Tumamoc Art & Science Course: Observational Drawing Skills for Field Notebooks

Saturdays in May, 2018 (5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/26)

Whether you are a researcher or scientist with a desire to learn simple illustration techniques to enrich your lab notebooks or an artist seeking to learn field journaling techniques and increase your knowledge about the Sonoran Desert we live in, the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill is now offering an exciting and unique opportunity.

This inaugural four week course is led by expert illustrators Paul Mirocha, Bill Singleton, and Barbara Terkanian, accompanied by a rotating cast of the scientific experts of Tumamoc Hill. You will go behind the scenes at the Desert Lab and learn how to create a visual vocabulary and enhance your powers of observation through the diverse lens of Tumamoc Hill.

Classes will run for two hours from 9:00 – 11:00 am on four consecutive Saturdays. By focusing on a specific subject—saguaros, rock art, seeds, and landscape—each class will address and build upon basic drawing concepts and techniques: 2D, 3D, line, basic & volumetric shapes, composition, shading, proportion and perspective. Each class will also incorporate a science based mini-lecture addressing its subject, presented by scientific experts in Tumamoc natural history. Lessons will begin in a classroom setting and then, accompanied by the artists and scientists, transition out into the Tumamoc environs to practice drawing in the field.

Course cost: $275.00 plus registration fees

Who it is for: People who are new to drawing and science, as well as accomplished artists and scientists. Scientists can use these skills to enhance their field observations; artists can use this course to deepen their work through knowledge of science. The intention is that much of the learning will occur among students as artists, newbies, and scientists.

Drawing does not depend on talent. Everyone can benefit and work at their own level. People who feel they have no drawing skills, yet have a sincere interest, are especially encouraged to apply.

Prerequisites: None, except ownership of a hard-bound field notebook or sketchbook and an assortment of simple drawing tools which will be described in the materials list.

NOTE: This course is not for credit.

How to register

In order to create a rich experience and productive learning environment for all who register for this inaugural course, we are asking all prospective registrants to answer a few brief questions.

Please limit your responses to a one page word document and return to Ben Wilder ( and Lyn Hart ( by Monday April 16th 2018.


Include the following information:




Phone number (best number to reach you):

(1) Please provide a brief description of your background in the sciences and/or background in the arts:

(2) Why are you interested in taking the Art & Science course?

(3) What do you hope to achieve personally or professionally from the experience?

Payment will be due upon acceptance. More information and a class materials list will be sent upon registration.

For questions regarding registration, please contact Cynthia Anson at or 520-629-9455

 Download a high resolution version of the flyer here:  PDF icontas_course.pdf