“The fundamental structure of the figure is the skeleton. It is worth taking time to study the skeleton to understand the mechanics of the human figure. Pay particular attention to the formation of the body – the shoulders, torso, limbs, hips, ankles, elbows, the neck and the head”
Research point – Look at anatomy books, or do a web search for anatomy images and see what you can find. Make notes on how you can use this information to improve your figure try to do an anatomical drawing yourself.
Exercise: Three drawings
Above is my A3 sized one hour drawing of a standing pose. I used dip pen with water based ink, with hatching and cross-hatching. I am really pleased with the way I have managed to describe the surfaces and soft curves of the skin as well as the more angular places on the back, shoulder blades and feet. I find making several preliminary studies helpful before making a larger, more detailed drawing.
For the sitting pose I decided to use watercolour and brush.
I made a quick study in pencil to check proportions and things.
I had some trouble getting the proportions, lengths and angles. So I decided to draw in pencil first and then work in on top of the pencil with watercolours.
Above is my one hour A3 sized drawing of a sitting pose. I am pleased with the different tones that I was able to make, which give the figure a three-dimensional appearance.
Laying down pose
Above is my one hour drawing in oil pastels of a lying down pose. The foreshortening in this pose is very noticeable. The bone and muscle structure is prominent in this pose because of the angles of the body and the limbs it is a good demonstration of anatomy.
How accurately did you depict the overall proportions of the figure?
My longer drawings of each pose are at the correct proportions, my preparatory studies are not. I found making the preparatory studies was helpful to develop my understanding of the structure, the joints of the bones and the shapes of the body. By the time I came to make my final drawing of each pose I had drawn out all of my observations of what I could see in different studies. All the studies, even though many of them are not accurate, helped me to translate what I saw into lines and shapes and tones.
Did you try to imagine the sitter’s skeleton and muscles? Did this help you to convey the figure’s structure and form?
I did try to imagine the sitter’s skeleton and muscles, and this helped me in some ways because I saw the figure in a different way than before, I was better able to understand the forms of the different parts of the body.
I found it difficult to locate the skeleton and muscles in some of the models, because those things were not immediately visible.
The lying down pose had the most visible bone and muscle structure.