Worth taking Anatomy & Physiology class (through biology dept)?
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    Worth taking Anatomy & Physiology class (through biology dept)?

    I'm an art / computer science double major right now, and my CS degree requires two semesters of a science class progression. I can choose between physics, chemistry, and anatomy. I'm told the anatomy classes are a ton of memorization of terminology, and much more difficult than the other science options at my college.

    So I'm wondering, how useful would this type of anatomy class be to my development as an artist? I have taken a life drawing class which went into some depth with anatomy, and I plan to take as many life drawing classes as I can get my hands on. However, I'm uncertain whether scientific anatomy courses would be very beneficial to me as an artist. I doubt knowing all the details of digestion, for instance, is relevant to life drawing, and I don't want to go through a lot of extra coursework if it's not going to help me. I'm also not sure exactly what is generally covered in this sort of anatomy course.

    On the other hand, if these courses were likely to give me deep and useful understanding towards my life drawing, I'd be happy to do the extra work.

    So, I'm wondering:
    Have you taken a scientifically approached anatomy course? If so, did it contribute to your understanding of the figure? Did you consider it worthwhile?
    Am I better off taking easier science courses, and putting that extra time and effort into my art courses and personal practice time?

    Thanks!

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    According to Robert Beverly Hale, the anatomical knowledge gained by doctors, from their education, didn't help them much in his drawing class.

    So, I'd say if improving your art is your motive, do something else!

    "Anatomy for artists" is a different animal.

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    It probably won't be worth it, apart from giving you some background in biology.

    If you don't have access to a course in visual anatomy for artists, check out if they have any sort of course in anatomy for sports or massage specialists. That's going to be much more useful, since those focus on the skeleton and muscles (and range of motion), which constitutes a good part of what you need as an artist.

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    TASmith is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    I would say yes, but ask the professor first. Definitely use the opportunity to ask a ton of questions.

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    Unless you are one of those people were it comes easily to you then it probably won't be. You spend alot of time memorizing body parts and their general area, but not things like form and proportion, which would be helpful. I've taken a physiology class and they certainly don't teach anything that will help you're art. It's a chemicals, hormones, etc. Also the amount of studying you may have to do with get n the way of your art time. Short answer no. Take an easier science and you'll have time to look up artistic anatomy and draw studies.

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    There'd be way too much extra stuff to get enough benefit from the one part that's relevant to you. Then all that extra information will drain you (especially since as a class you'll have to study) and take your time away from drawing! I don't think it's worth it. Anatomy for artists is about knowing what's under the skin, yes, but only insofar as you want to study force and form.

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    LORD M is offline That guy from the cheer me up thread Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    I have taken several scietific anatomy courses, and to cut it short - if disection of animals is involved then it is worthwhile imo. If it isn't then you won't get out as much from it, because when disecting animals down to the skeleton you'll get a understanding of how muscles are shaped and where they're placed. You won't get the exact same experience from books, it's a completely different story to feel the muscles with your own hands and see how they're attatched to the bones, how the underlying muscles look like which you can't see on a model in life drawing course. But then again these are animals, but if you're disecting like a deer you'll get an understanding of the muscles anyways in relationship of the human body because we got a evolutionary connection in the past. You can quite nicely identify the muscles on a human on a deer or a cat.

    If you're generaly intrested in anatomy as I was, I didn't really study art seriously when I took my courses, then this might also a great course.

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    Well you need to take a science anyways right?

    Something pretty important is that in anatomy you learn the origins and insertions of the muscles with will help you place them properly when you are drawing. Just make sure you keep practicing because knowing all these muscles doesn't really mean you will automatically become that much better at drawing them.

    Anyways, I can tell you from experience that anatomy/physiology is worth it. While it doesn't all translate to drawing, you learn a lot of neat stuff that will give you a new appreciation for the human body.

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    Thanks for all of the responses, guys! You've given me a lot to think about.

    I am generally fairly good at memorization, so I think that part would be slightly less bad for me than for the average person. Even so, if it's a ton, it would still be time consuming. I'd certainly be trying to actively apply the knowledge to my art as I went along.

    Arenhaus:
    Thanks for the tip! I'll look into that. It wouldn't help me meet my science requirements, but it could be a useful alternative.

    Lord M:
    I believe the lab section of these courses would involve some dissection. Somehow, I have managed to get to college without dissecting so much as a worm. I appreciate the knowledge that could be gained from dissection, and hope I would have a strong enough stomach to handle it!

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