Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You must begin!

Frank Netter, the dean of medical illustration, offers universally useful advice in this archival video:

"There's nothing quite as frightening as a blank piece of paper in front of you, and you know you've got to put a picture on it. And you can sit there and look at it all day long and puzzle 'How should I begin? Where should I begin? What shall I do about this? And you'll never get a picture done. You must begin! You must make some strokes. You may throw it away later. But you must begin to paint!"

Frank Netter's book: The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations: The Endocrine System: Volume 2, 2e (Netter Green Book Collection)

Thanks, RobNonStop


Unknown said...

What an amazing video to start your day of painting, thank you Mr. Gurney.

Dow said...

I've pored many, many hours over the incredible Frank Netter's illustrations as a medical student. His practical attention to technical detail has helped generations of doctors become proficient in anatomy. Now that I call myself an artist, too, I see his work in a completely different light. Thanks for posting about this great man and prompting me to revisit his work from a completely different perspective.

Rich said...

Another great movie! This man must be pretty well acquainted with each part of the body.

..."the sketch is sometimes better than my finished picture."
Appreciated that as well.

Russell Dickerson said...

I've talked about the "first line" problem before, and it's great to hear someone else talk about it. That first line is always the hardest for me, and after a year-long hiatus it's practically terrifying. But, one line then becomes two, two become a shape, and before long there's art there.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Netter's superior work is wonderful on so many levels.

Those lenses he wore for close work look pretty thick. I wonder what his vision was.

Thank you for posting this charming and inspiring video.

Roberto said...

The first time I saw someone actually make a drawing was my baby-sitter, I must have been around 6 or 7, and she was a nursing student. She was drawing a schematic of the heart and the circulatory system for her homework. I was very impressed by the colors and how the drawing not only described the hidden anatomy of the heart but also told a story about the circulation of the venous and arterial blood.
As I later studied anatomy and physiology for my work as a respiratory therapist I discovered Netter’s amazing work (and also Luis Gasparo’s illustrations in ‘Atlas of Human Anatomy’).
And of coarse as an artist, the works of Leonardo, Buonoroto, and Andreas Vesalius are a constant inspiration. Thanx for the journey James! -RQ



bosveldr said...

When I did my medical training, I was in awe of Netter's illustrations. I always thought that being a medical illustrator would be a wonderful vocation. Thank you for this information. You have made my day!

Rusty Jones said...

I've been a practicing certified medical illustrator for over thirty years. Every medical student at every medical school for the past fourty years has studied the Netter series intensely. Every time a doctor finds out I'm a medical illustrator they say "So you're like Frank Netter". No one has had a greater impact on medicine over the last four decades than Frank Netter. Not because of any breakthrough modern day
medical invention, cure or procedure, but through his art and his ability to teach extremely difficult concepts through his paintings.