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Field Drawing in the Spacesuit – Test Eight (Drawing Lichens)

November 25, 2016

Field Drawing in the Spacesuit – Test Eight (Drawing Lichens)

Annalea Beattie



  1. To consider time constraints within suited drawing.
  1. To tie the field drawing in with the sampling site of lichens.
  1. To explore an unknown subject to see what can be learnt through drawing.
  1. To continue to test the magnifying glass (which has less strength than the hand-lens but is easier to handle) as a tool for geological field drawing both in and out of sim.



  1. Return to site near the base of cliff visited previously and draw one species of lichen.
  1. Follow the scientist, and then draw from the sample site in detail, using the lens and the magnifier. Draw a scale, noting disrupted area from sampling, type of lichen, prominence, distribution, mode of growth (pathways , singular organisms, runs, patterning within communities, etc.)
  1. Continue to draw within two hour time constraints.

4.Find something within the drawing to think about what can be learnt (content depth)

5.Consider the suit, tools and techniques.  Quickly sketch of the context of the site and note where sample was taken on outcrop sketch.


Discussion points:

After the lichen had been sampled, I chose to draw remaining lichen on sandstone boulder for pathways and spatial distribution.

1.Neck and shoulders cramping though this plateaued after the first hour.

  1. I notice the hand lens is a great tool for observing lichen without the suit but to use it in the suit I have to get too close to the lichen to see detail. This becomes uncomfortable as I am lying on the ground.
  1. More attention needed to substrate – distracted by abstract qualities of lichen.



The outcome was two 50 minute drawings of the spatial distribution and patterning of black lichen, Polysporina cyclocarpa.

1.Time constraints were appropriate in terms of the suit comfort.

  1. Choosing one subject and spending dedicated time was worthwhile as drawing always encourages critical thinking. By following the lichen pathways in drawing I began to visually recognise clumping, pathways and spatial distribution, how individual movement follows contours of the rock. (I need to check with the biologists and the literature. More research on this particular lichen needed)
  1. In terms of time constraints, faster drawing is not necessarily useful as it does not provide critical depth (although efficiency is paramount for maximum science return, for example sampling). A series of way points could be useful.