Laparoscopic Radical Left Nephrecomy

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 11 Feb 2013
For my ad in the Serbin Medical Illustration Sourcebook this year, I illustrated part of a living-donor Kidney transplant surgery. My goal was to maintain realistic surgical colors and vantage point, but still be able to show in a single scene all the major vessels that would need to be located and divided.


Reference from surgical videos:

Final sketch, first stage of digital painting, and final page design:

VC - Vena Cava
A - Aorta
RV - Renal Vein
RA - Renal Artery
AV - Adrenal Vein (or Suprarenal Vein)
AA - Adrenal Artery (or Suprarenal Artery)
L - Lumbar Vein
G - Gonadal Vein (Testicular/Spermatic or Ovarian Vein)
U - Ureter

The instrument pictured is a LigaSure device, which uses electro cautery to cut and seal vessels. The kidney and adrenal gland are in the center, and the organ visible in the upper left of the image is the spleen. The psoas muscle is also visible beneath the vessels at the bottom of the page.


Posted by Skye Sawyer on 20 Jan 2013

Original drawing from life, and in-progress vectorization

Particle Vessel

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 09 May 2011

These images are stills from a blood vessel animation. Maya omni emitters were instanced with models of blood components, given random-rotational attributes. The translucent blobby shape is a white blood cell rolling along the side of the vessel. It is emitting purple Y-shaped antibodies.

The shaders used for the red blood cells and the velvety outer surface of the vessel came from Gael McGill's Villus Capillary tutorial at Molecular Movies


Posted by Skye Sawyer on 11 Apr 2011

Model of a caffeine molecule created in Chimera, lit and shaded in Cinema 4D, and color-adjusted in Photoshop


Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

This is an illustration of an eye surgery in which a laser is used to burn off abnormal blood vessels on the surface of the retina. It was illustrated in 5 steps showing the position, cutting and removal of abnormal vessels, use of a laser to cause scarring that prevents new vessels from forming, and scleral buckling and gas bubble insertion which are done to increase the pressure within the eye to aid in healing. This condition is usually seen in diabetes patients, and if left untreated can result in blindness.


Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Medical legal exhibit for L5 fractures and nerve impingement. The interpretation was painted directly on top of an original x-ray photo of the injury. The orientation drawing was done in Illustrator, the close-up view of the fracture L5 vertebrae was a graphite drawing with highlights and color added in Photoshop, and the layout was done in InDesign.

Salto Talaris Ankle Replacement

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Mixed media:
Watercolor background, pencil sketch foot and bones painted in Photoshop, Photoshop and Illustrator device, Illustrator logo, InDesign layout

Piriformis Stretch

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Illustrator line drawing of a stretch that targets the Piriformis, a muscle that connects the femur to the pelvis and abducts the leg.

Mudbox Knee

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Maya modeled Femur, Tibia, Fibula, and foot bones. Surface was sculpted using Mudbox. The Anterior and Posterior Cruciate ligaments seen on the left side were added in Photoshop as part of a surgical Flash animation.

Blue Crab

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Blue crab detail 1
Blue crab detail 3 map
This blue crab was created entirely in Illustrator with blend shapes and gradient meshes. His sandy ocean floor and pebble map were done with Illustrator pattern swatches.

Alcohol Dehydrogenase

Posted by Skye Sawyer on 22 Feb 2011

Four views of the amino acids Serine 138, Tyrosine 151, and Lysine 155 from Chain A of enzyme Alcohol dehydrogenase, pdb file 1a4u, visualized with mMaya plugin.

Surface mesh of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase with the same 3 amino acids visible in place