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within reach by chid0 within reach by chid0
This started a year ago as a simple pencil sketch of J. in an awkward position on a way too large piece of paper back at work. I had it stashed away in my drawings folder for ages, I dug it up by coincidence and inspiration struck.
I've been fascinated by plasmids ever since I struggled my way through Watsons "Recombinant DNA" two years ago. Originally a neat way for bacteria to have some genetic variability handy when in need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, molecular science stumbled across these circular DNA molecules and literally made them their own.
Now they are an important tool for molecular geneticists who call them vectors and construct them from scratch to use them as a tool to tweak genomes - insert new genes, silence others... I am positively in love with both the shape and the functionality of them.
I took all in all about 40 hours to do this (my own record I think) and I got it finished just in time to make this a christmas gift to my grandfather.
Random facts about the picture:
- just about the time I was making the pencil sketch for the plasmid part of the picture, we had an introductory course in electron microscopy and I brought up courage to ask the supervisor if he had a cell sample containing plasmid vectors. He did. He let me stay behind for almost an hour playing around with a transmission electron microscope until I managed to locate one in the sample. It looked like a squashed cookie. I was happy.
- the lovely *saniika was staying at my place and gave me some advice on fixing the composition and chosing colors. I tried my best to stick to the advice, I did not succeed to my satisfaction but I have learned a lot.
- I almost gave up on it because of the DNA molecule being both coiled in the wrong direction and in the wrong way (all the grooves are the same) which renders it useless. I decided that I reached a level of crazy too high even for my standards and opted for artistic freedom.
- I think this should be partly dedicated to ~memoire-blanche who shares my admiration to the shape and gave me a motivational boost :]

It's all within your reach.
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:iconsoturisi:
Soturisi Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! What media do you use?  watercolors, markers?
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist
this one is just watercolors and some white acrylic, but usually I just use whatever I can grab, watercolors, markers, pencils, inks... I mix media quite wildly.
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:iconsoturisi:
Soturisi Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay, cool, mixing diferent medias is very funn!
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:iconj-rayner:
J-Rayner Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool!!! I love the flow and concept ^_^
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Hobbyist
thank you! I'm very glad you like this :]
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:iconczechbluebear:
CzechBlueBear Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
One of best visual expression of scientific curiosity I have seen :-) Beatiful work!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist
thank you :] it was a lot of work but a lot of fun to do.
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:iconsimplecoffee:
simplecoffee Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Absolutely brilliant! :clap:
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist
thanks a lot ^^
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:iconsimplecoffee:
simplecoffee Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! :D
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:iconwhitetower-exe:
whitetower-exe Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
OMG
Art which has actual science in it, not just random numbers! YAY!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012  Hobbyist
YAY! someone who cares about these things! :]
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:iconmemoire-blanche:
memoire-blanche Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
*asks herself why she has not commented this yet*
Wow, it's beautiful! it's so complex... I admire your patience and firm hand :)
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist
I was actually pretty relaxing to fiddle with it endlessly... and I don't have a firm hand at all :] the painting is actually pretty large (almost A2) so even the details are large enough for my shaky brushwork :]
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:iconmemoire-blanche:
memoire-blanche Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A2? It's huge! ;o The biggest drawing I ever did was A3... and it was just some color splashes made with oil pastels.
Still, that's a lot of details you had to draw. ^^
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist
I'm glad it was so big, at least I got the details in there. I used reference and it was fun doing all those numbers.
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:iconindagold:
indagold Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012  Student Digital Artist
wow! amazing, beautiful work.
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist
thank you very much :]
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:iconindagold:
indagold Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
you're welcome! and I love how you incorporate science into your work.
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist
I can't help it, science keeps influencing my art more and more... and I am glad you like it :]
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:iconindagold:
indagold Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
you're welcome!
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:iconschatten-drache:
Schatten-Drache Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope someday we have as beautiful interfaces for simple plasmid creation like that^^
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist
yeah, right? I thought the same when working on the picture. but I'm optimistic and I'd say... such technology is indeed within reach :] there's so much improvement going on, vector assembly should be getting easier and easier too :D
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:iconschatten-drache:
Schatten-Drache Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
But i doupt that, scince won't become as beautiful but effective, you know scientists spend their time on imptoving things not making them more beautiful
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist
that's true about most of them... but there are exceptions - there are scientists out there who are artists too. I keep stumbling upon random beauty in science journals all the time. In the last 2011 issue of Nature there was a wonderful picture of confocal fluorescent microscopy images of cells arranged so that they made an advent wreath... and some data visualization methods lead to visually stunning images too... Or - I think the product design of the Ion Torrent sequencer is beautiful, both the machine itself and the packaging/logo design. It's true that most of the time beauty isn't the issue in science, but it keeps cropping up... sorry for boring you with this XD
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:iconschatten-drache:
Schatten-Drache Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
boring up with what? Actually that was interesting!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist
I need to watch myself in this regard, some of my friends are already complaining that I am geeking out too much :] I'm glad to hear someone else finds these notions interesting too, not just me...
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:iconschatten-drache:
Schatten-Drache Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah - that's maybe because I'm a geek, too ;)
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:iconwatashi-metan:
watashi-metan Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011
Certainly nice work, I especially like the technical-drawing-like details (and I keep wondering what technique this is maybe pastels).

And I remember the plasmids from the biology classes however the basic explanation I've got raised more questions than answers, perhaps I should read a little about these someday...
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist
molecular biology-related things tend to get a confusing (and sometimes outright wrong) treatment in biology classes. I think I'm lucky that I had no biology in middle school - less confusion to clean up :)
I'm glad to hear you like it, the restriction map (that is the technical drawing part) is my favourite too. the whole thing is however done with watercolors (and a very fine brush). those small ones called anilinky, if you know them... and there's some additional shading done with colored pencils and white tempera for the white parts.
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:iconfeelingverylucky:
FeelingVeryLucky Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011
This looks like it took a lot of patience and precision. : o

The colors are very pretty, also. :)
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist
yeah, especially patience XD
thanks, I was very worried about the colors :]
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:iconfeelingverylucky:
FeelingVeryLucky Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011
Welcome! :dance:
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:iconmilanopiano:
Milanopiano Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Holy Sh... SOooooooo amazingly beautifull! O.O Instant fave!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist
thank you so much :aww:
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:iconshippo752:
shippo752 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011
I just learned about plasmids!! Love how all the colors work together!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist
I got a great lesson in color use prior to coloring this so I got lucky there :] at least you'll now remember what they are for sure :]
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:iconsaniika:
saniika Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011  Professional General Artist
I think you exceeded yourself fabulously. C: I am very proud of you!
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Hobbyist
thank you ^_^ I tried using the color circle you sent me and I think I really learned a lot while working on this. you are a great teacher.
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:iconsaniika:
saniika Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
;w; you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that... :heart:
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