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Our first assignment for our Illustration Techniques class this semester! The assignment was to draw an anatomical structure that was at least partly cylindrical in shape, such as the inner ear or the stomach, so I drew the posterior tracheobronchial tree. At first I had these thick circles that encompassed both larynxes to make it more obvious that it was a call-out; however during critique it was quickly pointed out that the circles were just crowding the image and that it looks much better without them, which I agree. The class also seemed to like the detail in the posterior larynx cartilages. John recommended that I keep the outline of the structure as a whole a bit thicker and more consistent in the line variation instead of very thin on the left and thick on the right. It also would have helped to render very thin lines for the lobes of the lungs that would be visible from the back just so that they do not appear so empty.
This project was an excellent one to kick off the semester in this course. It was enjoyable being able to learn about line techniques during lecture, experiment with traditional versus digital, and of course seeing everyone else’s works and techniques that they used during the critique. I rendered my project in Photoshop since that was what was most comfortable for me, but I definitely want to try traditional line inking in the future as well.
I just realized I forgot to post this! Here’s the finished product of our last project in Denise’s class. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, although I wish we had been able to have a critique session like with our other projects so that I would know what I did incorrectly or did well. Time constraints with end-of-semester craziness prevented that though, which is understandable.
(Also the signature laying on top is because I took this image from my other online portfolio that I use for 2D illustrations)

One month into the new semester and here’s my progress! This is from the beginnings of our learning 3DS Max, a huge program with amazing capabilities (and a tendency to crash unexpectedly), in Leah Klein’s Computer Visualization class. I had absolutely no 3D modeling experience prior to this class, so it’s been a great learning experience and I’m very excited to see what we’ll be able to make from this program, especially as we move into more anatomical subjects.

It seems that without Anatomy class looming over our heads and devouring most of our time, we can actually put in more time to make higher quality art. Rather than being last minute and stressful, our progress in our art assignments this semester has been steady and fulfilling. We even have more free time this semester to explore Chicago and spend time with each other.  

2 months ago • 0 notes


I just have some finishing touches to go, but look at that! I finally got the favicon working too which took far longer than it should have. Youtube tutorials saved me from all the sources whose suggestions were not working in my code for whatever reason. I have to say—writing out all the code by hand from scratch and building up this entire website has been rewarding, to say the very least. It’s hard to believe how far it’s come since that day when we first typed in our html, head, and body tags. I will most certainly be using this website in the future as my online portfolio. I’m too proud of it not too! It will of course be improved upon in the future to look more professional as well as to include whatever new art I’ll producing to come. 

Speaking of which, now on to my other two illustration projects… Just two more days to go till the semester is done!

4 months ago • 0 notes

Work-in-progress for my Clarifying Complexity project in Instructional Design!
I received some great feedback from the class today about tucking in the first two bubbles closer to the tree and putting the text wrapping around the bubbles on the tree trunk itself. They also suggested putting the title in different colors to make it stand out and look less harsh. They liked my illustrations and layout so far, as well as the font choice for the title.
Considering how most of my art background is self-taught due to being unable to gain access to art classes in my undergraduate college, it’s always refreshing and helpful for me to receive feedback from my peers. Constructive criticism is probably the fastest way in which I improve by incorporating others’ opinions into my own outlook and seeing what works and what does not. When I’m out on my own in my professional career, I may not have this luxury of receiving feedback in a learning environment, so I will most definitely take advantage of this opportunity now while I can.
What on earth do jellyfish have to do with medical illustration?
Well, for me personally they’ll be on my final website! Since I’ll be including a compilation of a variety of my past works, that includes some of my rather amateurish attempts at photography. I have always been fascinated by photographing animals and photography is certainly a field I hope to improve on in the future. It would be great if I was able to take capture good photographs to serve as my own references in illustration.
I’m just amazed by how many different forms of art can be incorporated into medical illustration. It seems like a very specific and narrow field, but really it can span across all forms of art in one way or another. For someone like me whose interests are continuously changing, a dynamic field like this is just what I dreamed of.
Assignment 4!
It’s finally done! Probably the most glaring error of this is that the rib cage is too small and the bladder is too low. The rib cage was originally larger, but it looks like I shrank it a little too much. I think I was just thrown off by the fact that the model I used had a very high waist so it may have distorted my perception of how much to shrink the rib cage. Either way, it should be closer to the lateral edge of her body.
Some positives about this was that I was praised for the way I varied my lines in her body outline and kept them somewhat even in her skeleton to keep them apart. The instructor also praised the way I drew the pelvic girdle! The kidneys themselves are in the right place at the L1 lumbar vertebra and transpyloric plane; however the vertebrae themselves should be slightly wider than how I drew them.
I certainly underestimated the amount of time and difficulty of this assignment. I spent hours drawing and redrawing rib cages and still came up incorrect in terms of proportion. This assignment did however give me a great lesson on planes and bodily landmarks. I enjoyed how this was a culmination of multiple lectures and figure drawing sessions that we had for this assignment and it seems like a project that we could very well have during our career.
Work in progress for Assignment 4!
The rib cage alone has taken me hours to draw and then hours to fix, but it’s coming along slowly. I’m definitely getting a good lesson on proportions and becoming aware of how integral the skeleton is in sizing those proportions and forming those surface landmarks. I still have to lay down the organs, but at the very least I’m pleased with how the skeleton is coming around.
This assignment has also made me aware of how difficult it is, at least for me, to find a good female skeleton reference in anatomical position. There are a great many for male skeletons, but not so much for females. Even the atlas and anatomy references I have open there are for male skeletons while I have a female skeletal reference pulled up on my laptop for the shoulders and pelvic region.
Female anatomy definitely needs to be more widespread in terms of anatomical references.
Also, the reason I’m working on my bed?
It’s because my desk looks like this:
Assignment Three!
Well, I certainly made this project far harder on myself than I should have. For this assignment I wanted the emphasis to be on the vessels and showing a view of the heart that is not often shown to students. In addition I wanted to include the descending aorta and its intercostal arteries in a way that students would be aware of its position in the body since most sources show it cut off or just in a separate image. As such, it was very difficult for me to find reference sources for my view of the heart and thus the anatomy turned out slightly warped.
At the critique, John gave me great advice. The body of the heart looks fine except for the fat which I was told needs to look more flat rather than globular for the heart. Since I had to use several different sources to complete this view, there’s a discontinuity in perspective between the vessels and the body. Also since the pulmonary arteries branch off close the heart, I made an impression of it beginning to branch, but instead I should have left the tubular texture continuous right up until it branches. In addition the pericardium on the right pulmonary veins is somewhat confusing and should either not be there or blended more into the vein texture. John also suggested that I just cut the intercostal arteries rather than fade them out because they look like they’re attaching to the heart itself. I had some labeling issues as well, such as the leader lines on left posterior ventricular branch and vein should be going to the second line rather than the first.
There was a lot of critique, but I took a risk and I’m proud of that at least. I knew there would be a lot of issues, but this is all a learning experience and it’s better that I learn it now rather than later on in my professional career when I won’t be allowed to make such mistakes.
Now on to the next project!
The first part of our third assignment!
What a week it’s been! We got to meet Francine Netter, daughter of THE Frank Netter who was possibly the most well-known medical illustrator among us and physicians alike. It was such an honor to hear her speak about her father and to get to meet with her in person. She has a quirky sense of humor that is charming in its own right and is wonderful to speak with. I purchased her book at the event and she signed it for me as well. I mentioned to her that I also went to UNC like she did for her Master’s and she told me about how some of her father’s sketches are still in the Health Sciences Library on Colombia Street! The next time I’m in Chapel Hill you can bet that I’ll be in that library to see those sketches.
This third assignment is also due this week. The first part is to render these shapes with a focus on lighting and shadow while the second part is to render the heart. I’m still working on the second part which is still in the messy etchy sketchy tracing paper stage, but I’ve at least got this first part done! I’ll be sure to post my heart drawing when it’s finished. The planning process so far has been a lot of fun actually! It has not been quite so stressful and tedious as the vertebra drawing, but it is just as difficult in my opinion. The reason it has been fun is because the resources for the heart are so vast. We have two hearts set aside in our cadaver lab specifically for this project, so I’ve been studying from those, our Gilroy atlas which has fantastic illustrations of the heart, heart models in the BVIS lounge made available by our instructors, and most fascinating of all I’ve been watching heart transplant surgeries online to really study the action, form, and texture of a live heart. It has only made me more excited for when we’re able to take Surgical Illustration next year!