This glimpse into my background as a medical illustrator specializing in maxillofacial reconstruction shows how I learned portraiture from the inside out. I illustrated for texts, slides, journals, video, TV, exhibits, and brochures. I designed and produced 3-D models and exhibits. This involved client/artist consultations, estimation of time/cost factors, surgical sketching, anatomical dissection, experimentation, reference search, and the determination of the best approach to visually represent the solution in the most appropriate format and techniques.
As a medical illustrator in the field of maxillofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery I concentrated on the surgical repair of the face and skull resulting from injuries or birth defects. Injuries were mainly due to trauma from car and bike accidents, fractures to the orbit (eye socket), and gunshot wounds. These injuries, poorly managed, leave a patient horribly disfigured. Surgical repair restores their image and ability to function in society, essentially their lives. My illustrations taught the surgical techniques pioneered at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in clearly depicted, bloodless, step by step, procedures to other surgeons around the world. I occasionally branched out into eyes, hands, and general medical/ biological illustration.