Archaeological Illustration

Event Date:
Start at 9:00 AM
September 19, 2020 - September 20, 2020


The aim of the course is to introduce participants to the theories and techniques of archaeological illustration through lectures and practical sessions using artefacts recently raised and conserved from the HMS Invincible.

Participants will gain an understanding of the difference between a drawing and an archaeological illustration. Participants will learn how to set up an artefact for an archaeological drawing and then how to draw it. They will also produce a selection of illustrations from some of the main types of materials including wood, metal, leather, ceramics, rope and stone.

By completing this course, there may be the opportunity for participants to continue developing their illustration skills by becoming regular volunteers at the HMS Invincible project.


The expert tutor will be Mark Hoyle BA(hon);P.G.C.E.;MAAIS; MIfA a field archaeologist and archaeological illustrator with 27 years experience. He is currently a full member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists – Graphics Archaeology Group (CIfA). Mark has a background in teaching and has run many successful archaeological illustration courses for the general public and specialist groups and will now be running one for NAS! See some of his work at


This course is for anyone interested in this traditional method of recording artefacts that is still relevant today. Divers and non-divers will find this course interesting as it will teach them that through the detailed observations required for an archaeological illustration, more information can be gleaned from an artefact that might not be observed during rapid photographic recording techniques. People wishing to include the still essential line illustrations of artefacts in publications will find this course useful as they will learn how to create these figures themselves.


NAS members will earn 10 credits towards their Certificate or Award.

Provisional Timetable

Saturday 19th September

09:00 Arrival and registration
09:30 History and archaeology of HMS Invincible
10:00 Why archaeological illustration still matters
10:30 Theory: Overview of techniques and conventions
11:00 tea break

11:15 Theory: pencil drawing
11:30 Practical: Pencil Drawing Techniques and Practice
13:00 Lunch
13:45 Theory: drawing ceramics, metal, wood, stone, rope and leather
14:30 Theory: how to ink drawings
15:00 Practical: Completing Drawings – Inking
16:30 Theory: Completing Drawings and Presentation of finished product
17:00 Day end

Sunday 20th September

09:00 Practical drawing of artefacts
16:30 NAS How to get involved and course feedback
17:00 Course ends