bone anatomy

Medical Illustration WIP: Bone Resorption by Osteoclasts

Please pardon my lack of posting in these past few weeks. Work temporarily took over! Let's get back to these step by steps shall we?


Below, I depict an osteoclast moving across the bone matrix and resorbing bone. Osteoclasts release digestive enzymes that break down the bone underneath.

I almost always start with a sketch which I eventually colorize to complement to overall color of the piece.

I almost always start with a sketch which I eventually colorize to complement to overall color of the piece.

Next, I use big brushes to start indicating form. I used the emboss feature and a textured brush to create the subtle, raised appearance in the surrounding matrix. 

New: Color and basic shadows. I added a subtle gradient to the background as well. 

New: Color and basic shadows. I added a subtle gradient to the background as well. 

Below I began adding highlighted regions. I also used a textured brush to create the look of chewed up/dissolved bone.

New: Increased texture in the furrow, highlights

New: Increased texture in the furrow, highlights

If you compare the image below to the one above it, you'll notice that the one below is much warmer. When turning my layers on and off to create these step-by-steps, I must have mistakenly turned off the adjustment layer that colorized the sketch!

Below, I have sharpened the highlights and made them just a little more pronounced. I also added detail to make the osteoclast fringes look more embedded in the matrix.

New: Sharpened highlights, detail along the Osteoclast (blue) fringes.

New: Sharpened highlights, detail along the Osteoclast (blue) fringes.

Below is the final illustration, with labels, as it appears in the poster. I added the text and arrow in Adobe InDesign.

figure_05e_fatunmbi.png

That's it for this week! Thanks for looking!

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! 

If you would like to see more work, visit my Wordpress blog!