This illustration, completed in conjunction with a gross anatomy dissection course, focuses on the distribution of the facial nerve and artery. Scroll down to see the process I went through to arrive at the final illustration.
The first stage of this project started with dissecting and studying facial anatomy. First, the dissection was performed and the structures were identified and cleaned. After arranging the anatomy in a manner that allowed major structures to be clearly viewed, I spent 3 hours sketching the anatomy from life. This is one of a few sketches I completed during that time period.
To get a better idea of how I wanted to display the information, I did a series of sketches layered on top of each other. Using a lateral view of my face as a reference, I did a quick pencil drawing as a base layer. I drew the subsequent layers on tracing paper above the original, starting with the skull, then moving to the nerves, arteries, musculature and glands that I wanted to focus on.
I start my digital illustrations by first painting everything in greyscale. This helps me ensure that the composition has a complete range of values. Once I am satisfied with the value painting, I add a layer of color over top. Each layer of anatomy is added separately, allowing me to mask and edit each structure individually.