X-ray calligraphy

Thinking about the X-ray images in our collection and taking inspiration from the calligraphy artwork below, by Christine Marr,  why not have a go at this activity yourself. The artwork is one of a pair installed in the Radiology Department at Salisbury District Hospital. Created in 1993, Christine uses inks and gouache paint to illustrate the historic developments of X-rays. The central drawing of a hand has been made up with words to look like the bones they represent, as seen on an X-ray.

Phalanges = finger bones
Metacarpals = palm bones
Carpals = wrist bones
Ulna & Radius = arm bones

You will need

  • printed calligraphy sheet (download below)
  • tracing paper *optional
  • ink fountain pen or chisel tip felt pen


  1. Using the printed sheet, either copy the letters with some tracing paper or follow the outlines in the space below each printed letter.


Other tips and ideas

  • Trace around your own hand and fill in the names of the bones using your calligraphy skills!
  • Look up the medical names of other bones in your body – do a group calligraphy drawing by tracing round a whole body on a piece of wallpaper and fill in names of bones that you have researched.
  • For smaller children draw around your hand, let them draw in the bones using a white wax crayon or candle and then paint over the top with dark coloured paint for a wax resist picture
  • Why not try our X-ray painting with light activity or X-ray cyanotype print activity


Download X-ray calligraphy activity sheet (pdf)

Download calligraphy letters (jpg)

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