Monthly Archives: February 2014

Finally, the first Illustration Techniques assignment is due today. For this assignment, the class was given a lot of preparatory material to get ready to use pen and ink techniques. We looked at pen and ink medical illustration by John Melloni, Gerald Hodge, Al Teoli, Russel Drake, Trudy Nicholson, Tim Phelps, and of course, John Daugherty. By studying Hodge’s practice sheets on eyelash line and effective contour line drawing, the class was given a great introduction to the patience necessary for pen and ink illustration. We were given specific limits on size and layout, measured in picas. We could work digitally or traditionally — I chose Corel Painter and the scratchboard tool to make my illustration of the lateral brain and sinuses.

lamy_brain-dural-sinuses_LRMy pen & ink illustration for Illustration Techniques

I found this project very challenging, especially when doing my research on the important gyri and sulci of the brain as well as the position of the sinuses. After doing a little reading in Gray’s Anatomy and talking to my neuroanatomy professor, Dr. Unnerstall, I felt confident enough to place the sinuses accurately. Though I’m happy with the result, I think I’ll go back in and try to re-ink the work. The more you use pen and ink technique, the more control you have over the media. After all that, I feel like I have a much better idea of how it works.


It’s been about a month since the spring semester started, and though it’s been a little hard to get into the swing of things, I think I’m finally feeling comfortable with my new schedule. With a couple of “extreme weather” days off thrown in the mix, I’ve had a little more time to work on projects and assignments, but it’s also difficult to get into routine when it keeps getting interrupted. Anyways, it’s been a great start to the semester nonetheless — I’ve learned a ton of new skills in the program 3D Studio Max about digital modeling. So far in Computer Visualization we’ve worked on two small assignments — to create a spaceship and a hypodermic needle.


Welcome to the squidship! I’ve always loved the comparisons between the deep mystery of space and the ocean, so I thought I’d make a spaceship that resembles the Common Squid (Loligo vulgaris). Squids are really intelligent invertebrates with a giant axon that controls their water jet propulsion system, enabling them to quickly move through the water. I imagine my spaceship, if working correctly, would have jets that would move similar to the tentacles of the squid to control direction and amount of propulsion through space.


This is my hypodermic needle. It was so much fun learning how to manipulate splines within 3DS Max, and working on different shapes that fit into one another. A friend of mine asked me if I could push the plunger in, but we won’t be doing that kind of work until later. Apparently it has something to do with setting a different “axis” on each object so that you can move it within that specific plane.

3D modeling is so different from any digital skill I’ve acquired thus far. It’s so exciting and full of potential — like learning anatomy last year, I feel that learning 3DS Max is like learning a new language.

In other classes, I’m currently working on a project involving pen and ink for the Illustration Techniques class. Since I’m taking the Neuroanatomy course this semester, I’ve decided to illustrate the brain and map out the sinuses. Last week we were all asked to bring in our sketches for review — assigned to groups of three, we went over what we liked and disliked about each work and what we might be able to do once we transform the toned sketch into pure line work. I think it was a really helpful way to analyze the project before its due date and hope that we continue this kind of review for future projects.


This is my sketch so far. Can’t wait to start on the lines in Photoshop!