Figure Drawing from Anamotage

The other day, a parade of art students made their way to the Biology building on the other side of campus. Dr. Courtney Guenther invited us over to draw from the Digital Cadaver Table, called the Anatomage: It's a very expensive investment in the science department that has been paying off in spades. Dr. Guenther walked students through all of the fun things the table can do.
Students can observe images of real cadavers that they can rotate, zoom in on, and take advantage of the digitization of the images... They can remove various layers revealing the muscles, skeleton, and nervous system. They can tap an organ and the name will pop up with more info available. They can even play memorization games.
My students geeked out completely - fantastic! They were fascinated by the various things you can observe, such as the texture of muscles, or what the cellular structure of the liver looks like (beautiful patterns). They could even watch videos traveling through some of the major organs. There are also some animal cadavers in the device, such as a dog and birds, etc. Students loved drawing the dog.
It was interesting to notice the different uses the cadaver table serves. For instance, in the science department, it's important that they be able to observe every body part clearly without any shading throwing objects into shadow. As such, the cadavers were lit from every side when the digital images were taken. That means there are very few shadows and no discernible light source. For artists, that is the opposite of what we need. Light and shadow is what gives an object form. Without it, those forms appear flat, almost cartoon-like. But that didn't stop the fascination. Seldom do artists get to observe bodies on such a detailed level. Bodies are amazing things - and beautiful in their own way - inspiring!
The Anatomage was such a hit, Dr. Guenther and I are planning lots more collaborations in the future between our departments - Biology and Art - a marriage made at Winthrop University!

No comments: