Frenatae 2011 Calendar

Ralph Holzenthal - Tabanidae. Adobe Illustrator, gradient mesh/Adobe Photoshop.

Even though we’re now in the latter part of February, I wanted to spread the word about a cool insect-themed calendar shown to me by a colleague during my recent trip to Brazil. Produced by Frenatae, the Graduate Student Entomology Club at the University of Minnesota, the calendar features original work by students using computer illustration techniques taught in a UMN course titled, ENT 5051, Scientific Illustration of Insects. The mastermind behind this course is Dr. Ralph W. Holzenthal, who – as can be seen by the stunning image above of a female (L) and male (R) Tabanus lineola – knows a thing or two about insect illustration! While the course covers traditional techniques such as pen & ink, pencil, watercolor, etc., its major emphasis is on computer-assisted techniques using Adobe Illustrator® and Photoshop®. This includes instruction on preparing full habitus color illustrations of insects on the computer. How I wish a course such as this had been available when I was in graduate school (of course, how I wish computers had been available when I was in graduate school!).

While Dr. Holzenthal’s illustrative skills are obvious, it’s also clear that he excels at teaching these skills to his students, as evidenced by this selection of my favorite images (not surprisingly, all beetles!) from the course website galleries:

Caitlin Krueger - Scarabaeidae

Martha Megarry - Scarabaeidae

Heather Cummins - Zopheridae

It should be pointed out that all of these Photoshop illustrations represent original artwork and not modified photographs!

I ordered my copy of the calendar as soon as I returned home from my trip. You can order one too by sending a check for $12 to the following address:

1980 Folwell Ave Rm 219
St Paul, MN 55108

My thanks to Dr. Holzenthal for allowing me to post this small selection of images from his website.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011

13 thoughts on “Frenatae 2011 Calendar

  1. Fantastic stuff! As someone who can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, I highly admire those with any degree of drawing/painting artistic talent! I’ll just have to stick to my camera and admire those with the skills!


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