by Mandy Byrd


Project Description

I created this artwork a few months ago for a final project in my Art III course in high school. The assignment was to create a piece that displays human anatomy and plant life together in harmony. I chose to focus on the skeletal and muscle systems for my person, and then changed the subjects human hair into a mass of curly vines for the plant element. I really wanted to express how beautiful the human body and plant life are, especially together. 

To construct my piece, I started off doing a pencil sketch of all the components. This included everything, from each individual vine to each tiny freckle. Next, I went in with Gouache ( opaque watercolor) and water color paints to paint all the curls, his skin tone, the muscles, freckles, and the neck bones. After that I used water color pencils to go back over the freckles as well as add a slight tint to the face around the freckles. 
I chose to use the color scheme that I did not only to show what these systems actually look like but ( at least in anatomy books) also to draw my audience in with the sharp contrast from neck to chest. I painted the curls a variety of greens and red oranges in order to combine the world’s of humans and plants. The green vines representing plant life and the red orange vines representing a human’s red hair. I made the eyes a violet color to have some contrast between the red orange of his face, hair, and chest, as well as give my audience a little wow moment.

Tools Used

Gouache and watercolor paints, watercolor pencils.

About the Creator

Mandy Byrd

Freshman, Business Administration

My name is Mandy Byrd and I am a freshman at Mary Washington! I’m from the small town of Tappahannock, Virginia and, I love photography, painting, and drawing. I am on the school’s club tennis team and an ambassador for the Domain Fellows program on campus. I love to express myself through creative mediums whether it be a hard copy or digital. I believe art is the most powerful mean of communication and expression we have today and I believe that platforms like these support that.

3 Thoughts to “Anatomy of Nature”

  1. I find this piece amazingly beautiful! I love that the contrast from the hair to the muscles. When looking at it the first time, I didn’t realize her hair was vines until I read the description, and every time I look at it, I notice something new and interesting, which makes me like it even more!

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