Archaeological Illustration

18 March 2023 Southampton University


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 5 credits towards their Certificate or Award.

Provisional Timetable

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

The NAS reserves the right to cancel courses or events 4 weeks in advance of a course if insufficient bookings have been received. Please do not book non-refundable travel and accommodation until you have been notified by email that the course is definitely going ahead.

Participants are permitted to cancel and receive a full refund up to four weeks in advance of a course  or event date. They are also able to defer their booking to any other NAS course or event instead of receiving a refund. If participants wish to cancel within the four weeks prior to  the course or event, they will forfeit their booking fee unless there are unless circumstances  which the NAS, in its absolute discretion, considers sufficiently mitigating as to warrant a partial or full refund.  

Applications for a refund within the four weeks prior to  the course or event must be submitted in writing (electronic submission is acceptable) and such evidence as the NAS may reasonably require must be provided to support the application.