Medical Illustration WIP: The Osteocyte Network Inside Compact Bone

So, here is my starting point for this figure. I will often set my sketch layer to multiply and then colorize it with an additional adjustment layer.

figure_04a_fatunmbi.png

I went over my process for rendering these cell bodies and extensions in an earlier post so I am just focusing on the surrounding bone matrix here. In this image, I have:

  • darkened the channels to make them look like tunnels
  • added a rim of shadow to one side of each tunnel
  • added a rim of light to the corresponding hill that a tunnel cuts through or surrounds
  • added some subtle embossing effects to produce the texture on the hills
figure_04b_fatunmbi.png

These blue osteocytes sit inside fluid filled channels. The cell bodies and the processes are covered. So to indicate that:

  • I did a flat fill in the tunnels on a separate layer. (This indicated the liquid.)
  • I set that layer's transparency to high.
  • In a new layer, I added highlights on either side of the furrow to indicate the viscosity and reflective nature of the fluid.
figure_04c_fatunmbi.png

Lastly, to indicate that the cell bodies themselves are also covered in fluid, I extended the highlights on the processes onto the cell bodies.

figure_04d_fatunmbi.png

Below is the final illustration with labels. I painted a haze behind the labels to increase the contrast between the text and the figure. 

figure_04e_fatunmbi.png

That is it for this week's post! Thanks for looking. Feel free to like or share if you found this helpful! 

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