Under the Microscope

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I had diatoms on the brain when I did this! Since taking AP Biology and AP Environmental Science in my senior year in high school, I was so in love with the microscope. Seeing everything up close and personal made me feel so big and simple compared to the tiny, intricate things that made us up. I also remember hearing about art that was based in science and scientific concepts. It was very appealing to me back then.

Have you really paid attention to the illustrations in your science textbooks? Someone sat down with reference materials and drew out that cross section of a cell or every step of that plant life cycle. At the end of such a thing, there was an artist that knew that subject inside and out. To take it a step further, of course there would be artists who draw inspiration for more abstract work from the sciences, especially the biological sciences. For me, the stuff you need a microscope to see…now THAT's something to blow up and admire with the naked eye!

It was with this mindset that I created this. Although it looks great in black and white (and as you may already know from my previous doodles, I'm quite partial to the simplicity of black and white drawings), I did add color as well:

It kind of reminds me of agate slices in terms of the concentric layers within many of the shapes. I have a strong affinity for round shapes as well as the shapes that come from overlap. It was a great place to start here. As I progressed further with the colors, I started thinking about the various shapes and colors of diatoms:

Although I used circles exclusively, it was the collection of shapes derived later that added a great amount of interest and resemblance to diatoms, so I emphasized them be filling them with layers. The color scheme was inspired from semiprecious stones and algae, especially the reds and greens. I'm very excited to explore this new realm of creative inspiration further!

 

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