The skin is the largest organ of the human body. But people portrayed in medical art very often have Euroasian skin tone and features. Darker skin is not as common.
“Brown skin can have vibrant colors, like orange, red, purple, blue, green, and a variety of undertones,” says Hillary Wilson. But without this knowledge, illustrators risk creating darker-skinned individuals who are dull, flat, and lifeless.
In skin-tone ball studies, which she calls “roadmaps for how the skin would look on a theoretical face,” Hillary experiments with colors, light and shadow, and practices making scars, wounds, and freckles on darker-skinned individuals.
Melanin, a pigment that contributes to the colour of our skin, is produced and packaged by membrane-bound structures called melanosomes that are:
🔴 made by the melanocytes cells & transferred and positioned above the nucleus of keratinocytes cells to protect their #DNA against UV damage
🔴 5 times more dense and larger in highly pigmented skin
🔴 isolated and dispersed through all the layers in darker skin, compared with only being in the basal layer in lighter skin tones
Thank you to 🇺🇸Hillary Wilson. In her work she focuses on visual storytelling and celebrating the rich variation in everyday people.