sara j cary is a pittsburgh, pennsylvania based artist creating science illustrations and photography inspired by nature. see more at

Sunday, September 27, 2015

sketching sunday

using some color study skills I learned in a botanical illustration class, I only needed to use five prisma colors for this Pelidnota punctata (grapevine beetle) sketch.

light brown - true blue, orange and a touch of canary yellow
dark brown - aquamarine, poppy and a touch of orange

before the class I would have used at least four colors to make up one.  simplifying helps prevent muddied colors and saves time.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

back in the saddle!

Today is the first time I have worked since the birth of August.  I created an estimate for a natural history of Pennsylvania book.  Back in the saddle again!

Friday, September 12, 2014

waterlily dahlia slippers for pittsburgh ballet

i hemmed and hawed over what medium was best to decorate ballet slippers. i worried that watercolor would bleed, acrylic would look too plastic-y, so i went that my favorite prisma pencils and was surprised with how bright the colors were on the satiny fabric. the pencils did have their troubles. they liked to get caught and follow the weave of the fabric and would sometimes bounce across the surface. i hope the slippers earn some extra cash from Pittsburgh Ballet's fundraiser in october. if you are interested in purchasing any of the donated slippers, they will be available at boutique at the Benedum Center. also, much thanks to Alpha Dahlias in sewickley, pa, who kindly donated the waterlily dahlias.

Friday, June 13, 2014

art farm in marquette nebraska

currently i am enjoying an art-residency at art farm in marquette nebraska.  it took a while to get settled. the accommodations were more "rustic" than i was imagining.  now I am in a good routine of exploring, drawing and taking photos.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

preparing for "art meets science" exhibit

framing seems to take more time and money than i expect.  while preparing for the "art meets science" exhibit at mount desert island biological laboratory i made sure to start early and look for good deals on quality material.  thanks to my pittsburgh artist + craftsman and frameworks, i was able to frame my pieces on budget without too many compromises.

i always manage to get unwanted debris like cat hair and fuzzies under the glass.  even with the cats banded from the framing area and a pre-clean with a micro fiber cloth, it never fails.

after a few hours of fussing over alignment and battling cat hair, art work is framed and ready to go.

pieces on display are "Pugettia gracilis Male (Graceful Kelp Crab)" and "Fog on Lake Union." prints can be purchased at my esty store.

for those in the northeast who are interested in attending the exhibit, opening day is july 10th.  hope to see you there!