Monthly Archives: October 2013

The finished product for our third assignment in Anatomical Visualization.

This was the most challenging project for me thus far in the year, as I can't help but take my time in rendering volume. Unfortunately for me, that meant that parts of this drawing suffered (as well as my sleep schedule, yuck) as I balanced my time between classes. As it stands though, I'm happy with the result. I got into a conversation with a classmate about preferred pencil types, and though I primarily use a 2B pencil, I began this project with an HB -- the same weight as a standard #2 pencil. After I gave the piece an overall tone with the HB, I went in with a 2B and eventually put in some deep darks with an Ebony pencil. We referenced the heart from the cadavers in the Gross Lab, and sketching from the actual organ was a fantastic experience! I wish I had a little more time to go in and sketch on my own in the lab -- maybe after this exam I'll set some time aside to just work in there with my sketchbook.

Besides working on this project, I've spent my time going over anatomy lectures and taking thorough notes for the past couple of weeks. Even though it takes a long time and can be kind of strenuous (my professor packs so much information into just one sentence!), concepts are repeated throughout each lecture. I'm guessing those are the ones that will appear on our next exam, which is a little more than a week away.  Wish me luck!

Finally, the first big project for Instructional Design is finished! For this assignment, the class was asked to create an illustrated narrative of a medical or scientific procedure. Because I love drawing eyes, I decided to illustrate how to safely administer eye drops. I made a bunch of sketches that I scanned in and edited in Adobe Illustrator. Then I laid out the design and chose the font. It sure was fun drawing all of those hands!

Narrative Steps project

This morning we had our second critique in Anatomical Visualization on a project that was deceptively complex. The task was to fit a mid-thoracic vertebra within a perfect cube in two-point perspective from an anterolateral viewpoint. We also had to make another drawing, this time of a transverse cross-section through our vertebra complete with the spinal cord and its meninges. My biggest challenge with this project was figuring out how to fit the vertebra within the two-point perspective cube. Conceptually, this might seem a little obvious… you just place the vertebra in a cube — right? Well, that’s an option, but you would have to construct this reference cube and align it perfectly with the preliminary drawing of the perfect cube in perspective. Knowing a little more about perspective after our class presentations, I realized that this could be an almost impossible task: lining up the horizon lines, understanding where a constructed cube would fit within the limits of the vanishing points, and figuring out how to keep the vertebra inside of the cube. Whew, that would certainly be difficult!

Thankfully, after hours of trial and error, I settled on a technique where traditional drawing and digital drawing would intersect. In illustrator, it was possible to construct a perfect cube in perspective and make some observational drawings of an each side of the thoracic vertebra. These drawings must be made on a flat plane (the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes) so that they can be scanned and adjusted in photoshop to fit within each side of the cube. From that point, I made some guidelines linking the landmarks of the vertebra of each side with its corresponding side, each plane drawn in a different color. From there, I could get a good idea of where the shapes of the vertebra would sit in this space, and in this specific perspective.

T6 Vertebra

T6 Vertebra

T6 Vertebra with cross-section through the transverse plane

This took me over two days of consideration to figure out, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when it actually worked. Next, we have to draw the heart, and I’m so excited to get started. We will be working from actual human hearts from our cadavers, which I am curious about, since we haven’t done much sketching in the lab. More on that later!