GNSI member Taina Litwak describes her illustration job for the USDA in a recent blog entry. Taina works at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, where the Museum and the USDA have combined labs for researching new insect species.
Taina also has her art on display in this year's GNSI Annual Exhibit, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2012 Employee Art Exhibit, and she has won awards for 2 pieces entered in the BioCommunications Association annual visual media competition (an on-line show) "BioImages 2012".
Image: Painting by Taina Litwak of a new species of Soldier fly in the genus Parastratiosphecomyia. This species is from India and it’s a wasp mimic. The larvae are scavengers, nutrient recyclers, which feed under bark. It was done in 2011 for Dr. Norman Woodley. The illustration process starts with a pencil drawing of a dead pinned specimen done through the microscope. The sketches are scanned and the painting itself is done in a fairly traditional manner, but digitally, using Adobe Photoshop.