Thursday, May 9, 2013

Polynoidae Radiolarian

 My painting Polynoidae Radiolarian came from a mix of scientific influences, beginning with the work of 19th century scientific illustrator Ernst Haeckel.  In short, Haeckel is known for his many highly-detailed renderings of sea creatures and microorganisms.  One such microscopic body is the radiolarian, which are protozoa that leave behind very intricate skeletons.  The incredible design of the radiolaria were amazing and inspirational to me, especially because there are so many forms both symmetric and asymmetric.  Inspired by the wonder of microorganisms, I began looking for more small wonders and came across pictures of the scale worm.   More visible to the unaided eye than radiolaria, the head of a feeding scale worm is one of the most fearsome things I have ever seen.  My imagination and love of sci-fi afire, the design for this painting flowed naturally from these two starting points.

My first attempt to render a radiolarian in my sketchbook.

Drawing the scale worm and figuring out the combination of the two creatures.

The graphite on canvas and outlining in paint.

Rendering with paint and working toward color harmony.

The finished painting.  
Polynoidae Radiolarian and other recent works can be seen at my website.

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