Workshop: Bird Illustration with Peter Marsack

Join artist and illustrator Peter Marsack for a one day introduction into wildlife illustration, focussing on birds.

Learn to see the framework (or anatomy) of how a bird is built, how to combine references and photographs, and what materials and techniques are helpful in wildlife illustration.

Using examples, demonstrations, and practical exercises, Peter will lead you through the process from the first drawing to the completed artwork.

This workshop will teach you to really 'see' what you are looking at, and build an accurate illustration from the foundation (or skeleton), to the 'cladding' and tricky finishing touches such as eyes. The workshop will also explore techniques and materials: selecting a paper or board to paint on, which brushes to use, painting in gouache & watercolour, including blocking in and detailing.

Some familiarity with watercolours or gouache would be beneficial, but not essential.

While birds will be the subject of this workshop, the techniques of examining the anatomy of an animal, learning to build the layers of a complex image will apply more generally as you develop your wildlife art and illustration.

  • When
    Saturday 16 May, 10.30am - 3.30pm
  • Where
    Workshop within Commonwealth Growth Centre, MAMA
  • Price
    $120 ($108 Member/Concession)

Meet the Tutor: Peter Marsack

Peter originally trained as a biologist, working for the WA Department of Agriculture and the Federal Department of Environment. At the same time he has worked for over 20 years as a freelance natural history artist and illustrator.

Peter was a senior artist for the multi-volume Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (HANZAB), and one of three artists to illustrate the Australian Bird Guide, published by CSIRO in 2017. Peter was a prize-winner in the inaugural Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in 2003, and painted the artwork for the highly successful Pocket Guide to the Birds of Canberra. In an effort to do something other than bird illustration, he collaborated with ACT naturalist Ian Fraser on A Bush Capital Year (CSIRO 2011), a natural history of Canberra across the seasons, which went on to win a Whitley Certificate for regional natural history in 2012.

The Australian Bird Guide was awarded the Whitley Medal for 2017, for the best book on Australian Animals published that year.


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