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Using Medical Art as a Learning & Education Tool

Posted by Joanna Culley on

Muscle Dissection Anterior ViewThere is nothing quite as engaging and eye-catching as an anatomical illustration, whether it’s part of a poster, advert or website! After all, advertisers have used visuals for years to grab attention and to stand out from competitors. But, a medical illustration is also a very powerful and engaging tool when it comes to education and learning.

It’s why The Medical Stock Images Company contains such engaging, valuable art and illustrations that are ready for immediate purchase and download.

Take the life-sized human skeleton for example and it's matching full-size muscle counterpart. The aim from the start was to depict the size, detail and proportion of every bone and muscle in the human body so that people could fully appreciate the intricacy of muscular and skeletal anatomy. Given that a standard diagram in a book or on the web is only a few centimetres big, the aim was to create and supply something really useful, a piece of educational art that would literally stand out and be noticed.

The skeleton and muscle stock illustrations start at a medium size to an impressive 1.3 metres high (about 51 inches) and have proven very popular with teachers for their younger pupils as a print out for a classroom wall. As students and pupils are able to understand the different size and proportions of all of the bones, from the tiny metacarpal bone of the little finger to the largest bone, the femur, in the leg.

The human skeleton is formed of 270 bones at birth but bizarrely; this is reduced to 206 bones at adulthood (full skeletal maturity is around 30 years of age). The reduction in numbers is due to certain bones fusing together after birth. For example, although the human skull is practically full sized at birth, the individual plates of the skull are not fully fused (stuck) together, in order to allow the baby’s head to pass through the birth canal. It takes around two years after birth for the skull to be completely fused.

Due to the large scale of the illustrations at maximum size  (standing at 1.3 metres high and about 51 inches when printed), there is also plenty of room for clear labelling. This is a very important factor in anatomical illustrations, as it will be difficult to read labelling that has been made small and eligible around the image. The artist wanted people to be able to read the labels instantly and be 100% confident of the exact point of reference.

So, if you want to know your femur bone from your fibula or your biceps muscle from your triceps, check out our anterior skeleton illustration and muscle dissection illustration.

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