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Hey everyone. I've really been having trouble with shoulder and arm widths. All my arms have been either looking too fat or too thin on figures. I've been studying the deltoids, scapula, and clavicles, but I can't ever tell if I'm making the arms in proprtion to the rib cage. I know I soud dumb but I'd really appreciate any help.
The best way to go about getting help on this sort of thing is to post an example of a drawing you've done that you think is problematic. We'll be able to better address your problems that way.
not to flame you mate, but it may be a good idea to consolidate your questions (as they arise) into the one thread, instead of creating new ones
reason being i can see your questions (all valid and worthy of answers) are often of the same nature, and it would make far more sense for everyone if they could help you in a single, focussed effort than track down the specific problems and answer them one at a time. not to mention it would save you having to scour for ages to find the responses to your questions - goodness knows how often new threads are made anywhere and how fast old/inactive threads get shoved onto the second page and into obscurity.
just a friendly thought
edit: in more specific response to your query, without having a clear picture as to what troubles youre experiencing, keep in mind that the elbow should generally line up with the bottom of the rib cage (that is, the lowest point they dip to on your sides). everything else should follow from there
Instead of studying seperate elements of the upper body, look at the upper body as a whole.
Using measurments, measure where the bottom of the deltoid is compared to the nipple. Measure where the top of the deltoid is compared to the length between the collar bone interior and the transition to the chin. For the width of the arm this can vary due to fat and muscle density. Generally you should understand skeletal composition and a basic understanding of where muscles are attached. Use the head width to measure how far across the body is and then judge what the body type is from there.
So a run down of my studies:
The WIDTH from shoulder to shoulder is 3 width head measurements (to the bone rather than the muscle).
Length of the deltoid is generally, from the top, a third to halfway down from the chin to the collarbone. And from the bottom it is usually around the same point as the nipple.
Study first the larger elements of anatomy (arms, torso, head, legs), and then the feet and hands. Then go into the bone stucture (easier now that you understand the proportions), and finally the intricacies of the muscle structure and fat composition.
And for the ribcage thing. Worry more about where the midsection of the arm, the elbow, is from the bellybutton. What happens if you are drawing a fat dude with no bones visible? For the ribcage, the bottom of this is usually at the same point as the bellybutton anyway so the difference does not matter.
I hope this makes sense.
Last edited by Rist; November 7th, 2008 at 08:32 AM.
I copy pasted this from one of my replies in an other thread..
Label EVERYTHING. Learn the names of the different locations of the bones. Many of the names of the muscles indicate their origins and insertions. The name sternocleidomastoid (neck muscle) indicates its origin on the top of the sternum, inner (medial) third of the clavicle and it's insertion to the mastoid process (on your skull just behind your ear).
Learn the names of major landmarks on the skeleton, where large musclegroups are located. If you line a circle around the torso/ribcage/thorax, at the bottom of the pecs, it should line up with the bottom of the deltoids, bottom of the scapula (where the origin of the serratus and the teres mayor can be located) and the bottom of the sternum.
The bottom portion of the deltoid marks the upper half of the humerus and the bottom of the humerus marks the 10th rib of the ribcage (or was it the 12th?).
The main thing (obviously) to go for when you copy the plates, is getting the right proportions, but once you have established in your mind an idea of how the large, individual bone masses are related in proportion, you have come pretty far. From there, it's all about the muscles origins/insertions, morphology and mass. Remember to always focus on the relationships between big shapes and proportions, and keep in mind that you are constantly dealing with solid, complex masses placed in space that are affected by gravity.
I second Rist, don't forget the whole. Also do studies of the major masses that make up the torso, and how they interact. Its easy to get lost in "correct" anatomy and the individual parts, but sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at the major forms. Hogarth is good at breaking down the body into masses, it could be a good supplement to more technical anatomy studies.