Monday 25 May 2020

How to Draw the Coronavirus (2020)

An excellent piece in The Paris Review on the multiple attempts by scientific illustrators to visualise the virus which causes COVID-19. HERE.

In an attempt to locate Falconieri Hays’s influences, I searched for Goodsell’s illustration, expecting to find an anatomized rendering of the virion. What I found instead was an intoxicatingly beautiful, quasi-psychedelic painting: something you would be as likely to see through a microscope as through hallucinogens. Goodsell—who has produced similarly stunning images of Ebola, zika, and HIV, among other things—visits, like many illustrators, a protein-visualization site called Protein Data Bank for structural reference and PubMed for research on viruses before he draws them. He then sketches the virion—the large picture first, small details last—and paints the sketch with watercolors. “I find that the cartoony, flat-color approach that I use makes it easier to comprehend the whole scene,” he wrote in an article for the Journal of Biocommunication.