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3 Types of Scientific Art

Scientific artwork is often found in science textbooks, on posters, and on other promotional materials. In addition, you can find these lifelike and informative pieces of art in museums, classrooms, and any place that aims to educate people on scientific matters. 


Scientific artwork illustrates complicated topics in a way that makes them accessible to more people. When done correctly, it can be an excellent substitute for the real thing. Medical and botanical arts are the two major areas of scientific art, but scientific artists also create diagrams and models to supplement learning.

Medical Illustration

The drawings and diagrams you might find in a biology textbook are called medical illustrations. These illustrations allow the reader to see the fine details of organs, muscles, and medical procedures, among other things. In addition, artists can provide drawings of things that are not easily visible to the naked eye, such as tissue layers or hair follicles.   

Botanical Illustrations

The primary purpose of botanical illustrations is to inform and educate people on the various aspects of botany. Because plants are incredibly delicate, it can be challenging to preserve them in such a way that still shows their finer details. Botanical illustrations make it possible to see the anatomy of a plant when a physical specimen is unavailable. 


Certain processes, such as cell division or egg fertilization, can’t be seen with the naked eye. Images from a microscope can give a good idea of how a process works, but a scientific artist can draw the processes in great detail. In addition, the artist can add color and texture that you wouldn’t see just by looking through a microscope. Those added touches make complex concepts much easier to understand.

If a concept is presented verbally and visually, a person is far more likely to absorb the information. So whether it’s a model of the solar system, an image of the human retina, or a detailed drawing of a rose, scientific art has made learning about the sciences more easily accessible.