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Session 1: learning shape and volume

Drawing people, parts and processes  

Dr David de Berker, Dermatology UHBristol 

Jitka Palmer, Artist

Dr Sarah Alsop Department of Clinical Anatomy, University of Bristol.

Throughout your medical career you will be required to represent the human form in words and images to convey the patient history, examination and procedures undertaken. The drawn image is one of the most valuable records and is poorly taught in medical school. This course will take you through the basic tools of how to draw the body in realistic and diagrammatic form. 50% will entail use of human cadaver to gain skills in representation and to increase your understanding of the elements that go to make up the different parts of the body and ultimately the whole human form.  You will illustrate a process which is difficult to convey in words and finish the course with an experience of Bristol’s oldest life drawing class. Course members will have the opportunity to contribute parts of their portfolio to a final show of work.


The dates will be November  2014 until February  2015

Details are in the spreadsheet below


For Students to better understand the human form and develop skills in representing form and process in the drawn image.


By the end of this course you should have:

·       Mastered basic drawing technique

·       Have gained a better understanding of 3 areas of human anatomy

·       Be able to use your drawing skills to explain a process

·       Have the opportunity to contribute material to a group show

·       Gained the tools and foundation to continue to improve your skills in this area

Teaching and Learning Method

·       6 Sessions of 3 hours each

·       Out of session work – one essay (10 hours) and associated graphic work ( up to 10 hours)

·       8 students

·       Each session is co-facilitated by David de Berker and/or Jitka Palmer and/or Sarah Allsop 

Artists assisting on this course include Jitka Palmer and Will Stevens

There will be a group review within each session and the aim will be to learn from each other as well as focused personal work

Assessment Method

There are four parts to the assessment. All written work to david.deberker@uhbristol.nhs.uk

All drawn work bring to the last session on Feb 20th. Deadline for all work, Feb 20th.

  1. Submitted anatomical drawing
  2. Submitted human form drawing to show whole or part live person
  3. 1-2000 word piece on the use of freehand created images in medicine


Students will need to bring A3 pads or bigger and a range of drawing instruments.