I initially contacted Bryan Christie to request permission to feature his spectacular cheetah illustration in this year's blitz. He agreed, and so here it is, in all its glory:
But he also tipped me off to his fine art work that is equally worthy of note:
How could two such disparate styles emanate from the same person? Even more intriguing is the thought that both of these images are products of 3D computer modeling. We tend to think of computer models as slick, razor-sharp depictions, not vague or ambiguous, so it's no surprise that the cheetah illustration is done digitally (although I've said it before and I'll say it again that does NOT mean a computer did all the work!). Yet Christie's fine art series is all the more wondrous when you learn that it, too, is the product of 3D renders. He begins with 3D models of figures and their internal anatomy and prints out different poses on silk. He subsequently layers 3-12 of the print-outs on top of each other binding them with beeswax in a process known as encaustic. The results are other-worldly and push the frontier of what can be accomplished with 3D technology.
As to why Christie began to branch out into fine art from his science and medical illustration career, he says, "Eventually I began to approach my illustrations more from the perspective of an artist than an illustrator; I became more interested in the feeling and mystery of a piece, rather than the data and information." He still does medical and scientific illustration work, but I would argue this artistic thread is what makes his illustration work stand out.
See Bryan Christie's entire portfolio, including both his science/medical illustration and his fine art, on his design studio website. He also arranges private studio tours by appointment if you happen to be in NYC.
For the third year running, we are turning September into a month-long celebration of science artists by delivering a new morsel of sciart to chew on each day. Totally yum? Check out what was previously featured on this day:
2013: Periodic Table Jewelry by Molly Spilane at Unique Art Pendants
2012: 3D Dryptosaurus with artwork by Tyler Keillor