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  1. #1
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    finding a skeleton

    Hi all,

    This is my first post on CA.

    I would like to strengthen my drawing and sculpting skills by observing a life-sized skeleton. There are some available on Amazon.com for about USD $200. There is one model called the Budget Bucky Skeleton.

    Can anyone on here tell me if these particular skeletons are a worthwhile investment, or should I find one elsewhere?

    I did a search through the forums, but can't find an answer in older anatomy threads.

    Thanks.


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  3. #2
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    It's comparatively cheap considering that a real preserved human skeleton will cost you $4 - 5 thousand dollars. But it's worth is weighted by how much you learn from it, which is entirely up to you.

    However, perusing through This website Should provide you with some relevant insight as to what you want to look for.


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  5. #3
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    I don't think buying a skeleton to learn anatomy from is all that justified. Sure it's cool, but I have access to a real skeleton at my school and it really isn't that practical to use. I would suggest getting some artist anatomy books instead and drawing figures from life or photos.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=131116

    There are some great books in that link to get you going.
    Check my sketches!

  6. #4
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    Hi sidyrm and welcome.
    Drawing from the skeleton is a lot of fun I made a lot of studies of the skeleton we got at art school last semestre and sure it helped.
    That said when i checked to buy one for myself on ebay there were offers considerabely cheaper then 200 $.
    Look for used stuff and you will be able to get one for way less money.

  7. #5
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    Thanks all for the feedback.

    Blazin0Glory: I'm only a hobbyist, but I've been using books for a couple of years and my sense of the form is skewed. I've studied a few drawing books (e.g. Bridgeman) which simplify and standardize the planes for me. As helpful as those are, I would like to see how they relate to a real skeleton.

    Nevertheless, those are excellent resources! I'm leafing through the Walter Crane book right now. There's lots in that post that I will be sure to refer to at some point.

    vapour: I'm looking to shop smart, but I'm afraid of getting taken advantage of on ebay. Maybe there are some local artists who need to unload their bones for cheap. I'd much prefer a direct transaction.

    Damascus57: I guess I should've specified _human_ skeleton! Nevertheless, that's an informative site. I now know what a baculum is!
    Last edited by sidyrm; May 1st, 2011 at 11:52 PM. Reason: adding bold

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidyrm View Post
    I'm only a hobbyist, but I've been using books for a couple of years and my sense of the form is skewed. I've studied a few drawing books (e.g. Bridgeman) which simplify and standardize the planes for me. As helpful as those are, I would like to see how they relate to a real skeleton.
    If that's what you want and you're only a hobbyist, might it be better to find a place where you can study and draw a life sized skeleton without actually buying one (museums, art schools, normal schools etc) or borrow one and maybe buy a little miniature anatomy model and a skull for your home use? Otherwise you'd have to re-sell or give it away if you find it unwanted and it ends up taking space (unless you have a big house).
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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    If that's what you want and you're only a hobbyist, might it be better to find a place where you can study and draw a life sized skeleton without actually buying one (museums, art schools, normal schools etc) or borrow one and maybe buy a little miniature anatomy model and a skull for your home use? Otherwise you'd have to re-sell or give it away if you find it unwanted and it ends up taking space (unless you have a big house).
    Hey TinyBird,

    Back when I lived with my parents, my mom actually did borrow a full size skeleton from a friend. That was a long time ago, but I remember appreciating having a skull or forearm I could just pick up and sketch/study for the fun of it. I'm older now and I'm a bit more disciplined in my approach, so I think I might take better advantage of owning one now.

    However, that might not be a bad idea, to get the mini and a skull. Either way, not having a full-size skeleton is not stopping me from drawing. I just feel like it's about time I focused on the human form and construction. hummel1dane has shown some really inspiring studies that I'd like to work on for myself.

    I still wish I had gone to Bodyworlds when it was in town. I look at the photos and realize I missed a great opportunity. Do you think anyone on the CA forums made any use of the bodyworlds exhibit? I'll just go look that up now...

    -A

  10. #8
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    Where do you sign up for something like that? It's nice people are doing it, but it's still weird.

    Remember that traveling exhibit of preserved skinless people put into poses? I wonder if they would have signed up if they knew that was what was gonna happen to their bodies.

  11. #9
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    I'd advise you to get a mini skeleton as well, unless you have a lot of studio space...or interesting decor sense? You might also find that a mini is useful for learning muscles since you can build them onto the skeleton with sculpey clay.

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    Where do you sign up for something like that? It's nice people are doing it, but it's still weird.

    Remember that traveling exhibit of preserved skinless people put into poses? I wonder if they would have signed up if they knew that was what was gonna happen to their bodies.
    Psychotime: I'm not sure that there is a sign-up for Body Worlds. I think you just buy a ticket and attend the exhibit. Here in Toronto, the Ontario Science Centre has already hosted Body Worlds a couple of times.

    I was looking through CA threads. I remember seeing one about drawing sessions at the exhibits. Live models are hired to stand in poses like those of the plastinated bodies for the purpose of study.

    Would you donate your body if you knew it would be used as a sculpture?

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    Well, from what I learned on the history channel, there are a number of skeletons buried throughout the globe, just waiting to be discovered. Parisians, of course, are the luckiest, as they have a labyrinth of catacombs just filled with bones for them to study. It's as easy as a quick trip to the sewer.

    In the America's its a bit harder, but if you're up to the challenge of trekking up the Andes to the highest peaks, you may dig up a very well preserved mummy to call your own, with skin intact.

    Or, failing that, there's an offchance you may get lucky digging around Jeffery Dahlmer's yard. I believe there are still a number of unsolved murders attributed to him, but it's a lark, as investigators have already covered the area.

    Of course you could just kill someone, but that's cheating. Plus, it gets really messy.

    Or you could visit your nearest highschool/college science lab. Depending on how serious you are, you may just want to do a few studies before moving on.
    Last edited by TASmith; May 4th, 2011 at 03:59 PM.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidyrm View Post
    Psychotime: I'm not sure that there is a sign-up for Body Worlds. I think you just buy a ticket and attend the exhibit. Here in Toronto, the Ontario Science Centre has already hosted Body Worlds a couple of times.
    ...Huh? I wasn't talking about the people who go to see it.

    Quote Originally Posted by sidyrm View Post
    Would you donate your body if you knew it would be used as a sculpture?
    That's what I said.

  15. #13
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    I bought a skeleton from a dodgy antiques dealer in Providence when I was a student. It was old, badly wired and kind of nasty. Bad mistake -- turns out, it was illegal to own or transport across state lines. I snuck around with that thing for twenty years before I offloaded it on a couple of theater students.

    It really wasn't all that helpful as a model. The little plastic one is accurate, cheap and much easier to pose.
    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).

  16. #14
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    Hey Stoat, I'm interested to know what model you bought if it is proportionally accurate indeed? I bought about an 80 cm tall model back in December and it has just been a constant headache to study from it because of its wonky proportions.

  17. #15
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    If anyone cares, it turns out the Budget Bucky skeleton I mentioned earlier is not cast from an actual skeleton. It is cast from a sculpture; that's why the detail is not very accurate. The next model up, Mr. Plain, is more useful if you want a more realistic reference.

    -A

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