Happy Halloween!

What? You don’t celebrate with a bone box and a skull box?



Figure Drawings!?

That’s right, for once I’m posting something that has nothing to do with dead people! We had a figure drawing session this morning and I’m glad to see my ability to draw something that isn’t a pile of visceral mush isn’t lost. It took a little while for me to warm up to the gesture drawing and it’s safe to say my abhorrence of all things charcoal based hasn’t diminished in the least, but I’m really glad we had the opportunity to draw from a live model again. We’ll be drawing a female model on Thursday as well and I’ll post a few of my drawings afterwards. Also, to whomever designed the Art and Architecture building, I hate you. Buildings shouldn’t be allowed to look like that. Ever.

Heart in Progress

For our latest anatomical visualization project we’re illustrating a heart containing an anomalous hepatic portal vein which drains directly into the right atrium. We preserved one of the hearts from our lab tables to use as a reference and set up a box to light it in. I finished my basic sketch of the normal heart in the space and am pretty satisfied with it thus far. I’ll have to enlarge the drawing (which makes me seriously pine for the SU Illustration department’s art-o-graph) before I can start adding the portal vein and all the other structures required, but I think it’s overall a pretty good start.

Visceral Anatomical Discoveries

Since we opened up our cadaver’s thoracic cavity it’s been a gold mine of health problems. Thus far we’ve discovered:

  • His left-dominant heart with plaque-filled, rock-hard coronary arteries (a very bad situation to be in)
  • A small indirect hernia on his left side.
  • An oversized, hardened liver (aka. cirrhosis) with a cyst.
  • Four gallstones, two of which were particularly large (his gallbladder was actually completely filled with them)
And we’ve only just begun. It’s really fascinating to find all these things and try to make sense of them, especially because our cadaver’s cause of death is listed as “pending” so we keep trying to figure out what the potential causes could have been. Also, on a side note, gallstones can actually be really pretty looking. I’m hoping for kidney stones too. I doubt we’d be lucky enough to find those too, but it’d be really cool. Now it’s back to the lab for some studying/sketching.


Back to drawing finally! Finished some drawings illustrating the concept of flexion and extension at the knee joint in perspective. This one required so much research. You had to figure out how the femur and tibia articulate with each other (models only help so much before the ligaments and menisci get in the way), where the patella sits in relation to the joint, how the bones move during flexion/extensions, where the femur sits on the tibial plateau during these motions, and how the patella moves during them. This was big learning experience for me in terms of using computer programs to edit my drawings. The perspective tool in illustrator took some getting used to but I think it’ll be a really helpful tool in the future. I also experimented with some ghosting and overlaying in my illustration of the movements at the joint that I’m actually pretty pleased with. It was a frustrating process but I guess that’s the only way you really learn the programs – you can sit in a classroom and listen to someone lecture and demo the programs for hours but until you’ve really sat with it and struggled to get it to work yourself you never really learn it.We also illustrated a mid-sagittal cross section…but let’s not go there. I’m nowhere near satisfied with it yet. I’ll get the hang of this technology thing one eventually.