Today, there is a wealth of different techniques and mediums that medical artists use to create their images. Deciding on the most appropriate and effective medium is a decision that needs to be carefully considered by both the artist and the client.
In some cases, clients already have a clear idea about the type of illustration they want. They are looking for a specific look and ‘feel’ that will appeal to their audience and fit the purpose of the illustration. Other clients may need more help and advice to define the images they require. At Medical-Artist.com, we have a wealth of samples and case studies that we use to help clients understand the different illustration styles that can be created and how each design or technique can achieve dramatically different effects.
A key part of this decision process is choosing the right medium for the project. These include watercolour, pencil, pen & ink, digital, 3D and animations or antique. We will explore each of the mediums in turn in our future articles, starting this month with Watercolour.
The beauty of watercolour painting is that it achieves a very soft, gentle look due to its translucent qualities. It is therefore a preferred medium for certain types of medical conditions or anatomical areas that need to be treated more sensitively: women’s anatomy and health is often illustrated in watercolour. For example, The Natural Health Bible for Women.
The Japanese culture also favours the use of watercolour illustration in books. A publisher, for example, may be very specific about commissioning watercolour as the preferred medium to ensure sales of its books for their Japanese market.
Watercolour is also a good match for illustrating painful or unpleasant conditions as it helps to reduce the ‘scare’ factor associated with these types of illnesses. It is also a more popular choice when illustrating images of graphic and invasive procedures as the gentle, subtle style helps to educate and inform without offending or upsetting the viewer.
One of the great advantages of watercolour is its enduring, timeless quality. Artwork is less likely to become unfashionable or out-dated. The subtleties of watercolour lends itself well to all subjects which is why our artist also has success painting animal and natural history subjects.
For example, portraits of domestic animals can be seen on our sister site www.petsinwatercolor.com. Our artist, Joanna Culley, uses watercolour to create beautiful images that capture the intrinsic character of each animal. They are a very popular choice with pet owners because of its versatility in creating a classic image that is incredibly realistic and life-like. The small brushwork also helps to accentuate tiny whiskers all to the way to how the animal fur lies across the body contours.
Medical-Artist.com continues to use watercolour as its preferred medium even though many artists today predominately choose to use digital methods. This is possibly because it is more cost efficient to edit a digital illustration as opposed to a traditional watercolour piece, especially when under the pressure of producing commercial art.