Artifact Illustration Class – CalTrans, San Bernardino, CA

Donna Walker recently taught her Artifact Illustration class to our District’s department of State archaeologists and architectural historians.

Donna’s enthusiasm for artifact illustration is infectious and her knowledge of the various techniques used to effectively depict different materials, like bone, wood, stone, and shell is encyclopedic.

What makes taking one of Donna’s classes so valuable is her ability to teach this skill by breaking the process down into understandable steps. Donna easily switches from sharing information with the group to focusing on the next step in each student’s drawing.

By the end of our class, each of the students had produced an ink drawing of an artifact that could be added to a professional report. Donna is a great artist in her own right, but what makes Donna so special is that she is also a great teacher.

Gary Jones, M.A.
Associate Environmental Planner, Archaeologist
District Native American Coordinator
Environmental Support / Cultural Studies
Caltrans District 8


First Peoples of the Escondido Creek Watershed: New Interpretive Center Exhibit

“We’d like to thank Donna Walker for going above and beyond to create tons of content for this exhibit.

She produced hand-drawn illustrations and written content, and also helped procure pieces for display from the San Diego Archaeological Association.

Close-up of artifact illustration signs.

Thanks so much for your very hard work on this. It looks really nice with the artifacts on loan and your illustrations and words!

And you did a great job of laying out the artifacts in their display cases too. It all came together wonderfully.

It’s been a pleasure working on this with you on this!”

Simon Breen
Education Manager
The Escondido Creek Conservancy


Dear Donna,

I am writing to express the thanks of all the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society members who enjoyed your Artifact Illustration class on Saturday, March 14, 2015.

Borrego Symposium with artwork
The drawing of an atlatl was used, with my permission, in advertising and as a banner at the symposium.

Many have been intimidated by past illustration attempts and your step-by-step technique for creating an accurate representation removed those fears.

By the end of the class all members had completed at least one very good illustration – much to the surprise of many.

I had several of the students thank me for my part in organizing the class and they all were very complimentary of the information they received and the skills they began to develop as a result of your teaching.

Once again, “Thanks for a superior effort and an enlightening class”.

C. L. “Chuck” Bennett
Steering Committee Member


“Donna Walker has conducted workshops on artifact illustration for my Palomar College archaeology students. They reported being very satisfied and pleased with what they learned.

Donna was very flexible in accommodating the workshop schedules and I was very pleased with our working relationship. ”

Dr. Phil de Barros
Palomar College, San Marcos, CA


“Dear Donna,

Thanks again for your generous instruction. Really useful and a marvelous addition to my archaeological learning. We’ll keep you posted on our Anza Borrego Archaeology Society events….we all loved your class.”

Cheers, Susan Gilliland
CDAS – Colorado Desert Archaeology Society