MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS: Series of dermatology surgical excision illustrations


Project title: Series of dermatology surgical excision illustrations
Project Sponsor: Dr. Andrew Affleck, Consultant Dermatologist and Dermatological Surgeon
TILT medical illustrator: Annie Campbell, Medical Artist and Educational Resource developer


Project Background

Late last semester Dr. Andrew Affleck came to TILT with a few medical illustration requests to help add to his presentation on the Mohs surgical technique. His visually rich presentation included fantastic patient case studies, however lacked the appropriate illustrations needed to tell the story of the procedure. This was a pretty straightforward request and our resident medical illustrator set to work. This short case study covers what her process was and final deliverables.

Project Brief

Dr. Affleck had been using placeholder images and sketches in areas where he wanted new illustrations. Having those examples was extremely useful as it gave us an idea of what he was looking for. Below is a rundown of the illustrations that were to be created:

Fig 1. Tissue cross section (with tumor) illustrating the beveled edge of the cross section

Fig 2. Illustration showing the procedure of vertical (breadloaf) sections being taken and parts of the cancer being missed by doing this method.

Fig 3. A series of illustrations showing the difference between the Mohs method in comparison to conventional skin excisions

Fig 4. Update design aesthetics of pie chat on slide 62 (untitled)



Step 1
Annie first started off researching and familiarising herself with both Mohs and conventional excision procedures. She then created a series of rough sketches to get the basic layout of the final piece down.

UOD_Annie_Campbell_Conventional_excision_sketch_01 UOD_Annie_Campbell_Mohs_micrographic_surgery_sketch_01

To get the perspective correct, Annie used a 3D program to create the basic shapes before drawing in the general outlines in Photoshop.

Step 2
The line work was then cleaned up and tightened in Illustrator. She then produced a rough render in Photoshop to get the values down before moving onto colourising the final piece.

UOD_Annie_Campbell_Conventional_excision_sketch_02 UOD_Annie_Campbell_Mohs_micrographic_surgery_sketch_02

Step 03
Colour and texture was then added to the illustrations in Photoshop.

UOD_Annie_Campbell_Mohs_micrographic_surgery_sketch_03 UOD_Annie_Campbell_Conventional_excision_sketch_03

Step 04
Once the illustrations were colourised, appropriate labels, captions and titles were added to the final piece.




Old vs New Visual Assets

Below is a list of Dr. Affleck’s sketches and reference images along with their new visual assets created by the TILT medical artist:

UOD_Annie_Campbell_pie_tin_insert_Before_After UOD_Annie_Campbell_breadloaf_sectioning_Before_After UOD_Annie_Campbell_Moh_vs_Conventional_Before_After


We’re happy to say that Dr. Affleck was very pleased with his new illustrations and we look forward to collaborating more with him.

If you have a similar need for your presentation to the medical students of the undergraduate school, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the TILT medical artist, Annie Campbell at

Thanks for watching!