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  1. #1
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    More anatomy questions and regarding simple references

    I'd just like to ask is there references people use for actual precise anatomy. Proportions compared to the opposite sex, not just the nude figure but also the skeletal which deals with the front, rear, left, right, top and bottom views. I'd just like to explore learning from the ground up, starting out from bone to bone moving to the muscles then later on applying everything.

    The anatomy books I've read so far relies too much on the author's interpretations on the anatomy, and may have been drawn just for visual presentation for people to understand movement and it's effect. I see pelvic bones drawn with 2 circular plates and really doesn't justify the possibility that the actual shape of the pelvis may help with the overall look of the structure of the body.

    So just to sum it up, I'm not asking for anatomy applied movements references but actual precise anatomy, to study first, then learning its bio mechanics later on with the application of muscle and skin.

    hmm.. on the side note, am i doing anatomy right? lol.

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  3. #2
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    Stephen Rogers Peck "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist" is one of the best affordable anatomy reference books... Very thorough and clear, and covers all the bones and muscles with considerable detail and accuracy.

    Also, there's an app called "L'Ecorche" which is simply wonderful - it allows you to view the skeleton and muscles in 3D space, and has modes for viewing anatomy in realistic detail or as simplified geometric shapes. Very handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendics View Post
    I'd just like to ask is there references people use for actual precise anatomy. Proportions compared to the opposite sex, not just the nude figure but also the skeletal which deals with the front, rear, left, right, top and bottom views. I'd just like to explore learning from the ground up, starting out from bone to bone moving to the muscles then later on applying everything.

    The anatomy books I've read so far relies too much on the author's interpretations on the anatomy, and may have been drawn just for visual presentation for people to understand movement and it's effect. I see pelvic bones drawn with 2 circular plates and really doesn't justify the possibility that the actual shape of the pelvis may help with the overall look of the structure of the body.

    So just to sum it up, I'm not asking for anatomy applied movements references but actual precise anatomy, to study first, then learning its bio mechanics later on with the application of muscle and skin.

    hmm.. on the side note, am i doing anatomy right? lol.
    Excellent starting point...to becoming an orthopedic surgeon/physical therapist/artist all rolled into one! The anatomy study/bio-mechanics is maybe, what? 8 years? Then you can start into the art...which you'll have plenty of time for after that since it takes a lifetime.

    OK - so my cranky old man way of saying "precise, bone-by-bone" anatomy and skelto-muscular systems has nothing to do with art.

    But, if you want to go that route I recommend the excellent book by Delavier: Strength Training Anatomy. Have fun!

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    Mendic--unless you plan on becoming a medical illustrator, you may be going the overkill route for simply drawing figures. That said, I’m certainly not going to bash someone for being curious enough to pursue an in-depth study of anatomy. I would suggest taking a figure drawing class,(finding a good teacher of course) while studying anatomy.

    Along with QuenGwenevere’s suggestion, I recommend Artistic Anatomy by Dr. Paul Richer.

    As someone who does medical illustration, along with science art in general, my personal favorite anatomy texts are the Thieme General Anatomy & Musculoskeletal System and Head and Neuroanatomy. They have the best quality medical illustrations in them. I also use for ref and study a CT scan data 3d model comprised of all the bones virtually all the muscles and subgroups, as well as the organs.

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  9. #5
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    Good point bill618 - also a good starting point for someone interested in becoming a medical illustrator.

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    Lol, thanks for all the reply guys. I love the books you've provided.

    Actually it's not really my first time to learn anatomy, that's why i ask for this kind of information is because i've tried learning with books like andrew loomis, and giovani civardi. They're really helpful, I get all their point, but i just seem to notice the lack of detail when it comes to determining the sizes and differences of the anatomy, sure they give the proportions of the ideal sizes of male and female, but would simple depiction of anatomy about the naked body, simple skeleton and muscle understanding and placement to determine the overall shape and movement, the deal of learning anatomy?
    Or.. am i doing this too detailed? or Should i just be satisfied with the way I'm researching about how artists do it.

    QueenGwenevere, thanks for information, i find it very useful, i might have to look into that book when i have the time.

    jfx99 lol, yeah so far the references i've used are stock photos and illustrations used by medical doctors, i'm kinda confused with those as well as i'm not really sure if they are detailed, because they use them as illustrative information for patients not for determining the sizes and shape. I've looked at gray's anatomy as well.

    bill618
    Oh man i just looked over that book, it seems really neat. I think that fits best what i like. I just wish there was a book about proportions of the bones and the sexual differences of the male and female, i guess I'd just have to research it one by one.

    But just to be clear some misunderstanding i'm not really doing all the detail of the bones and muscles. I'd just like to look at how it really looks like, to determine how the shape will affect the figure, to understand more on the simplification authors use and practice it. Its a lot of fun learning that as i see how the construction of the human body is. I try not to be too detailed on learning it though as some details are not worth looking at.

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    For what it's worth I think it's really important to thoroughly understand the human body and all of the anatomy, from the bones on up. It's what all the best artists of history did.

    I'd recommend buying Peck's book (already was suggested, but it's such an awesome book I gotta second it). Also Michael Hampton's book is very good...it's not as scientifically accurate, but it shows the forms of the muscles very well and is probably more useful from an artistic standpoint (but the knowledge base you can get from Peck is super useful too).

    Sarah Simblet's book has overlay sheets in it that allow you to directly compare the skeletal structure to the body. It sounds like that is something you would really like. I don't particularly like her drawings, but there is some good info in her book.

    Lastly you might wanna dig through here for a while:
    http://fineart.sk/

    And Rey Bustos has some cool overlays that show the relation of muscles to surface form:
    http://www.reybustos.com/03ra/ra.html

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  13. #8
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    Great recommendations from QueenGwenevere, bill618 and Andrew. I second Richer's Artistic Anatomy, translated from the original French into English by Robert Berverley Hale. This has excellent anatomical diagrams (much more focused on the anatomy you actually see than a medical text) as well as a discussion of proportions. There is a companion volume on female anatomy but it has not been translated. Both of the original French editions can be downloaded free from archive.org:

    http://archive.org/details/NouvelleA...eDuCorpsHumain
    http://archive.org/details/nouvelleanatomie02rich


    Another good anatomy program, which includes a free version showing just the skeleton, is Anatronica:

    http://www.anatronica.com/

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    The reason I recommend the "Strength Training Anatomy" book by Delavier is because it isn't for artists and is often overlooked as a resource. What it's great for however, is exactly what you're talking about - packed with illustrations of the musculo-skeletal system under working load. Granted they're all pretty traditional weightlifting positions and excercises but still a great way to study which muscles are doing what while pushing and pulling.

    Something no else has bothered mentioning is that to really see and understand what bodies do you need to spend a great deal of time working from life. That is actually what all the best artists of history did...and still do today.

    All bodies are actually very unique, with individual proportion and idiosyncrasies. Add to that the infinite variation of pose, point of view, color and light on form and you can see there is a whole lot going on. Very little of it has to do with the names of bones.

    Edit: Actually my mistake - bill618 did in fact mention taking a figure drawing class while studying anatomy. Couldn't agree more. Also I forgot to post an example from the Delavier book...every page/spread is like this:
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    Last edited by JeffX99; November 2nd, 2012 at 09:36 AM.
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    Get the Peck book, I think you'll find what you're looking for.


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    For what it's worth I think it's really important to thoroughly understand the human body and all of the anatomy, from the bones on up. It's what all the best artists of history did.
    Do you think that's the place to start though? I have had wars with faculty over the years about teaching detailed anatomy in beginning classes. I believe that kind of learning is anti visual and anti intuitive. Listing removes us from pure visual thinking. How many people have studied botany before they draw trees? We make the human body intimidating because because we keep saying it is intimidating. Don't get me wrong, I think studying anatomy can be immensely satisfying and valuable as we get better at what we do. But memorizing bones and muscles before we can draw a cone is counter productive.

    OK let the storm begin.

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  20. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post

    OK let the storm begin.
    I've got your back Bill!

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    Heh. I don't have a problem studying from the bones out. It's how I started and it helped me a lot. I don't know the names of most of the bones and muscles but I know roughly how they look and how they attach to the skeletal mannequin underneath and how they might look contracted or stretched out in different poses. By working from the inside out, I felt a lot more confident when I moved onto building the full body. Shrug. But thats me and others might work better using different methods. Each to their own and all that. As long as you get the knowledge and skill you need, right?

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