article from Deep East 2001.

For more information on scientific illustration, check the Guild’s website.

For a comprehensive text on all aspects of this work, see The Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration, 2nd Edition.