Carbon Dust Human Skull



A carbon dust render of a human skull from observation and referencing anatomical atlases.


Dave Mazierski (BScAAM, MSc, CMI, FAMI)


Carbon dust on cold-pressed illustration board

Date of Completion

2017 Nov

Process Work

1. Sketching from Observation A sketch was created from observation of a model human skull, in combination with other model skulls, real human skulls, and photo references from anatomical atlases. The sketch was reviewed by the project supervisor before moving forward. ​ 2. Transferring the Sketch to a Cold-Pressed Board A mirrored version of the sketch was photocopied and then traced directly on top using a carbon pencil. The tracing was then transferred to the cold-pressed illustration board.

3. Rendering the Skull The heart was then rendered in carbon dust on the illustration board using references listed above. Specular highlights were created using opaque white paint. 4. Making Minor Adjustments in Photoshop Based on feedback from the supervisor of the project and other students, edits to the shadows and highlights were made in Adobe Photoshop. The background and edges of the illustration were also cleaned up and made white. 5. Creating a Layout and Labelling Structures The edited skull was imported into Adobe Illustrator and labels were created. ​ Image: the completed carbon dust skull on an illustration board (left) and a labelled print out of the skull for critique (right; see 6. Feedback and Revisions) 6. Feedback and Revisions Feedback was solicited from the project supervisor, other biomedical communicators, and students, and revisions were made to achieve the final piece (above).