Short Course: Recreating Prehistoric Animals in Art

The University of Portsmouth is pleased to announce a new short drawing course from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries which will run 4th-6th March 2020.


This three-day course led by Mark Witton introduces participants of varying skills and backgrounds to palaeoart: a 200-year-old science-informed art form, devoted to reconstructing extinct organisms and landscapes, covering theory, methods, history and specimen-based practical sessions. The aim is to answer questions of how portrayals of extinct species – from dinosaurs and flying reptiles to extinct shellfish and plants – were produced and became so widespread in popular culture, and how accurate these artworks are, depicting life from millions of years ago.


This unique course covers palaeoart theory, methods and history through a varied programme of lectures, seminars and specimen-based practical sessions. Palaeoart uses fossils and geological data, studies of living plants and animals, and an understanding of evolutionary processes to reconstruct ancient organisms from the inside-out, from skeletons to muscles to skin to landscapes. The course is catered to participants of varying skills and backgrounds, and non-artists should feel welcome to attend.


Covered subjects include:
• The development of palaeoart over 200 years of history
• Core reconstruction principles and research practise
• Guidance on restoring animal anatomy (skeletons; musculature; fatty tissues; skin; facial organs; colour)
• Depicting behaviours of extinct organisms
• Discussion of life appearance of select fossil groups, including key controversies and debates
• Restoring ancient landscapes


Standard Course Fee: £200; Student Fee: £160
Book your place today or get more information on the University’s online store.

Leave your thought