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Nature Illustration

Let's have some fun drawing from nature!

Drawing a natural item – a leaf, a shell, an insect – increases your observational skills and knowledge about that item.

From the comfort of your own home, you can try your hand at drawing a specimen from the museum’s collections. We'll post images or videos to give you a clear three-dimensional view of the items. We will be switching out the specimens every few weeks till May 1st.

Funded in part by the Theodore C. Cederholm Fund

Our first specimen is a white-tailed deer skull. Feel free to advance the video to a spot that feels interesting to you and pause. Alternatively, use the image gallery below. Sketch your illustration until you're satisfied with the result. This is a great activity for both beginner and advanced illustrators. We'd love to gather the program participants and their illustrations to share what has been created. Please send your illustrations to We can't wait to see what you create!

Community Submissions

We encourage everyone to send us copies of your work! We can learn a lot from each other in a community activity such as this.


Our first submission came from Barbara Allen. Barbara wrote:

"As soon as I saw the photograph of the white-tailed deer skull, I thought I might attempt a technique that I've been wanting to try: painting with coffee! I thought that a light wash of coffee in a line-and-wash drawing could possibly mimic the look of weathered bone.

Here's the result!

Thanks again for this wonderful program idea!"

Thanks for the outstanding submission, Barbara!


Georgia O'Keefe

Looking to get inspired? Explore the George O'Keefe Museum's collections, and learn more about the artist's life and work.

“When I found the beautiful white bones in the desert, I picked them up and took them home, too… I have used these things to say what is to me the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.”

~ Georgia O’Keefe

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