ME:120.719 :: Illustrating Anatomy

Course Description

Offered: First semester, first year
Instructors: Gary Lees, Professor
Credits: 3 Credits: 2 Lecture hours and 9 Studio hours per week

Sketching from the cadaver and application of illustration techniques, coordinated with gross anatomy dissection schedule. Emphasis on relationships and accuracy in surgical and radiological approaches. Augmented by autopsy, specimens, and text references.

Course Objectives

  • Sketch accurately from personally dissected cadaver or prosection.
  • Create a realistic and educational sketch which includes accurate anatomical shape and placement, topographical relationships as in the living body, and organ and tissue textural differentiation.
  • Coordinate information from dissected cadaver, autopsy, specimens, textbooks, and atlases.
  • Utilize proper planes, directions, movements, and terminology.
  • Prepare sketches that meet assigned requirements.
  • Utilize sketches as anatomic reference material in future assignments.


  • White, G. 1968. Perspective: A guide for Artists, Architects, and Designers. Watson-Guptill
  • Two complete natural bone skeletons in department
  • Student bone boxes from Anatomy and Cell Biology department
  • Access to cadaver dissection room at Basic Sciences building
  • Department of Pathology and orientation to autopsy observation
  • Maryland State Board of Anatomy
  • Extensive collection of anatomical texts and atlases (see library inventory list)
  • Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy Dissection Manual

Course Assignments

Regional sketches are assigned based on the progressive dissection of the Human body. In the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis, living placement of the internal organs is emphasized and sketched. One or two illustrations designed for teaching; (one in pen and ink and/or one in continuous tone media). One of the finished plates must include an inset of detail information.

Course Evaluation

  • 1:1 faculty-student interface
  • Interim class critiques
  • Written critique on perspective project
  • Review of sketches
  • Final grade


Three half days per week coordinated with the Human Gross Anatomy dissection schedule.

All students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course should contact Catherine L. Will, Disability Services Coordinator for Graduate Biomedical Education ( or 410-614-3781) at their earliest convenience to discuss their specific needs. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.


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