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Figure Drawing and Anatomy

human figure

Figure Drawing and Anatomy are closely linked.

While constant sketching will increase your powers of observation and general facility in handling incidental figures, some time should be spent learning at least the rudiments of anatomy.

Study bone and muscle structure, so that you acquire a knowledge of how it affects the figure.

It is not essential to know all of the anatomical designations, but you should be able to identify and know the function of the main bones and muscles.

You should know the relative proportions of the male and female figure.

Most important is to know the working of the movable masses, that is, the head, the rib cage (chest), and the pelvis.

There is no substitute for drawing the figure from life, but you can get a great deal of help from wooden or plastic manikins, which are for sale at most art shops online or offline.

They can be studied better by checking with an anatomy book in arranging the various positions.

Make simplified drawings of the skeleton so that you acquire a working knowledge of its structure.

Pay par­ticular attention to the relative proportions of the head, the rib cage, and the pelvic area, the important masses of the body.

Observe how the arms are attached to the shoulder blades and the legs to the sockets of the pelvis.

Notice how the head, the rib cage, and the pelvis are connected by the spine. Figure Drawing: The Skeleton

It is very important to learn how the three masses relate to each other as the figure assumes various positions.

The stick figure drawing approach to sketching the figure is an old but reliable method.

You can achieve far more action in your sketches by using the stick figure as a start in attempting to capture movement.

By roughly indicating head, rib cage, and pelvic areas, more resemblance to the human figure can be shown.

It is only a short step, then, to reshaping the arms and legs to complete the figure.

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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