As an illustrator, my task was to depict a developing bee and also show the tissues where different genes are expressed. For each illustration, I created paintings separately and then compiled them using Adobe Photoshop. For example, the nest was a stand-alone illustration upon which I layered the life stages. One of the most interesting parts of this project for me was painting the bee brain. I previously did not know what a bee's brain looks like, and it was fascinating to see how much of the brain is involved in the bee's sensory organs such as eyes and antennae.
Here you can see progress shots from very rough sketches into final paintings. The rough sketches give me a sense for composition and allow me to make sure I have the anatomy and proportions correct before transferring the sketches to watercolor paper and adding pen and watercolor to create the final illustration.