Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
The Microscopic Jungle by DarthFar The Microscopic Jungle by DarthFar
Gawddammit, my hand hurts.

[Who could possibly think that drawing an entire jungle of slime bacteria in pointilism fashion is a good idea? I, apparently... while still under the influence of potent medication. Apparently, that delusion lasted for as long as it took me to render the first 1-inch square of the drawing, at which point I wondered, "What the f*** did I get myself into..."]

Myxobacteria are fascinating little buggers. Inhabiting the soil, they tend to travel in swarms, keeping in communication by means of quorum sensing (aka microbe-speak). At times when food is scarce, the bacteria aggregate to form fruiting bodies, consisting of sporangia (cysts) sprouting from the termini of stalks, that project far above the surface. Within the sporangia, vegetative cells then transform into myxospores, built to last until resources become more plentiful once more.

With that kind of information at hand, I couldn't resist doing a landscape of myxobacterial er, congress. The idea was to draw something that evoked memories of old-fashioned textbook illustrations... only I obviously got a little carried away there, haha. The fruiting bodies are based upon various scanning electron micrographs of Chondromyces (light microscopy cannot resolve the fine details, which run to under 1 μm); I've tried to include all the developmental stages in the fruiting body formation - although, Force help me, I do not claim any sort of expertise with regard to their life cycle (so if you who are viewing this *are* a myxobacteria expert, please disregard any errors or misguided assumptions I may have made).

And oh, for the record, I didn't draw this picture; I hammered out the bloody thing with a mechanical pencil, at roughly the rate of 2 dots per beat of Pulp's Disco 2000, which was the primary driving force behind the picture. (That, and Razzmatazz). Yes, the darkest bits are all dots as well. In fact, I estimate, with reasonable confidence, that the bloody picture contains more dots than there are particles of sand all over our entire country.


Tech Notes

Campap 200gsm drawing paper
Faber Castell 0.5mm mechanical pencil
Several gallons of hairspray for fixative (half of which is now in my lungs, thanks to accidental inhalation)
11.2" x 8.2"

The scale in the bottom right corner was inserted digitally (because I ran out of paper), and gives a rough guide to the actual size of the fruiting bodies*.

* It does NOT indicate the size of the drawing. For gizkas' sake, ~DobbyKnits...
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjordanvaljordan:
JordanValjordan Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013   General Artist
I have never heard of a myxobacterium before this moment, but based on this picture, I would agree with you on the fact that they're undeniably awesome little creatures. It makes me want to go outside with a microscope and look at the soil all day until I find one (or something like it anyway), which I usually wouldn't do, but should sometime.
I love your art, it's so beautiful!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
Thanks very much!

And I am in awe of microorganisms and their way of talking to each other chemically (quorum sensing). Are you familiar with how slime moulds (which, under normal conditions are microscopic) signal to each other and come together to form large fruiting bodies? It's beautiful.
Reply
:iconjordanvaljordan:
JordanValjordan Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013   General Artist
Hello again!
No, I'm afraid I am not familiar with quorum sensing or slime moulds, but I'll try do some research on the subject; it sounds very fascinating! By the way, your gallery is amazing, as always.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
Quorum sensing is a fascinating phenomenon! it's all about microbes talking to each other... using chemicals. I did an entry on it yonks ago at H2G2; you might find it informative: [link]
Reply
:iconseaspryte:
SeaSpryte Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Pointilism can be so time consuming - but you did a wonderful job.
Reply
:iconsteffel:
Steffel Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Icky and interesting - seems to be a combination you like.
It both gives me the shivers and makes me envious of your persistency and attention to detail.
Reply
:icondavidscript:
DavidScript Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dude... holy crap o_o
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011
Cheers. :D
Reply
:iconsvenjaliv:
SvenjaLiv Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh now, this is cool! Both the way you did it, and how it turned out. I salute your patience, sir. Seriously. :D
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2011
Thanks! :D I think my brain had a meltdown doing that... or maybe it was a meltdown that made me think it was such a hot idea.
Reply
:iconnataliekelsey:
NatalieKelsey Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You are such a nut.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011
:aww:
Reply
:iconnotyoursteppingstone:
NotYourSteppingStone Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A serious amount of time and hand cramping on this one, but you did a great job!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
Thanks! the hand cramps are... almost worth it. Not quite, but almost. ;)
Reply
:iconocelott:
ocelott Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011
Masochist.

The detail in this is astounding.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
I admit to it!

Cheers, Occy. ;)
Reply
:icon11-73-3-33:
11-73-3-33 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
You are insane. Seriously. (Not that it's a bad thing :P )
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
:laughing: Why thank you.
Reply
:iconsvera:
Svera Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Admit it, you like being insane :D
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011
Because sanity is boring. :D
Reply
:iconsvera:
Svera Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2011
Indeed :D
Reply
:iconnotyoursteppingstone:
NotYourSteppingStone Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Are we ready for Sims now?
Reply
:iconmadman42q:
Madman42q Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This looks like something out of a Doctor Who episode. OOH! I SEE A DALEK! Wait...never mind...

Seriously brill stuff, mate. Well done!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
A Doctor Who episode involving giant slime jungles would be AWESOME! :D
Reply
:iconwincenworks:
wincenworks Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You make me glad I'm not a microbiologist.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
And just what is wrong with being one? ;) Obsession with slime?
Reply
:iconwincenworks:
wincenworks Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Far, you know very well that if answering that question, if we go by you as a model microbiologist, would require more text space than DeviantArt would allow.
Reply
:iconheadwithwings:
headwithwings Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've always been rather affectionate towards anything that could be described as having "fruiting bodies."

Also, pointillism!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
LOL Rim, you have managed to make that sound... downright... lecherous. :rofl:
Reply
:iconrhonda-young:
Rhonda-Young Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! This is awesome work! (Sorry it made your hand hurt.) :pat:
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
Thanks very much! the pain was worth it, I think. ;)
Reply
:iconla-rose-anglaise:
la-rose-anglaise Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
God, that's beautiful.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Cheers. :D
Reply
:iconicyashford:
IcyAshford Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Biofilms?
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Probably all bacteria can form biofilms and mats by attaching to surfaces and adhering to one another, but myxobacteria actually travel together, and take one step further by undergoing complex morphological change and progressive differentiation to transform into "stalk and fruit". ;) (Think, slime mold). Have a look at this pic of a Chondromyces crocatus fruiting body; this is one of the prettiest pictures I've found of myxobacteria.
Reply
:iconicyashford:
IcyAshford Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
This part of microbio makes my head hurt. >_<
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
:giggle: I love the whole shebang about microbes talking to each other.
Reply
:iconicyashford:
IcyAshford Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
And having sex as well. =P
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
Don't get me started on the flagella and plasmid jokes...
Reply
:iconicyashford:
IcyAshford Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
CONJUGATION!
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2011
"Hey baby, are you F+ or F-?"
"This pilus may be skinny, but at least it's long!"
"Hey, wanna do the horizontal gene boogie?"


I told you not to get me started! ;)
Reply
(2 Replies)
:iconfracturedreality:
FracturedReality Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Jeezus H. Chri-- you like pain, don't you...

And even as I cringe in sympathy, I'm also amazed. The organic shapes are lovely (even if it is Yummy Bacterium), and the intensity of the shading is both eye-catching and mind-blowing, particularly with the texture of the bacteria.
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
No, I don't, Sara! Just because I get obsessive, doesn't mean I like the actual sensation of - oh, never mind.

And cheers! Bacteria are awesome. ;)
Reply
:iconlord44:
Lord44 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:clap: great job
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconlord44:
Lord44 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're welcome!
Reply
:icondavincipoppalag:
davincipoppalag Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I love when you get obsessed Far =D
Reply
:icondarthfar:
DarthFar Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011
Cheers, David. ;)
Reply
:icondavincipoppalag:
davincipoppalag Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
welcome sir
Reply
:iconterranart:
TerranArt Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
i have to think about nausicaa
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×
Download JPG 905 × 702




Details

Submitted on
October 20, 2011
Image Size
680 KB
Resolution
905×702
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
1,256
Favourites
32 (who?)
Comments
55
Downloads
23
×