Medical Illustration Work in Progress: Figure 03 - Osteocytes

I discussed some of the process behind this sketch in an earlier post. I had just re-visited the concepts of light, shadow and form and it really influenced my rendering process. 

 Sketch layer

Sketch layer

The image below goes a little beyond a flat fill and into some rendering. I almost never use black for my shadows. I usually start with a deep color like burgundy or navy.

If I want to check if I chose the right shadow color I'll apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer. From there, I will move the slider around the scale while glancing at the illustration. The right hue becomes obvious when I do this.

 New: shadow on osteocyte and beneath processes, highlight on matrix, embossed texture on matrix

New: shadow on osteocyte and beneath processes, highlight on matrix, embossed texture on matrix

Here, I have begun adding highlights - my favorite part! I chose either a cool or a warm highlight color depending on which side of the osteocyte I was on. 

 New: highlights on processes and cell body

New: highlights on processes and cell body

My next favorite part - reflective light. I selected colors from the surrounding matrix, and then lightened and increased their saturation. I glazed over the underside of the cell with my brush set to a very low flow in photoshop.

 The final rendered osteocyte!

The final rendered osteocyte!

Below is the final image with text.

That's it! The making of an osteocyte! Come back again to see figure 4!

Feel free to visit my Wordpress blog to see more work!