Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Department of Paleobiology
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
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Microscope and camera lucida
A microscope and camera lucida are standard equipment for the illustrator who draws small objects. The camera lucida allows the artist to see the specimen along with their paper and pencil in the field of view under the microscope. The illustrator then traces the image while looking through the microscope. This takes some practice because the artist must draw while looking through the microscope rather than while looking at his or her drawing.


Microscope and camera lucida.  M. Parrish drawing.
a) Microscope, camera lucida, and camera lucida sketch by Mary Parrish. b) Mary Parrish using set up.

Other equipment useful to a paleontological illustrator include digital cameras and computers.


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