It’s Happy Hour!


WhiskyBack BLACK concept rendering

Intermittently serving design work to the beer industry. Below are samples of works I have contributed to the entire lineup for both Ramsay’s Dram WhiskyBack™, Portland, Oregon and GoodLife Brewing Company in Bend, Oregon. Both companies utilize Laramie Studio’s full service of capabilities, well, sans medical illustration. From branding to 3D modeling and rendering, these beer portfolios give all stakeholders an accurate look at the product which lends to better decision making in the design and a helpful tool if seeking to align with investors or communicating complexities with print shops.

WhiskyBack™, conceived & created by whisky and craft beer expert, Stuart MacLean Ramsay, is a family of beers designed to pair with and enhance straight whiskies. Although taking their inspiration from the world of whisky, WhiskyBacks are also intended to be enjoyed as stand-alone session and culinary beers.


Stuart- MacLean Ramsay Photo by: Brew Republic


WhiskyBack RED emblem


WhiskyBack RED concept rendering

WhiskyBack Red, a hybrid marriage of Scottish malt and Pacific Northwest hops, is a malty, fruity companion for whiskies built around barley, the king of grains: single malt & premium blended Scotch, Irish, Japanese and American barley inspired craft whiskies.

WhiskyBack Red’s target pairing is Scotch so we went with a classic tartan design. The can’s will come in the little 8 oz size.


WhiskyBack GOLD emblem

Fresh, crisp and clean, WhiskyBack Gold is a German & American-inspired Pilsner imbued with Pilsner barley, rye malt and maize, with a noble hop character intended to balance the vanilla caramel sweetness of classic Bourbon and Rye whiskey.


WhiskyBack GOLD concept rendering

For the can design we landed on a background texture of Oak grain and some accents of stars to best match the culture of American whiskeys.


WhiskeyBack BLACK emblem

Bittersweet, creamy and briny, WhiskyBack Black is an Irish-inspired cream porter created as a feisty, mildly smoky companion for heavily peated single malt Scotch, pure pot still Irish, Scottish coastal and Campbeltown drams.


WhiskyBack BLACK concept rendering

Best paired with Irish and Scottish drams, the can design work pulled from Celtic pictish symbolism.

GoodLife Brewing Company


Company logo


Descender I.P.A. can art layout and design


Descender IPA design applied to can 3D render mockup

Up, down, up, down. That’s life here in Bend, Oregon. Up one mountain, or stream, or trail, or rock wall, and down another. Makes ya parched! So, we’re always up for a cool, fresh brew when we get down. Like this one. Descender is dedicated to our hometown of Bend – an adventurer’s paradise where people are up to all kinds of outdoor fun and have a thirst for the GoodLife.
Descender IPA is a blend of a big, true NW IPA mixed with some West Coast style. We balance the bitterness with the aromatics of the hops to make this a downright enjoyable IPA. Bottoms up!

Fresh palette of cans for Descender and Sweet As!

Fresh palette of cans for Descender and Sweet As!


Mountain Rescue Northwest Session Ale can art layout and design

Mountain Rescue Northwest Session Ale design applied to can mockup.

Mountain Rescue Northwest Session Ale design applied to can mockup.

Sometimes, pursuing the GoodLife here in Bend, Oregon takes you to the edge. And over it. Our Mountain Rescue Session Ale is named for those gutsy men and women who put their own good lives on the line to save ours. Who rescue us when bad things happen and we go over the edge. We toast them and say, “Here’s to a long, happy, GoodLife – for all of us!”
This life-enhancing brew is a balance of NW hops and light alcohol. Clean and crisp with hints of citrus and pine. It’s a savior to savor anytime. Enjoy the GoodLife and be safe out there!

Beautiful Nursing pin from the 50's

Beautiful Nursing pin from the 50’s

The Mountain Rescue Northwest Session Ale art was inspired by my dear old mom’s Nursing pin.


Sweet As! Pacific Ale can art layout and design


Sweet As! Pacific Ale design applied to can 3D render mockup

You may wonder, why the heck did we name it “Sweet As!”? Good question! “Sweet As” is a slang expression (mostly if you’re an Aussie or Kiwi!) that means awesome, bodacious, cool, radical… as in, “How were the waves today, Kev?” “Oh man, sweet as, bro!” Sweet As is what this beer is. A chill concoction brewed exclusively with hops from New Zealand and Australia. More Pacific and tropical in their flavor and aroma – just right for a light beer.
We wanted a craft beer for our blistering hot summer days here in our hometown of Bend. So we made one. And now everyone gets to enjoy the refreshing goodness of Sweet As year round!

SweetAs_bottle art

Sweet Ass? No, Sweet As!

When Sweet As! was first concepted, the imaging invited some gray area as to the pronunciation. In the beginning of naming the beer, some people mispronunced it and said “Sweet Ass!” so the first design concept played to that with subliminal intentions. See it? The whole Sweet As wordmark was designed to contour to a woman’s derriere. The beer was originally brewed with hops from New Zealand hence the Maori-like tattoo designs. So now the graphic identity is the same tattoo look but on a hop cone instead, keeping it safe and P.C. Do you find the ass art offensive? Feel free to post a comment.

Image of Maori tattoo by Otautahi Tattoo in Auckland, NZ

Image of Maori tattoo by Otautahi Tattoo in Auckland, NZ

All beer style stories for each beer were written by Tom Vandel of Les Overhead. I’m glad Tom is a part of the team. His word craft is very illustrative. Les Overhead and Laramie Studio are located in the same building #208 on SW 2nd Ave and SW Stark St in Portland and he’s a great Happy Hour mate!


Cadaver Dissection and Dissector Manual Drawings

Cadaver Dissection and Dissector Manual Drawings

This is a series of traditional method anatomical sketches. The only digital manipulation was in the form of converting the RGB scans into Black and White and then adjusting the levels, brightness, and contrast. I wanted these to be as raw as possible but digital enough to print well in the electronic dissector manual.


Extensor Hand


Brachial Plexus




Back Shoulder


Palmer Hand


Pictured: Nylon glove sans thumb and index, mechanical pencil (my dad's USA made Eagle Turquoise Prestomatic 3377, from the 50s, three Copic markers; C1, C3, C5, and a Stanford Tuff Stuff eraser stick. Not pictured is the COLORASE; blue, erasable colored pencil I used for the initial cadaver lab sketches. The drawings were then finished with the Copic markers and lead pencil in the studio.

Pictured: Nylon glove sans thumb and index, mechanical pencil (my dad’s USA made Eagle Turquoise Prestomatic 3377, from the 50s, three Copic markers; C1, C3, C5, and a Stanford Tuff Stuff eraser stick. Not pictured is the COLORASE; blue, erasable colored pencil I used for the initial cadaver lab sketches. The drawings were then finished with the Copic markers and lead pencil in the studio.


Food in medical illustration

We’ve heard of Roma tomatoes but I couldn’t help see a stoma on the underside of this heirloom tomato I recently picked from my backyard garden.  This anomaly from the raised garden bed struck a pun with me. So let’s call it a stoma tomato.

I’ve done a number of Urologic surgical illustrations. Some of them include a stoma as part of the solution to removing cancerous bladders or colons.

A stoma is an opening, either natural or surgically created, which connects a portion of the body cavity to the outside environment. Surgical procedures in which stomata are created are ended in the suffix -ostomy and begin with a prefix denoting the organ or area being operated on. Some examples of ostomies are colostomy, urostomy, and tracheostomy.

photo courtesy of

Part of series for Cutaneous Continence Pouch: Note the small section of ileum that acts as a conduit between the ureter from the kidney to the stoma, or exit to the urostomy.

My wife made some gluten-free brownies right at the same time I was in need of illustrating the development of a “black eschar” for a Below Knee Amputation legal exhibit. I snapped a few photos of the freshly baked brownies and they worked out to be very helpful “patterns” for use when rendering the illustration in Adobe Photoshop. Here’s a look at the photo of the brownies:

Yes, gluten free brownies.

Gluten free brownies employed as a pattern overlay effects layer in Adobe Photoshop.

The brownie texture application reminded me of when I first used food as a pattern overlay in medical illustration. David Ehlert of Cognition Studio gave me the idea and was very generous to share his scan of that peculiar Ethiopian bread called injara? The delicate matrix texture in injara similarily appears in bone tissue and is known as cancellous bone, or spongy bone.

photo courtesy of Stephanie Cedeño.

photo courtesy of David Ehlert, Cognition Studio

Creating a V-Loc brush in Adobe Illustrator

V-Loc™ wound closure device, made by Covidien is a revolutionary technology that eliminates the need to tie knots, so you can close incisions faster without compromising strength and security.

Using images to tell the story, I’m going to share how I made a V-Loc pattern brush with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

V-loc is a barbed stitch that will not slide back or reverse, holding tissues strongly together. V-loc comes in different color coded gauges and the material is translucent.

Start by creating a custom brush in Illustrator:
Window > Brushes > New brush > Pattern brush

Then you can simply draw a path with the pen tool and apply the v-loc pattern brush to the path.

Cutaneous Continence Pouch

This is a series of thumbnails, edited sketches, pencil drawings and final Photoshop™ renderings of a Urological surgical procedure by Dr. Sia Daneshmand, OHSU Urology. Dr. Daneshmand has extensive experience in urinary diversion and reconstruction following surgical removal of the bladder (radical cystectomy) as well as nerve-sparing RPLND (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) following chemotherapy for advanced testis cancer. He performs more radical cystectomies and RPLNDs per year than most surgeons on the west coast.

In this particular case a neo-bladder is made from Cecum and Ascending colon, primarily because of the usability of the appendix for a urostomy. I was impressed by this procedure because it is for a patient that was born without kidneys or a bladder. They were given a kidney transplant at birth but lived for several years without continence. Only a direct route of single ureter to stoma (via ileal conduit). This procedure gives the patient the ability to self catheterize every six hours or so.