medical digital illustrations

Just finished a batch of medical digital illustrations for gastric surgery procedures, it was for a great client who is setting up the Obesity Reporter website. This project is really a good incentive to stay good on my diet and exercise plan. YEP! None of these seem like good options or a lot of fun.

Gastric Banding surgery,

gastricBanding gastric banding surgery

My client had directions and input about how he wanted all of these images for bariatric surgery options. Then it was time to research the surgical procedures and descriptions in medical books and my nurse’s study coloring books to get all the body pieces and parts drawn right. The final research stop for me is Google surgery images, so I can get the colors right.

Steps for Medical Digital Illustrations

I sketched the image first and scanned that into a digital black and white jpg format using Adobe Photoshop CS6. The rest of the steps were completed on the computer, doing the illustration of the shapes and colors in Adobe Illustrator CS6. The final step was to add descriptive text taken from the medical book references. I save the file then and submit it to the client and make any adjustments requested, according to what the client wants.

Gastric Bypass,

this image is on their website here.

gastricBypass gastric bypass surgery

Gastric Duodenal Switch,

gastricDuodenalSw Gastric Duodenal Switch surgery

and Gastric Sleeve…

gastricSleeve Gastric Sleeve surgery

All in all, I have to admit that this was an interesting project where I could learn more about the human body without dissecting anything or getting messy. It is a fun way to draw.

Metal Garden Markers

Visual Garden Markers

metal garden marker
stainless steel garden markers

I handpainted some metal garden markers for a man’s wife in her rose garden. What a great idea on how to mark what you have planted in the garden.

These were tricky to paint because they are tiny being only 3″ wide by 2″ high and I am used to painting in a much larger size. Had to use teeny tiny, detail brushes to do all the images. It is always good to broaden skills our skills though… wait a minute, maybe I should say shrink our skills in this instance.

These markers are kind of slick on their surfaces. So, I had to roughen the surface with a green pad before I painted. I want to make sure the paint will adhere. After finding reference pictures to work from I painted each one with acrylic paints for each of the twelve different rose and flower species. Then, it was the lettering of the names on the front and back of each. The last step was a sealer over the entire surface.

Abraham Darby-English Rose

abraham darby English Rose metal garden marker
abraham darby English Rose

Apothecary’s Rose

apothecarys rose metal garden marker
apothecarys rose

Granada Rose – Hybrid Tea

 granada rose Hybrid Tea metal garden marker
granada rose Hybrid Tea

Henry Kelsey-Climbing Rose

henry kelsey Climbing Rose metal garden marker
henry kelsey Climbing Rose

Lavender Mist Meadow Rue

lavender mist Meadow Rue metal garden marker
lavender mist Meadow Rue

Noble Anthony-English Rose

noble anthony English Rose metal garden marker
noble anthony English Rose

Rosa Mundi-Rosa Gallica

rosa mundi Rosa Galica metal garden marker
rosa mundi Rosa Galica


sunsprite floribunda metal garden marker
sunsprite floribunda

Tango-Anise Hyssop

tango Anise Hyssop metal garden marker
tango Anise Hyssop


vavoom floribunda garden marker
Vavoom Floribunda

Zephirine Droughin-Climbing Rose

zephrine droughin metal garden marker
Zephrine Droughin climbing rose
zephrine droughin 2 metal garden marker
Zephrine Droughin 2 climbing rose


I painted the names on the back surface of the metal garden markers.:

Abraham Darby-English Rose, Apothecary’s Rose, Granada Rose – Hybrid Tea, Henry Kelsey-Climbing Rose, Lavender Mist Meadow Rue, Noble Anthony-English Rose, Rosa Mundi-Rosa Gallica, Sunsprite-Floribunda, Tango-Anise Hyssop, Vavoom Floribunda, Zephrine Droughin climbing rose

backs metal garden markers
backs metal garden markers

This couple must have a fantastic garden, with all of these gorgeous kinds of roses and climbing flowers.

Donkey Jesus Said

The name of this painting is, “Donkey, Then Jesus Said”. What would the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem have to say? See dream inspiration below. I begin by drawing up a few sketches and arriving at one with the little donkey talking to me up close and personal, like in the dream.

pencil layout of donkey
pencil layout of donkey

The first part of the painting process for me is blocking in light washes showing where the background areas are. It is easier to see if my main character is positioned how I want then. With this donkey, it was important to see the sky, with a desert background but I also wanted some palm fronds because that is an integral part of the story in my dream. Once the location of the main figure is in I can then start to add the darkest areas on him to see if the figure is still working when it starts to look 3D.

donkey watercolor light washes
donkey watercolor light washes

I almost always have reference photography on the desktop with me as I paint or draw. I don’t have to follow the references exactly, because I am not trying to make a photograph. I use photography to check my sizes and where the light is casting.

different reference materials
different reference materials

I am adding darkness and detail at this point to the watercolor.

Donkey details left
Donkey details left

Here is the donkey finished, I am happy with him because I can almost hear him talking.

the donkey Je suis fini!
the donkey Je suis fini!

This Donkey, then Jesus Said watercolor painting made it into the juried charitable benefit for Lavender Dreams Farm & Donkey Rescue. These are truly wonderful people who rescue livestock, donkeys in northeastern Washington. North of Newport WA. Please take a second to check them out. If this painting wins in the show, I get some and they get some.

Jesus Dream Inspiration

Donkeys are quite important characters and have been friends with some pretty significant people. Really.  After I had heard about this benefit, I was thinking about what I would paint just before I went to sleep at night.

A dream about a donkey appeared in my sleep, a talking donkey just like the old show I used to watch when I was real little. Did you ever see it? It was, “Mr. Ed the Talking Horse and it started with a Palamino horse looking over his stall gate saying…

Hello I’m Mr Ed…

A horse is a horse
of course, of course
and no one can talk to a horse
of course, that is of course
unless the horse
is the
famous Mr. Ed!

Well, this dream had a talkative donkey standing on a dirt road telling me about life as he chewed on some grass. He was telling me about the cool people he knew and the great things he had done.

He started to talk about a really neat guy that he gave a ride into a town once. He was brought to this guy that he didn’t know, who talked to him and patted his head, making all the nervous worry go away instantly. It was great to have a human pay some attention to him, instead of just ignoring him and expecting unquestioned perfect servitude.

This guy was on a mission and there were lots of people all around, so they headed out right away. This man did not hit him with a stick to get going but instead simply asked him to go as he sat comfortably on his back. There were crowds around and people lining the road yelling, it was a scene like he had never seen before or since, but the man on his back was calm.

The people were throwing palm fronds on the road in front of him, making the donkey afraid that he might trip so he had to look down and be careful with each step. They did finally arrive safely in the town and then this man named Jesus got off and came up to him saying, Thank you!

Isn’t that amazing?

Hunting in a Farmers World

John Dini Deer Sktch 1
Hunting in a Farmers World, a book by John Dini is not about hunting for wildlife, instead, it is a business book. You should check it out, especially if you are an entrepreneur. I like the way he tells about how things work in the business world for the different personality types. How these personalities interact in a company. When you think about it, if you know what your intrinsic gifts and skills are, your decisions change as you start out on your new venture.

Pencil Sketching

Here are some of the pencil drawings I did for John Dini. They are prehistoric era pencil sketches of hunting village people and hunting. He isn’t using these drawings in his book. He is going to use them in the slide show presentation that he does on his book tours. I love being able to envision what a book tour would be like through clients like him.

I have not gone out on book tours myself, but when I finish my book on drawing in perspective that may change. Leading a much more reclusive artist existence, I only share my desktop view with you of what I draw for others. Whenever I draw there are many references close at hand to help keep the style consistent throughout the project.

Ladakh-Tibet and Central Asia

Central Asia history text
Reflections of Ladakh, Tibet, and Central Asia

Ladakh-Tibet and Central Asia by A. G. Sheikh, is a textbook that I just finished the design/layout on. The author is a wonderful man to talk with and strikes me as a very kind soul.

The layout of this book is colorful including many beautiful scenic views of the country and cultural artifacts. A must-read, tabletop picture book with cultural information that will assist anyone anticipating a visit to the middle east. It would help to not appear so ignorant when you arrive.

I did not know this area of the world had so many cool landscape views and such rich heritage. I found myself reading simply out of interest as I worked on the layout. At first, the word Ladakh was just a word that was hard to spell, but now it is a land where spiritual and cultural histories astound the mind.

check it out on Amazon

Reflections on Ladakh, Tibet and Central Asia

  1. A well-researched book about the history and culture of Ladakh, written by one of Ladakh’s native and most prominent scholars. This book brings together 22 of his papers, originally published elsewhere, and deals with topics as diverse as a new perspective on Ladakh’s history, and interactions with its neighbors, Islam in Ladakh, and contemporary cultural manifestations. It provides a comprehensive overview of different facets of Ladakh’s rich cultural heritage, especially past historical, political, and cultural linkages with neighboring countries.

Opposite Drawing

Opposite drawing is a great way to exercise the artist mind. Recording the highlights on a dark surface, instead of looking for the shadows and putting them down on white paper.

Last Sunday with the kids, we produced pictures of Jesus laughing.

I got to keep those gears in my mind well-greased to have creativity remain alive and my drawing skills improve. Changing what I am looking at, to see the shapes of, and put down, really does a “switch-a-roo” on the mind! It makes the journey through the mind go on nerves not used very often which builds new bridges for my brain to walk on. Hence. Synapses!

I will work with kids in art at our church every 2nd or 3rd Sunday through the summer. Check us out at

Jesus smiling. Chaulk on Black paper
Jesus smiling. Chaulk on Black paper

Playing at the Beach

Grandkids playing at the beach portrait is commissioned by the Franks family. For those of you who know me, this location/subject did not need to be researched to be able to paint it. These are the children of the first son named Nathan and his wife Nikki.

Franks grandkids 02
Franks grandkids 02

This first image shows the pencil sketch with both boys laid out sitting on the beach sand with their buckets, shovels, and the waves in the background.

Franks grandkids 03
Franks grandkids 03

The background wash of the waves and the sand around the figures is now complete.

Franks grandkids 04
Franks grandkids 04

The basic skin light washes with some shadow are added to show shape. Colors on the swimming suits are placed carefully to save highlight areas. The same with the sand buckets and shovels.

Franks grandkids 05
Franks grandkids 05

Eyes and faces are detailed with darker tones, shadows are darkened too. Opposite color wheel colors are chosen to shadow on the sand and in the water. Greens are added to the tans of the sand. Red or orange is touched to the ocean water to bring it into shadow.

Pencil Drawing Work

Got a commission for pencil drawing work, sketches about prehistoric tribe characters and wildlife. Creating illustrations to be used on John dini’s initial book tour to help present ideas behind his book.

He based a lot of his thoughts while writing this book on prehistoric logic. These pencil drawings were made in his direction, for a slide show presentation of the prehistoric ideas as he presented his new book. He is a successful speaker, writer, and coach doing many book tours and speaking engagements throughout his career. He was a joy to work with, his name is John Dini, and the book is entitled, “Hunting in a Farmer’s World”.

Pencil drawing is one of my favorite mediums.

Here are two of the sketches for the preliminary test to get the job. My pencil drawings are not published in his book but hopefully, they assisted in making his book successful.

Hunter stalking prey.
Prehistoric hunter in bush, stalking.
Prehistoric deer
Large prehistoric deer.

You don’t always know where your art will end up. It is always a happy day, just to be hired as a working artist! Drawing is a great way to spend any day.

What Does an Artist Do

What does an artist do on the weekend? Paint neighborhood address signs of course!

painting neighborhood signs
painting neighborhood signs

Here are two signs masked off ready to shoot with black for the arrows.

paint address signs
paint address signs

If you have ever been over to visit our place you would know why these signs are needed. I bet you we are in the UPS and FedEx drivers “stink list” for being hard to find.

Oh well! These are directional signs (for the two bends in our private road debatable as a driveway) made of signboard (expensive smooth plywood) and coated with white house paint 2 coats yesterday. Now the (black) arrows are laid out and masked off with masking tape so I can shoot the arrow backgrounds.

border boards
border boards
black backgrounds
black backgrounds

Painting neighborhood address signs process. Honest occifer! I did NOT use that spray can of paint! Oh, my fingernails… it is a new way to do my nails I tried using the spray paint to see if I could airbrush them myself. Has anybody got bail money?

Now I spray the (black) arrows’ backgrounds.