I am a
& scientific
A teacher too.

photo of John Foerster medical illustrator

I received my MFA in Medical and Biological Illustration from the University of Michigan. Foerster Illustration Inc was formed in 1990, and has been the vehicle for my professional work.

I enjoy all natural media, particularly pen & ink. Ironically, I became an early adopter of digital media, and developed a number of techniques that I shared in professional workshops across the country.

That led to many years as an instructor and professor: at Colorado State University, the Medical College of Georgia, and most recently the Savannah College of Art and Design. It's been a grand privilege to work with so many brilliantly talented students over the years.

That effort continues as I work toward creating an online teaching and professional resource: protutorial.com. It's an ambitious task that will include tutorials, a business-related blog, and a private social aspect that will allow for discussion and feedback – email me if you'd like to be notified when it launches.

For nearly three decades of teaching and doing, I have never lost my love of drawing, of life, and of bringing that passion to others.

Selected clients

  • Grey
  • Saatchi & Saatchi
  • TBWA\WorldHealth
  • LLNS
  • Colle McVoy
  • Brown Bag
  • Pfizer
  • Merck
  • Bayer
  • Medtronic
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Ethicon
  • Covidien
  • US Surgical
  • Surgical Dynamics
  • Hill's Pet Nutrition
  • Saunders
  • Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Elsevier
  • Weldon Owen
  • Kendall Hunt
  • Macmillan
  • Time Life
  • Medical Economics
  • American Family Physician
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • University of Michigan Health System
  • Harvard Medical School


  • Medical advertising
  • Microscopic anatomy and MOA
  • Medical anatomy & surgery
  • Medical devices
  • Patient education
  • Veterinary advertising
  • Veterinary anatomy
  • Veterinary devices
  • Scientific visualization & education
  • Storyboarding
Close-up of a trompe-loeil gouache painting

Leaf CU

Close up of gouache painting focusing on paper texture

Paper CU

Life Line, 1986. Dry-brushed gouache.
A trompe l'oeil study from life, created in memory of my mother who had just passed away. A proper trompe l'oeil is life size and meant to "fool the eye" into thinking you're looking at the actual still-life, so the brown paper towel and leaves, etc., are all life size. Meaning this piece is small.

This was my first attempt at gouache, and diving in so deeply made me love it... it became my primary color media. After so many years, it's still the best piece I've ever created. But I have no idea where it is... I tend to give things away.

Posted in memory of Gerald P. Hodge, my Professor and mentor at the University of Michigan. My sensibilities in both art and teaching are largely due to him. But Denis Lee and Chris Burke put up with me so they get due credit as well. I will forever honor these men.