Lesson 4- Art in Physiology: Valves

Lesson 4


Simple Line drawings & constructing a study page

Week 3  recap: You have practiced drawing from a grid again looking at those sinewy papillary muscles etc. now you’re  continuing with  some exercises on controlling your pencil and shading, negative spaces

This week: Valves between the atria and ventricles and the rest of the heart to the outside

There are a few main structures: Aortic Valve, Pulmonary valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve, fibrous ring

For each session you will be given tasks to improve three elements of your critical thinking;


  1. Accuracy
  2. Draughtsmanship
  3. Knowledge of cardiac anatomy

Accuracy and draughtmanship:

Positioning of the valves, their shapes and creating a shine to appreciate the smooth surfaces of the valves


1. Accuracy


I have initially chosen to look at the fibrous framework of the heart. The heart is seen from the right and behind after removing both atria looking down onto the fibrous rings that surround the mitral and tricuspid orifices.

The nice thing about this image is you get a real sense of their positions and their shapes that you would not normally see with a normal dissection

Tracing an image that is initially the correct way round

Is this how you imagined they would look?

Most of the time if you’re really looking at dissection from above where you have removed the pulmonary trunk and descending aorta above those three cusps it can be quite difficult to appreciate these structures .

Play Video

Fibrous Structures

This is a cartoon of the valves- 

2. Knowledge of anatomy

  1. For additional sketching, go to the images below where the valves have not been de-cellularised
  2. Identify any structures that  that you did not get before
  3. What is the function of the fibrous ring?

3. Draughtmanship


  1. Use shading techniques- either stippling, hatching/crosshatching, or continuous shading to create a 3D effect.
  2. Highlight those major structures and draw straight lines using a ruler to identify them with legible annotation.
  3. Don’t forget :Date, title and legends

You should now have a complete page, tracings, and annotations with notes. Do remember to date it. When you have done so, upload a PDF or photo of your work into the forum AND email to me


Enter your work here

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More Updates

Critical Thinking in Physiology:Cardiac anatomy

For the next session on the anterior heart click here

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