Kioloa Coastal Campus Discovery days

Every year the Australian National University opens the gates to the Kioloa Coastal Campus to welcome the public to come and explore science through a different lens. The open days are scheduled in the first week of January every year.

For the Kioloa Campus drawing workshops, no prior technical knowledge required, all ages and levels of ability welcome. Materials provided. Please check the program for dates and times.

Since 2017 I have been taking part in this annual program along side my esteemed colleagues from the sciences. Representing the ANU School of Art & Design, I facilitate free drawing workshops that connect observational drawing to microscopy and an interest in nature. The principles are based on my own interdisciplinary practice-led research, and studio teaching experience. While these workshops are fun and engaging, they reflect the unique flexible learning opportunities offered at the ANU.

Depending on my availability, I offer similar drawing workshops as part of my outreach responsibilities at the ANU. However, drawing workshops are dependent on funding for materials and other costs. If you would like to discuss an invitation or would like to commission me to undertake a drawing workshop at your school or organisation, please contact me at erica.seccombe (at)

The art of seeing: drawing from nature
Dr Erica Seccombe, Lecturer, ANU School of Art & Design

Humans have observed and drawn the natural world for many millennia. Animals, plants, landscapes and objects found in nature have been depicted in a myriad of forms, patterns, styles and media. These drawing workshops cover a range of drawing activities inspired by objects found in nature designed to encourage and inspire artists and non-artists alike to engage with the natural world and their local environment through art. Participants will be able to closely investigate specimens they gather themselves with microscopes and magnifying glasses, and to explore a range of drawing techniques to examine details through proportions and scale, including some techniques used by scientists, scientific illustrators and contemporary artists alike.

Explore, experiment and take inspiration from the variety of natural forms, such as shells, feathers, seeds and leaves that you have collected on the beach, in the bush or on one of the ANU Kioloa Discovery Day events. In these workshops you will be introduced to the key skills of botanical drawing by making observational sketches and creating small studies from life. You will explore how to look at these unique forms and then translate them on to the page through the process of drawing in order to create your own botanical inspired art works. The workshops will introduce skills in outline drawing, foreshortening, tonal work and rendering of surfaces with pencil and ink.