NAS Online Course - Archaeological Illustration

Image credit Vanessa Ayoub

On the 10th October the Foundation funded 7 students and researchers to attend the NAS online course on archaeological illustration. This is the second course which the Foundation has provided participant bursaries for. As many face to face workshops and training events have been postponed due to covid-19, these events help students and researchers to continue training in the field. 

The course was organised by the Nautical Archaeology Society and led by tutor Mark Hoyle. The aim of the course was to introduce students to theory and techniques of archaeological illustration. The course was taught through a combination of presentations and practical instruction, real artefacts from the HMS Invincible wreck were used during the course.

The presentations introduced the student to archaeological illustration, touching briefly on early examples of archaeological illustration, highlighting the difference between drawing and illustration, and explaining the purpose and requirements of illustration.

Students were introduced to the main illustration tools and the techniques for producing a successful illustration, from the initial pencil draft version to the final pen drawing. The conventions used for different materials were also introduced.

• To have an understanding of the difference between a drawing and an archaeological illustration
• To be able to set up an artefact for an archaeological drawing.
• To understand the basic procedures and techniques of archaeological drawing
• To produce a selection of illustrations from some of the main types of materials: wood, metal, leather, ceramics, rope and stone.

Learning Outcomes:

Practical sessions involved students producing a number of illustrations from the various material categories to illustrate the different shading and handling techniques. Throughout the day students received practical feedback on their drawing work. Students were expected to produce at least one drawing to publication standard by the end of the course.

The students who attended the course are listed below, three are from Egypt and four are from Lebanon. Feedback from the students about the course was really positive, one has already passed his knowledge on to co-workers to help build capacity in this field, another has, as a result of the course, decided to focus their career on archaeological illustration. 

Mohamed Abdelghany
Muhammed Mahmoud aly muhammed
Reem Nader
Elissa Z. Nader
Nesreen Aly ElGaly
Sirine Saad ElDine Ghiye
Vanessa Ayoub


‘A graphic illustration conveys a stronger message than words’

N.A. ElGaly

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