Lesson 1.Introduction Critical Thinking in Physiology: Cardiac anatomy


This is a unique pilot study that aims to improve your knowledge of general cardiac physiology through close observation of cardiac anatomy and the critical observation of physiological structures.

This short study is intended to supplement dissection practicals , however, can be done at any time and independently of that course.

You should find that your dedicated appreciation of the cardiac structures will give you an advantage over the simple dissection practical that you have experienced. This supplementary study should help you in your studies going forwards.

There will be 5 or 6 short lessons spread out over the next two months. You will be required to upload work and/or undertake practise exercises to improve your abilities of sketching, draughtsmanship and general anatomy.

These lessons will be found on the “art in your heart” page on the this website.   

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

By the end of this pilot study you will have created a book that enables critical analysis of the structures found in the heart.

You must:

  1. Create a workbook with pages for each session
  2. Take a photo of your sketches and send me a PDF or a document and upload your work to the website
  3. Write answers to the questions asked neatly at the bottom of the page


1. Accuracy


  1. Using a darker , finely sharpened pencil  and some tracing paper, trace the photo of the heart provided below- drawing every line you see (either black & white or colour images).
  2. Identify as much of what you see in the drawing  as possible as you go along.
  3. Take your tracing and transfer it onto paper
  4. What is your first impression of the heart image?

Tracing an image that is initially the correct way round

I used a 2B pencil to trace the image initially, which is quite soft. I then traced the back of that image on the tracing paper, using the same grade pencil.

To transfer into my book, I turned the image right side again and then used a 6F pencil which is hard and remains sharp, to transfer the image into my drawing book.

2. Knowledge of anatomy

  1. Take your anterior heart tracing (just completed) and superimpose it onto the printed image that is the same size- alternatively take a tracing of the printed image here below and superimpose it ontop your first drawing
  2. Identify any structures that  that you did not get before

3. Draughtmanship

  1. Take either your first tracing of the anterior cardiac surface or create a new one and  create a 3D drawing of your heart.
  2. Use shading techniques- either stippling, hatching/crosshatching, or continuous shading to create a 3D effect.
  3. Highlight those major structures and draw straight lines using a ruler to identify them with legible annotation.
  4. 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

Stay Connected

More Updates

Posts & blogs