Anatomy Progress and Practice. Any tips?

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  • #1985068
    Alex
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    May 2021May 2021May 2021May20212020October 2021September 2021November 2021

     

    I have found myself to be extremely interested in the anatomy of the human body and how it all ties together. I’ve always mostly drawn people and over the last year, have really tried to delve more into it and pay attention to what is going on under the surface. The pages with no rhyme or reason are from May, the colored skeleton is from last year,  the male muscle anatomy, dancing skeletons, and pelvic study are from the last few months. I am unsure how to really improve it beyond the day to day practice. Should I focus time and attention on one muscle group at a time or how multiple interact? Has anyone found it beneficial to look into the deeper inner workings and roles of the different muscles, such as where the tendon meets bone, the different muscle forms, and the nuances of the bones? Any suggested study sites would be appreciated!

    #2001705
    JackJack
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    Hey Alex, I was hoping someone else might have chimed in to provide some feedback as I’ve never studied anatomy and can’t be of much use to you.

    However, if you haven’t already listened to it – there’s a Draughtsman podcast on ‘how to learn anatomy’. It might be useful!   (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thh4JXnVtxM&t=2124s). There are also many great resources in NMA.

    One thing I would say is that learning anatomy is usually a means to an end – to improve one’s figure drawing or portraiture. Is this your ultimate goal or are you learning anatomy for its own sake? What are you trying to get out of it? I expect this would inform the answers to your questions.  If it’s the former, then I’d suggest requesting feedback on your final figure drawings, with a focus on anatomical correctness.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #2014142
    Alex
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    Hi Jac!

    Thank you for the recommendation, whether experienced with anatomy studies or not, feedback is always appreciated and I will need to look into that podcast.

    While I certainly do intend to improve my figure drawing and portraiture with practicing anatomy, I am mainly looking into it for its own sake. I know that studies it will help improve my skills overall, however the inner workings of the body are just fascinating to me and I want to be more familiar with them and the nuances of anatomy. I just wonder if looking into the individual muscles and their roles and placements can help my art skill or if it will only contribute to my general knowledge. Ex: Knowing exactly how a single muscle moves and the other muscles that work with that or getting the small details in the bones. The suggestion is greatly appreciated, I’ll start sharing more for criticism.

    Thank you so much for your insight!

    #2016091
    JackJack
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    Hey Alex, I know that studying muscle groups and insertions is considered vital for quality figure drawing. There is a school of thought that promotes just “drawing what you see” without necessarily knowing much of the underlying structures that inform what you’re seeing. But, in my view, this can be inartistic as all art involves design decisions that speak to an idea. How can you design a figure if you’re limited by your ability to only draw what you can see? You’re a slave to nature. For instance, your idea may call for an anatomical feature, hardly present by sight, to be emphasised to make your drawing work (or vice versa, a feature downplayed). Or your idea may call for a chiselled square-ish rendering, or a more curved fluid look – both requiring an understanding of the underlying form to be pulled off correctly.

    So for me, a deep study of anatomy will definitely improve your art skills; technical draughtsmanship, gesture, proportions, composition, design, creating from imagination, and so on. This seems to be the conventional way of thinking in classical art.

    That said, in my view you must employ the study of anatomy (however much it might interest you in its own right) into figure drawing for it to improve… well, your figure drawing. That sounds trite, but we often lose sight of the law of specificity in training. You’ll get better at what you practice. I bet someone with no knowledge of anatomy but 10000 figure drawings under her belt will compose a better figure than someone who has mastered anatomy but never drawn a rendered figure.

    Good luck

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by JackJack.
    #2016335
    Magnar Jarle Olsen
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    suggestions from me would be to take some courses in landscape painting (composition) and/or portrait painting/drawing as well. Learning to paint or draw other things gives you a fresh look at the human body and new ways to interpret its shapes.

    #2022225
    Carlos Perez
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    Hi Alex, I would suggest you study as much anatomy as you are interested in so that you follow your interest and keep your motivation, however, it’s not gonna help you with your training at this stage of your development, anatomy is too complex, better to start simple and build-up.

    You can Study anatomy and on the side study the drawing fundamentals.

    Rendering, Perspective , figure Drawing, Composition.

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