Medicamen Sanctimonialis

this project started with an assignment to 3D model five real objects. I’m a little bit of an eccentric collector so I had a lot of items to chose from. I eventually decided on an angel statue I purchased from a thrift store with the intention of repainting for another project, one of my custom vinyl dolls, a hand off my large resin doll, a opossum jaw bone I cleaned myself back in 2016, and a chunk of clear quartz I particularly like. This modeling was pretty straight-forward, but was incredible time-intensive. In fact, I ended up bruising a nerve in my leg from sitting in the same chair for an entire weekend (my right foot was paralyzed for a few days but eventually healed). To other artists- remember to take breaks!

Test Print

I started thinking about what I wanted to do with this project with my test print- while only the angel statue is distinctly religious, for me, the jaw and crystal have a place in my spiritual practice too. I drew inspiration from the discussion of “altars” in The Addivist Manifesto

I wasn’t completely happy with the depth of field in this render, and I couldn’t figure out why the ambient occlusion setting was making my crystals look so opaque (it turns out I hadn’t selected “evaluate transparency “)

Final Render

Credits: Rx bottle and cap by Olivia Luo, ring and skull by Pen Anders

With this piece, I continued my exploration of religious imagery that I have been embarking on for the last few years. My own religious practices are somewhat eclectic, which is how I ended up in the possession of many crystals, animal bones, but also a angelic statuette.

After seeing Olivia Luo’s gorgeous Rx bottle model, I considered how prescription medication fits into the world of religion. Up until very recently, in the grand scheme of things, medicine and religion were one and the same, with doctors superscribing prayer just as often as pharmaceuticals. With the spread of the germ theory of disease a line was divided- these things are “religion” and “prayer” and these things are “science” and “medicine.” When one considers the power of phenomenon such as the placebo effect, though, how can we be so sure such a stark line exists? Some sects reject modern medicine as being against the will of God, but for those who don’t, how different are pills from miracles?

The final render for this piece, 19.5×26″ at 300 dpi took 72 hours to render- mostly because I actually had to render this piece twice- once with and once without depth of field on- so that I could get exactly the models that I wanted to be in focus in focus. I used layer masks to stitch the two models together.


I created a custom frame for this piece- partially for cost reasons and partially so I could have something extremely unique. I purchased a simple wood 24×30″ frame on clearance from Blick ($44!) and 3D modeled custom embellishments.

After the embellishments were printed and coated with XTC, I applied gold leaf to the entire frame.

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