Are you curious about the natural world? Love animals? Want to explore the intersection between science and art with pencil and paper in hand?
My name is Megan McGrath. I’m an animal scientist, writer, and professional artist, and I’d love to teach you to do what I do. Join me to learn the fundamentals of drawing creatures from all branches of the animal kingdom. We’ll use life drawing skills to deepen our understanding of the natural history behind the way animals look, behave, and move through the world. Whether you’re a seasoned animal artist or just starting out, you’ll love this experience that’s part science class and part art class and the most fun parts of both!
With their color-flashing skin, enormous eyes, and sensitive tentacles, cephalopods are about as different from us as any of our animal cousins get—almost like aliens here on Earth. And yet these social, curious, and brilliant marine invertebrates have captured so many of our human hearts. Learn about the spectacular lives and evolutionary history of the real-life krakens, octopi, and squids, in this undersea edition of Art + Evolution, and draw a portrait of your favorite denizen of the ink-dark sea.
What You Might Need
You will need any pencil, paper, sharpener, and eraser to participate in the drawing portion of this experience. A standard yellow #2 pencil and a sheet of printer paper, a regular pencil sharpener and the eraser on the back of the pencil all work great. If you’re considering drawing on a regular basis, artists’ pencils of varying hardnesses, a pad of drawing paper, a “long point” sharpener, a kneaded eraser and a gum eraser are all great investments, but not necessary.
Hi! I’m Megan McGrath. I’m a naturalist artist, writer, audio producer, and educator currently living in Washington, DC. In my work as a marine mammal researcher I published a thesis on the social behavior of bottlenose dolphins, but I’ve since gone rogue to become a full-time animal artist. I use my experience as a researcher and writer to inform my art, having given lectures on wildlife and conservation from Baltimore to Belize to Brazil, produced international science radio as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow, trained as a naturalist educator, and edited a book on the origin of life. During my research I also spent time studying parrot linguistics, observing elephant behavior in Tanzania, and recording the songs of breeding humpback whales and the calls of endangered monkeys. These days I use my lifelong experiences with animals to make art that I hope will help people connect to the natural world.
For an optimized experience, view on a desktop. Desktop viewers will be able to see reference images and the drawing demonstration simultaneously, and a bigger screen helps with the drawing process. Mobile viewers will still be able to toggle back and forth between reference images and the drawing demonstration as they wish.
Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.
This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.
This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.
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