And…I’ve died. Because dinosaurs, and feathers, and science – and Avengers!

Avenging Feathered Dinosaurs | Symbiartic, Scientific American Blog Network

Cover art to Avengers #12. Art by Dustin Weaver, colours by Justin Ponsor. Avengers © Marvel Comics.

Comic books, contrary to popular belief, do not ignore science to come up with the fantastic abilities characters have. They extrapolate, exaggerate and play make-believe with science, but this stems from scientific literacy.


Meet Two Of Toronto’s Best Science Illustrators!

In honour of Symbiartic’s wonderful #SciArt week on Twitter, here are two of my favourite Toronto based science artists!

Danielle Dufault
Danielle is a graduate of the Technical and Scientific Illustration degree program at Sheridan College. Her work is the result of a long-standing fascination with the natural world and an unyielding desire to understand it, and palaeontology is her focus. She has produced many illustrations for ROM palaeontologists, including a reconstruction ofthe new horned dinosaur! By making use of both traditional and digital media and referring to extant and extinct comparative anatomy, Danielle produces a variety of work to suit many different projects. Danielle’s work has been featured on the Dino Hunt Canada website, in ROM exhibits, and in scientific publications such as the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology.

Liz Butler
Liz Butler is a Toronto area artist and teacher and the creator of ROMKids’ popular Tumblr series ’Liz Butler Draws the ROM’. ‘Liz Butler Draws the ROM’ features a gallery or theme that Liz explores through her art and then writes about. Liz has sketched and written about a wide range of topics including dinosaurs, mummified cats, bears, sharks, and more, displaying the Museum in a way never seen before. 'Liz Butler Draws The ROM’ is a wonderful series on scientific illustration and a great example of what good science communication, both visual and written, can look like.

Image Credit

  • Images 1 (Centrosaurus (left), Mercuriceratops (centre) and Chasmosaurus (right)) an 4 (Acheroraptor): Danielle Dufault
  • Images 2 (Parasaurolophus) and 3 (Allosaurus): Liz Butler

Post by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: March 2, 2015.
Rediscovering the Forgotten Benefits of Drawing
A century ago, drawing was taught as an essential skill for scientists, valued for communicating findings, but also for enhancing observations. One biology professor laments this loss and aims to incorporate drawing back into her introductory biology courses.
By Jennifer Landin, Ph.D.

Something my mom shared on facebook. I know from experience drawing teaches you how to see and recognize pattern so you can take the complex and distill it into simple pieces. When I took herpetology and entomology to some degree, I drew the defining characters of things so I knew what they looked like and so I could see them in my mind’s eye. I drew the frog skeleton so I’d learn the bones. I feel that science and art are something that go hand in hand and wish, especially in the US, the education system would realize that. 


In exciting news, our “Liz Butler Draws The ROM” series has been featured on to the Scientific American blog network

Glendon Mellow, writer for Symbiartic, science communicator, and brilliant illustrator, reached out to do a small blog on Liz’s work after seeing the influence Liz had on young illustrators around her. Glendon is a tireless advocate of artists, educators and scientists, so it’s such an honour to be featured!

Liz Butler is a Toronto based high school teacher and practising artist. After using the Museum for inspiration, she reached out to post her work through Since 2013 her adventures through the Museum illustrating and writing about specimens and artifacts that fascinate her have become a fixture of our outreach efforts, encouraging visitors to sketch their visits and drop by on free student Tuesday.

Beyond Tumblr notes measuring in the thousands, and her extended sketching residencies at the Museum, this marks our first major exposure for the science/history art and education project.

Thank you to everyone who has supported ‘Liz Butler Draws The ROM’!

More information

Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: March 26th, 2015.