archaeological illusstrator

Valerie Woelfel

1178 Thomas Ave

St paul, MN 55104


651 649-1506

Classics and Book Illustrations.

altar of pergamonMy drawing work involves much more than artifact illustrations. An issue for many clients has been the difficulty involved in getting permission to use a photograph from a book or museum collection because of copyright issues. A photograph of an object in a museum, or an image in a book, is copyrighted, but if I use that image as a reference the drawing is not covered by that copyright.




red figure amphoraPen and ink drawings are excellent for capturing the detail and character of sculpture and friezes such as those we find in the Hellenistic and Roman world. Red figure, black figure and other painted pottery shows up clear and vibrant when recreated in Adobe Illustrator. The vessel can be drawn as a whole or the image can be unwrapped and drawn on it's own. This process can be completed long distance. A client can email me a photograph of the object to be drawn and I send back the completed image.






roman soldierImages are also an important part of presenting the past to the public and generating support for the fields of ancient studies. Illustrations for popular books, informational brochures, museum displays and websites are also part of the archeological illustrator's role. This image is a pen and ink drawing which then had color added in Photoshop. Shadows and highlights were added with the burn and dodge tools.




Church of the Holy Sepulchre


Many assignments require extensive research to guarantee accuracy. This image is from A Pilgrim's Guide to the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha in Jerusalem by Emily Cavins. It depicts the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during the Crusader period. There have been a tremendous number of changes made to this building over time, and pieces of earlier structures have been incorporated, so this project was quite a challange. The final image was created in Adobe Illustrator.





 Creating accurate maps and site plans is an important aspect of an archaeological illustrator's job. I have frequently been responsible for this task in the field. I also prepare maps for publication. This image was created in Photoshop by scanning in maps drawn over map years and combining them into a final image.