carbon dusting- bird skull

Another new technique to try out- this time a carbon dust rendering of a NZ native wood pigeon skull. Interestingly this technique (unlike other art techniques) was developed relatively recently, by Max Brodel a medical illustrator at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who also was instrumental in developing the first medical illustration school (The Department of Art as Applied to Medicine) at the same university in 1911.

File:Max Brödel.jpg
Max Brödel (1870-1941) – Published in A Book of Portraits; Johns Hopkins, 1922
Carbon Dust Illustration by Max Brodel

I had an assignment using carbon dust technique for my scientific illustration class. Definitely a learning curve in handling this medium, but fun! Its possible to get very gradual and light soft shades much more easily than with graphite pencil, and the carbon is very easy to remove from the mylar (drafting film) surface, using a kneaded eraser.

Here is my first illustration:


wood pigeon skull, carbon dust, 2014
wood pigeon skull, carbon dust, 2014


For more information on carbon dust, check out these links:

Carbon Dust Drawing- Historic technique informs the future– article on University of Toronto site.

Michael Savas demonstrates the carbon dust technique (Youtube)

Tutorial on Carbon Dust Technique.

and a very interesting study done about Max Brodel and his work in medical illustration: MAX BRODEL (1870-1941): HIS ARTISTIC INFLUENCE ON SURGICAL LEARNING

Have a great week!



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