Graphite and Pen and Ink for Scientific Illustration in Botanical Art

Wednesday, March 27 – Friday, March 29, 2019
9:30 am – 3:30 pm, with 1/2-hour for lunch

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens,
Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab

Cost, BAGSC Members: $300
Non-Members: $350

Maximum Registration: 16 students

No refunds after March 15, 2019

To register: Register online! As of 2018, BAGSC has implemented a new, online registration procedure. We will no longer accept deposits for classes and workshops. Please review the new payment and refund policy in the right column on the "Classes" page.

Click the button below to pay online in full with your credit card.

You also may send a check in the full amount, made out to BAGSC, with Rogério Lupo on the subject line. Please mail the check to: BAGSC, PO Box 50166, Pasadena, California 91115.

Bring your lunch, or purchase lunch at any of the cafés on The Huntington grounds.

Questions about the Workshop? Contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Sorry—Rogério's class is full. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

Workshop Description

This will be a hybrid workshop: the same class will hold students of both graphite and pen nib and ink techniques. All the hints and explanations about both media take place in the same room, but individually each attendee will use one technique for their project. Participants will have the instructor’s full assistance and guidance, since the workshop is limited to the same number of students as if it were a single technique workshop.

Graphite content:

Participants who choose graphite will learn:

  • Methods for accurate observation of light and shadow with all their subtle nuances
  • Methods of sharpening, handling and moving the pencil for an improved application and filling with graphite
  • Use of delicacy in drawing for efficient use of time, good finishing and preservation of the integrity of the paper
  • Methods for total filling with layers of shade in a gradual mode from light to dark tones
  • Practical rendering of textures and different colors of objects represented as shades of gray; recognizing luminosities, reflections and contrasts; practical and fast forms for the rendering of hairs and thorns.
  • Prevention of errors, paper deformities and irreparable damages

Graphite prerequisites:

Pen nib and ink content: refined hatching techniques

Participants who choose pen nib and ink will learn:

  • Understanding how the pen nib works and the physical aspects involved in its performance, thus learning to select the best material at the moment of purchase.
  • Methods for preserving the pen, avoiding corrosion and damage and even improving its function by sanding and keeping it always clean as new.
  • Practical hints to facilitate general aspects of the work, related to the traits of the ink and its tendency to dry and change, as well as to the economy of movement and prevention of troubles.
  • Methods for the practice of hatching, challenges involved in it and how to overcome them.
  • Shading with hatching and how to render good 3-D drawing illusions of any kind, taking advantage of characteristics of our visual perception and our cognitive and physiological traits.
  • How to represent by hatching the variety of shapes and forms of the natural elements and the technical choices available to render a pen nib shading, having previously some graphite shading as basis.
  • Corrections and prevention of dramatic errors.

Pen nib and ink prerequisites:


This is a BAGSC-sponsored workshop; there is no information about this workshop on The Huntington's website. If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact the BAGSC Education Chair.

The workshop will be held at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in the Botanical Education Center, Allied Technical Lab.

The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.

Parking and Entrance:

Parking is free at The Huntington. Please tell the guard at the front gate you are attending a workshop at the Botanical Education Center. You do not need to go to the front entrance of The Huntington. As you approach The Huntington buildings at the end of the parking lot, turn right and walk along the front of the buildings. Just past another guard gate is the Botanical Education Center. Go straight in and follow the signs to the classroom.

Directions from surface streets, freeways and public transportation are available on their website, in addition to accessibility, hours and dining information. A map of The Huntington grounds is available as a download from their website as well.

Materials List for
Rogério Lupo

Click to download a PDF of the graphite supply listClick to download a PDF of the pen nib supply list

Additional Resources

Rogério Lupo graphite tutorials (free):

Graphite for Scientific Illustrations (free download, English):

Graphite for Scientific Illustrations - Video supplement to the free Guidebook:

Rogério Lupo Blog:

Rogério Lupo

About the Instructor

Rogério Lupo, born in 1970 in São Paulo, Brazil, is natural science illustrator and teacher of biological illustration since 1998. Bachelor in Biological Sciences at University of São Paulo (USP) in 1997, had Art Classes at Escola Clássica de Arte (Classical School of Art), São Paulo, from 1993 to 1998. His illustrations are present mainly in academic works, especially on taxonomy and ecology. His quest for more care and artistic value, even in academic and technical illustrations, enlarged his professional potential leading his original artworks to be purchased to integrate private or institutional collections.

Rogério works in a variety of media, as he is not able to choose one favorite. He always aims to share his experience in didactical material, making it available for free on internet. Some of his works have been awarded in important competitions, for instance the first prize in 2002 and 2003 of the Margaret Mee National Contest (Brazil) – black and white category – and the first prize in 2010 and 2013 of the Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Botanical Illustration (Australia).

  • Rogério Lupo

    Rogério Lupo

    Botanical and zoological, © Rogério Lupo. Left: flowering branch of Microlicia cogniauxiana, pen nib and ink. Right: Dialictus sp. visiting flower of Genlisea sp.

  • Rogério Lupo

    Rogério Lupo

    Igarapé toned paper example, © Rogério Lupo.

  • Rogério Lupo

    Rogério Lupo

    Pseudibombax, taxonomical botanical illustration, © Rogério Lupo.

  • Rogério Lupo

    Rogério Lupo

    Technique comparisons: Cambessedesia angelana, Melastomataceae, flower and bud. Graphite (left) with dark background; pen nib and ink (right) using hatching technique. © 2009, Rogério Lupo.