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Pat Thomas

Biography
Name: Pat Thomas
Occupation/Profession: Medical Illustrator
Employer: Self; Pat Thomas Medical Illustration
Location: Oak Park, IL
Hobbies: Nature walks, cooking, listening to classical and ethnic music, volunteering

How long have you been in this profession?
Thirty years.

Why did you choose this profession?
A high-school biology teacher suggested it to me.

How did you get started?
I graduated with a degree in medical illustration and was hired by the university after graduation.

What are your most important accomplishments?
I'm a fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators, which signifies that I've actively participated in governing and educational functions within the organization. I've also been privileged to win an Award of Excellence at our annual salon. Most of my current work is in medical legal courtroom illustration. It is a fascinating career where the cases are always interesting. It is very rewarding to know my illustrations have played a major role in the jury's understanding of a case.

Describe a special moment in your career.
An attorney wrote to me after he had won a case. He told me that my ability to translate the doctors [singular or plural—doctor's or doctors'?] complex description of a surgical procedure into images the jury could understand, made his job easy. He called me a goddess. My husband got such a kick out of the client's choice of words, it has become a nickname.


History with Painter
How long have you used Painter?
Since 1995!

Why did you choose Painter?
I met another illustrator who was using Painter 3. At that time, it was far more artist-friendly and intuitive than Adobe® Photoshop®.

Do you have any interesting/funny/noteworthy stories?
At our annual meeting of medical illustrators, there used to be a small group of us that all used Painter, while a great majority of members had never tried the program and were using Photoshop. We found ourselves defending and touting Painter almost in the spirit of Mac® users versus PC users.

What are your top five favorite Painter features?
The color wheel, the ability to tilt the canvas, the ability to have your brushes interact with the paper textures, the ability to be able to paint to the edge of the canvas, the tremendous variety of brushes.

What are the Painter features that allow you to distinguish your art?
Layers allow you to experiment with bold colors.

Is it possible to get the same results with other digital painting software?
You can get similar results using the airbrush technique that I use with Photoshop; however you probably could not get the same texture and multiple media techniques that many Painter artists use with any other software.

How do you feel about Painter?
I'm very committed to always using Painter. I would prefer if Corel did not feel the need to be just like Photoshop and concentrated more on paint techniques rather than trying to gain the photo-manipulation market.


Technique
Step 1:
Define a shape with the pen tool.

Step 2:
Convert shape to selection and fill with middle value.

Step 3:
Select a paper texture then use the dye sublimation to bring in texture.

Step 4:
Use soft pastel chalk or splatter airbrush to bring in a cell texture.

Step 5:
Use another paper texture to create bone.




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