I'm starting to study anatomy with an anatomy drawing book I own, but I've got a couple of questions. The book includes a section on the skeleton and another one on muscles.
In your opinion, is it better to learn the whole skeleton of the body, and then all the muscles, or separate it into body parts (so first I would learn the skeleton of the leg, then its muscles and surface details, and then move on to the arm, etc.?) I'm curious which is generally thought to be the normal or most effective way.
Another question I have is about the names of the bones and muscles. The book I have shows the names of almost every bone, muscle, and bump. Is it normal for artists to learn all these names? And if so, why?
I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts!
You must learn patience in order to have the patience to learn.
anything Bridgman, they recently started selling his complete guide in stores. i believe... it is the standard in this sort of thing.
Yes i've mostly seen people doing arms, heads, hands and feet separately and concentrating in areas. Heads are difficult but fun.
As far as names and junk, it depends on why you're learning anatomy.
I've seen videos with Dave Finch where he'll draw all of the anatomy and good comic book figures but not name anything OH and also he does wire-framing and tube forms.
So you could draw the skeleton and stuff but "tube forms" are really good too depending on your purposes.
anyway i'm sure someone else will answer your question more thoroughly since this kind of stuff gets asked a lot.
All in all... no i wouldn't draw the skeleton starting off, from my understanding most people say its better to understand the body inside out and how the muscles attach to bone (Bridgman pdf above goes into that), but that is complicated at first.
Your questions could take a while to answer... let me just ask what are your purposes for doing this? for medical sketching or just as a hobby ans wanting to draw figures well?
Start off getting your proportions right and drawing full muscled and fleshed as is humans. ALSO try this website for more pdfs on figures not anatomy, although loomis goes into Anatomy a lot too.
you can get some loomis books here: http://alexhays.com/loomis/
Read this thread and then maybe revisit your question.
Last edited by bcarman; April 10th, 2012 at 08:18 PM.
maybe it's just me but Bridgman was confusing when I started studying anatomy. He was great for understanding form and function but I needed to reference other books to get a better idea of what he was doing in some cases, idkanything Bridgman, they recently started selling his complete guide in stores. i believe... it is the standard in this sort of thing.
The anatomy part is terribly obscure, and sometimes you can't even tell which muscle he's supposed to be drawing. And the hands, oh my god, I'm not sure what those forms on his hand drawings are supposed to represent.
Still, he does have plenty of beautiful drawings and wonderful markmaking though, but then, making pretty drawings and markmaking is the last thing we should worry about when drawing the figure, I think.
For anatomy, I recommend Eliot Goldfinger's Anatomy for Artists and Sarah Simblet's anatomy book. Both of them are very clear, and they break things down very well.
For figure drawing, I recommend Michael Hampton's Figure Drawing, Design and Invention. It's just hands down the best figure drawing book I've ever seen.
And to answer the OP's questions,
1. Learning anatomy is a very long process. It's like going through anatomy once, and then we will all go back and solidify our anatomy over and over again. So it really doesn't matter. But the rule I stick to is just learn what I'm lacking. So if I tried to the backside of an arm and realize I don't know the anatomy very well, I'll refer to my Goldfinger book for backside of arm and study it. It's a lot more efficient to supplement anatomy studies with a lot of imaginary drawings. That way, you study with more of a purpose.
2. I know plenty of artists who just know a few names, and I know some artists who know almost every muscle and bone's name. It sorta depends on what they specialize in.
@ MAC and continue
come to think of it yeah i think you guys are right, Bridgman is good for getting in there and really more understanding mechanics and bone muscle attachment.
although if you can, i think it is worth a look for any beginner artist at least, a look.
but yeah it is intermediate and sometimes not so clear.
Thanks for the replies everyone!
Thanks for answering my questions, Sporus. Currently drawing is just a hobby for me, and I want to improve at drawing the figure - definitely not anything medical.
Drawing a live model is not currently an option for me, but I will try to use photos and a mirror, and I have tried drawing from life in public before.
And thank you very very much for your response, continue, that was very helpful! I will take your advice, and I also bookmarked those books so I can consider getting them in the future. Right now I have Stephen Rogers Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist, which is fantastic. Since I'm not going to become a medical artist or a sculptor, I don't think I'll learn the name of every little part.
Again, thanks everyone for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.
Last edited by Mr. Bean; April 11th, 2012 at 11:16 AM.
You must learn patience in order to have the patience to learn.
Someone showed me Glenn Vilppus drawing manual. I like that one quite a bit. Kind of wish someone showed me him over Loomis when I first started. It was less about learning what all the bones and slight curves are and more so learning to .... well.... .. draw.
Avoid the "Complete Drawing Guide" if you pick up Bridgman, go with his green book first. http://amzn.com/0486227103
You can have all the books in the world, but to be honest, you really need some good life drawing sessions. Or just going out and drawing people where you see.
I actually wished someone showed me Fun With a Pencil before a lot of these anatomy books first.
like ive seen that a lot, more a thread just about passing wisdom... like this "Glenn Vilppus drawing manual" holy shit thank you JFierce... i would've never known about this!!!!!!!! D:
what else dont i know?!! lol
And @ Mr.Bean ... if its just a hobby, then follow all of the advice on here.
Draw from observation, either from life or from photo references. and then use your imagination. watch animations, cartoons and film.
specifically if you're asking for a place to start? my opinion would be to do head sketches 360 degrees, then the body over all in gestures or tube forms... then work on detailed upper bodies by connecting the head to the neck base well.
and get some "pencil mileage" lol ... heard Matt Kohr say that on Ctrl+paint... http://www.ctrlpaint.com/ is a good site for you.
check out the archive and look for the "unplugged" stuff. the sites on hiatus but its still really good. for general kind of things like the "draw anything in these steps"
if your looking for how to draw the human body specifically youtube is loaded with demos of loomis artists and junk.