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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
And Rey Bustos has some cool overlays that show the relation of muscles to surface form:
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"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
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:
Another good anatomy program, which includes a free version showing just the skeleton, is Anatronica:
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:
Last edited by JeffX99; November 2nd, 2012 at 09:36 AM.
Get the Peck book, I think you'll find what you're looking for.
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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.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.
OK let the storm begin.
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?
The problem lies in time. I've heard people say on this site that any drawing is good drawing. I happen to disagree. Starting with things that are too hard or divert from training the visual muscle in the brain can lead to frustration and time wasting. Trying to learn drawing is not like trying to learn accounting, thank all that is holy, and I don't believe it should be treated that way. I suppose there are those out there who can step by step learn anything but what will the result be?
I guess I can't argue with the fact that if you do learn all of the bones and muscles, sinews and nerve endings that you might always have that knowledge stored away but is it necessary and how long will it divert you from actually learning to draw. I'm sure there are people here who can give me a list of successful artists who can list body parts as well as a surgeon but I can also give a list of successful artists who couldn't tell you the difference between a hammer bone and an anal plug.
I hear you. I couldnt name the bones and muscles of the human body if my life depended on it, lol. Not that I'm successful or anything. I just drew what I needed to know and moved on to the next level when I was ready.
But yeah, I can understand that for some people, they might get bogged down by the theoretical side of it and forget about the drawing side and that will surely get in the way of progress. I guess it's about figuring out what will get a person to where they need to be without bogging them down with unnecessary baggage on the way.
And that must be a tough call for teachers as well as people on the learning side. I don't know. I can only say what works for me and I'm in no position to say what others should do. They'll have to figure out their learning process on their own.
I don't see the point of knowing the names of the bones and muscles. Knowing how they affect the form was what I thought the whole point of anatomy was art wise *shrugs*. But if your just starting out and barely grasping with form you wouldn't learn much anyways no?
P.S. I hope no one is stupid enough to try to search the difference between a hammer bone and anal plug. Immediately thought to myself "someones gonna look it up..... someones going to see some disturbing things...."
What's an anal plug? Is that like the little bony tail thing we have at the end of the spine?
briggsy@ashtons- loved the references, especially the french ones, i wish i could understand them though, but thats what you get for free lol.
JeffX99- hmm.. Couldn't we just do both? do figure drawing classes and study anatomy at the same time?
and it's not like i'm studying anatomy for like all day, even a 30 mins sketch and gesture study would suffice, just to remind and practice that certain part of the anatomy, well that's how i approach learning it. I might even try other learning methods but thats what i think i'm comfortable with right now. I try to have an open mind when it comes to learning, one learning style might be good for me today but tomorrow might not be so.
bcarman- I haven't thought of thinking about time as an element to learning yet, but now that you've mentioned it, maybe i should. I always envy those that learn so fast in so little time, maybe the reason why i don't think about it, is because i'm self taught, and all that i learn i plan by myself. I experiment a lot, and sometimes, they're not that effective, it's a trial and error.
Candra H- i totally agree, i understand being bogged down to all those theory and not drawing to apply them can be so derailing to an artist.
again let me clarify my thoughts, it's not that i'd like to know about all the nerve endings, the names, and other irrelevant details for an artist, it's just that the point i want, is reference validity as just to understand more about the anatomy as a proportion reference, shape and an influence to the figure. I don't plan to know about what artists don't need to know about anatomy.
that's the first thing that came into my mind as well.
Well...your recent post is quite a different from your OP "from the ground up, starting out from bone to bone " and "precise anatomy". That's fine...you've heard a variety of opinions and had some good book recommendations. And of course you can do both...to some degree - that degree varies on your goals and personal tastes. As Bill (Carman) pointed out though - and I hinted at in my first reply, there are time limitations on all of us and the real meat of art is in statement and vision...having something to say. That has a great deal more to do with fundamental art principles than technical nomencalture...that's all I was trying to get across. A certain amount of study and knowledge can help but it is a means to an end and not the end itself.
And as bill618 pointed out...something technical like medical illustration is in a different arena all by itself and of course relies on accurate technical knowledge. That just isn't where most people get started.
Again to paraphrase Carman - make sure you can draw a cone well (and the other basic forms, in perspective) before worrying about phalanges and metatarsals.
Anal plug is the mute button for assholes
Many artists do learn different ways, but the problem with studying a lot of bones is that people forget about proportion and all the other stuff to make a figure look alive. I always felt proportion was more important because it's pretty much the overall figure, you can work in details later. As you get better, you'll understand more details.
It's like people who think they need to paint every strand of hair.
There's also a version for women's strength training, which looks awesome because I always have trouble translating the anatomical diagrams of hulking ripped manly supermen of most textbooks to drawings of petite women. I can't speak to the quality of that one, but I just ordered both of them used for about $10 on the assumption that I've spent more on less in the course of my art education.
My bad, don't look up anal plug.
What you hear is the sound of Google blowing up with all of the anal plug searches.
you know... everything is starting to make sense, maybe i AM doing it wrong in a way or.. just too detailed for now. I'll still try out whatever method i feel like is going to work, whether it's from me, from a book or from others. As i've said its a trial and error for me as i have no clue if what i am doing is going to be right but considering what you guys told me, the time you guys were saying, i guess i was too lax on the idea of learning, i've always believed in the philosophy that "it's okay to learn patiently for something you like". Maybe the goal i have now is too passive. It's like it's my passion and the goal i want to reach is right there, yet i treat it like a hobby.
thank you guys for clarifying that for me.