Cellular portraits

I had the opportunity to teach a small class for kids, about the intersection of science and art, at the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, two weeks ago. The main idea was to teach a couple of watercolor painting techniques while learning about the eukaryotic animal and plant cells.

What I did was to show a couple of cellular micrographs obtained with an Electron Microscope (see images for credits) so the kids could have an idea of what they actually look like. Later, I explained the importance of illustration in science, where it’s possible to enhance certain features for better understanding. 

Electron micrograph of an animal cell.  Image credit: UCSF School of Medicine.

Electron micrograph of a plant cell.  Image credit: University of Wisconsin, Botany department.

For the watercolor painting activity with the kids, I drew a plant and an animal cell that later were used as templates for the kids to create their own drawings to finally be watercolor painted. You can see below some examples of cells that I painted. I also added some labels so you have an idea of the parts of the cell. 

Plant cell.

Plant cell labeled

Parts of a cell.

Parts of a cell. Labeled.

Today I want to share with you my cell drawings so you can actually download them, print them and color them yourself! Nowadays it’s highly popular to do coloring pages activities and here’s my contribution so you can have fun. Please be aware that they are only for personal use.  All you have to do is download the PDFs here and here.

Once you have colored them, I would be very happy to see them and share them on my social media!