- Lesson details
In this lesson Glenn Vilppu will teach you how to draw legs. You will learn about the anatomy of this region, as well as useful ways to think about the structures three-dimensionally, using live models and clear diagrams for reference.
- Polychromos Pencil – Sanguine
- Drawing Paper
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to show you the essential construction for drawing. You will learn about the anatomy
of each region in addition to learning useful ways to think about the structures three-dimensionally.
Glenn will demonstrate for you over the live model as well as through clear diagrammatical
drawings. By the end of this series, you should have a much firmer grasp on the complexity
of the human figure that can be built upon even further.
In this lesson, Glenn will teach you how to draw the legs and feet.
with is the ends of the bone, the condyles. We have the patella here. We’re looking
at the condyles. This is a point to take into consideration. Most people don’t appreciate
the fact that, if you notice that the figure here, if I take and put the knees together,
which as you’re standing you can put your knees together. So what you have is an angle
from the way the bone goes down to this way. So the actual point here is not a right angle.
There is a change in the surface here. So what we see as this comes down this way, this
now is turning at a different angle. The center of this is taking and coming through and will
correspond now to where the weight is on the figure, not to the outside of the bone, but
to where the trochanter is attached or coming here. So from here to the leg going down is
a straight point. It’s where the pressure is at. That’s where the weight goes. So
when you can put your knees together and then we go off at an angle
and then we go straight down.
So what we’re looking for then, condyles, end of the patella. The angle now across the
ankle. It’s low on the outside, high on the inside. Also, what we look for in, let’s
see, Clay has more bone sticking out here. Let’s look at a profile here of your leg.
Notice that what we have here—can you bend your leg a little bit Clay? Okay, there’s
a ridge that’s taking and going from here and going across. This is the tibial ridge
coming down through here. It’s a triangle shape. Okay, the fibula, the small bone on
the outside of your ankle, is taking and at the rear end attaching here. So again, all
these tendons in here now. These are your biceps of the femur, taking in the long head
of the biceps and the femur attaching at this point.
It’s important to notice now that if you look at the skeletons here, looking at the
back what we see, this is your ischial tuberosity.
This point here from here to here, you can see these
line up. If you take a look at your animals, look at a dog. You will see the bumps that’s
stick out on the rear end of the dog are the ischial tuberosities. Now, these become where
the large muscles are actually attaching, coming down from here at this point. Coming
down, your biceps of the femur, your semimembranosus tendon. The tendons, let’s see the
back now. It might be a little more clearer on you, Tiffany.
Okay, now bend your knee. Now, here are the tendons. Okay, put your foot down a little
bit. Right, okay. The points that we’re talking about, this and that. These are your
semimembranosus tendons. Your sartorius comes down here, your gracilis. A whole group of
muscles take and come down and attach below. This is the long head of the biceps. The corner
here, this becomes like a box. This is a corner that we use. Again, it’s a landmark that
we work with. It’s not quite so obvious on Tiffany, but it’s still there. We can
see the lines right in here that we’re taking and working with. You can see that the curvature
of the bone is much rounded on the inside and really quite straight on the outside.
We’re taking the straightness of this against the curvature of that.
Now, Tiffany, if you can turn around here. This is where a basic—how can I put it?
What we look for, we always talk about the curves on a female. Well, there’s a basic
natural rhythm to the figure. It’s a little more obvious on the female than it is on the
male. We look at the thigh here. See, this is a curve going this way. Now, as we go into
the leg now, let’s bend your leg a little bit, the other one please. Okay. Here you
can see curve, come down this is a curve. This is rounded here. Now, as we go back we
go into the curve of the outside of the calf. So you’ve got a rhythm. This goes down through
here, come through there. We pull down and it actually carries out, and I’ll talk about
this when we’re taking and doing the drawings. You have these elements that you’re working
with. It’s a natural flow of the way we go through it.
Now, as we’re talking about the rhythms, the curvatures that we work with on the figure,
look at the shape of the ankle. The way this fits over, it’s like a cam. We can feel
the shape low on the outside, high on the inside. It’s fitting in here. You can feel
the foot works going through here. We get the way the heel takes and comes out, and
I’ll talk about this in taking and doing the drawing as we go through the parts here.
There are a few things that generally people don’t really, aren’t conscious of. First
of all, we tend to think of the legs as being something that goes straight down. They don’t.
Notice the way she is standing that actually she can put her knees together. She can actually
put her ankles together. What happens is if you look at the skeleton here the line from
here coming down then from there, this is not a right angle. The joint is not at right
angles. It’s off at a different axis this way. Then it goes straight down. The alignment
is really one from here up to where the actual socket of the bone is. This is your line.
This is where everything rotates from. This is where you bend your leg from, this point
right here. So when you’re looking at her leg now what we see is a line moving into
the knee. Then we see a straight line going down.
Now, drawing wise what we focus on is the corners of the bones just like in the wrist.
We work with the condyles. You notice that the bone on the inside, the joint here is
very, very round. On the outside this is pretty much a straight line. When we come down to
the feet notice that the angle across here it’s high on the inside and low on the outside.
So we get this kind of a long, and the fit fits into this thing. It rotates going around
and over that surface. Also, that you have the joint here. This is your fibula coming in.
It’s at the back end of your tibia.
Now, at this point here also what we have is an angle. This is the tibial ridge. This
bump here, it’s really referred to as the kneeling point. As we go from the fibula back
here at the back end of the tibia. This is the tibial ridge. And this point right here
is referred to as the kneeling point. In other words, when you take and bend down
and kneel that’s the part that hurts.
The condyle is here. So you have to take and think of this, then you’re going back, and
then you have the corners back through here. Also, notice that the bone here, we tend to
see this as a curved surface. There is a little bit of a curve if you look at the way this
comes across, but the bone is really straight. Now, as we were looking at our female model,
I was talking about how the leg goes at an angle, and then it goes down.
She was very simple, very clean and simple shapes. Now, when you look at him you can
see how obvious this roundness of the inside of the knee, and we can feel the pull. The
kneeling point here. Then this is the patella out on the end out here. That’s this knob
right here. You have all kinds of fat pads and bursae. Bursa is a water bag, you might
say, that takes and is a cushion. We have bursae all over the body that take and help
protect tendons. We have this part here. We have the, the bursae are fitting in underneath.
But look at his leg here, the shape that you have. This is the vastus medius muscle. Okay,
there are three vastus muscles, or I should say two vastus. Medius, which is the shape.
This is what is referred to as a teardrop shaped muscle. And then you have the vastus
lateralis, which is the outside muscle. The vastus lateralis is actually the biggest muscle
you have in your body. If you’re going to be a cannibal, that’s where you go. But
you can feel these are pulling down on top of that, which is the only muscle of that
group that actually attaches to the pelvis. These two take and attach only to the femur
here. Now, the rectus femoris is on top of that. That actually goes in and attaches inside
and here. That’s the only one. It doesn’t attach up here. Here is your corner of the
pelvis. None of this stuff attaches there.
Okay, so we’ve got this play of these muscles. Now, we use, and in the drawing I’ll show
this more clearly, we have a natural rhythm that takes place. You have a curve on the
outside into a curve that goes—and this just pulls right into the shin. You notice
I was talking about the fact that at this point here there is no bone. There is no muscle.
That right there is bone. You have this ridge of the shin. The way the curve goes tends
to give us the feeling that this is bent more. In fact, artists in the past have gone to
great extremes of maybe pushing it too much. What we end up with is sort of almost a bow-legged
look. In fact, look at some of the paintings by Rubens. You can see that. Okay, again notice
that the ankle bone on the outside is low. On the inside it’s high.
the iliac crest point here. We think of the pubic arch here. Your trochanter basically
lines up at that point here. Remember, I was talking about the difference in the fact that
the leg takes and goes at an angle this way. When it comes down to your knee joint this
is not at right angles. It goes this way so this comes through. Then the foot or the lower
leg takes and goes in this direction. So this joint then is actually lining up with where
your joint is of the leg into the pelvis. That is an important element to take into
consideration. Now, the overall pattern is, and this you can think of artistically, aesthetically.
What we have is a curve on the outside. This is more prominent in the female because the
female has this little extra layer of fat coming through. Remember that the inside of
the bone is round. I feel this coming through, and the muscles actually are taking and coming
across from here coming down through so we get this curved surface coming through. Then
on the curve on the inside, straight on the outside. Then we go to the muscles in the
lower leg. It’s curved high on the outside, low on the inside. Remember, the shin bone
tends to, in other words, in other words the ridge of the tibia tends to have a slight
curve to it. It comes off. The ankle is high on the inside and low on the outside. The
foot then fits into this. This is a basic pattern. Also, in here we have—I guess this
is maybe a little too far over here. Let’s get a little closer. We have all your abductors
coming through, and so this becomes again sort of a straight against the curve,
leads the eye through this.
Now, let’s take and break these muscles down a little bit, starting with the end of
the pelvis. Your trochanter is coming down out here. This is the end of the iliac crest.
This is your pelvis. Come through. Bone coming out. Now, first coming from the inside of
the pelvis, which we see actually little. First of all, you have the ligaments coming
down through here, going up this way. This is the pubic or the point here is where all
of your muscles are taking and attaching, coming down here. Okay, the pubic arch here.
Now, we take and coming from the underside here you have a whole series of muscles from
the underside of the pelvis coming over and attaching across this way. Then you have coming
from the underside of the pelvis. Let me do this as a profile at the same time. It’ll
make more sense. You have the pelvis going through here. The pubic arch is here. The
underside of the pelvis is going back at an angle.
So from the underside here you have all these abductors which are filling in, in the sense
you have a triangle because we’re talking about the way the leg goes off at an angle
and then comes down. Coming from the pelvis then we have this triangle that is taking
and being filled in by your abductors. So now the two big muscles that we’ve talked
about, one was the largest that we actually have in the body, your vastus lateralis. This
is taking and all this attaching through here. This is a big muscle. That’s what gives
us the shape here. The female actually has an extra layer of fat pads on the thigh which
even makes that shape a little bit more clear. Then on the inside you have the vastus medius
muscle, which takes and comes down. On the male model you can see the very prominent
shape very, very clear. Then coming to the patella here is these two muscles actually
have the common tendon with the rectus femoris. The rectus femoris is the only one of these
muscles that actually attaches to the pelvis.
These abductors taking and coming from underneath the pubic arch, coming from this point here,
are taking and filling in this shape. But you also have, there is a whole series of
other muscles that come from there too. One if coming from the same point here as a gracilis.
This comes down and attaches below the knee. Let’s take and draw this again a little
bit larger so I can take and see this knee area a little bit more clearly.
But, before we do that, there are two other muscles, one that attaches to the same place.
It’s actually the one that is on top of these other muscles. And that’s the sartorius
muscle. This is the longest muscle that you have in your body. That’s taking and pulling
from the end of the iliac crest. This is taking and coming down, through, and here. This goes
behind and comes down and attaches in here. We’ll have on the outside we have the tensor.
The tensor cuts across this way. Again, this is a rather large muscle, depending on the
individual. Notice that what we have here, here is the joint. Here is the pubic arch.
Again, I’ve mentioned this earlier. This is actually the point where you raise or you
bend your leg. So what we have here as we’re looking at our model you will see that the
shape that’s created on the outside tends to be straight. Then we can feel the way these
muscles now our coming down. So you get a straight and then a curve coming down. So
if we take and end up looking from the back, all of this again, there is no muscle over
your hip bone. The muscles are the gluteus muscles. In other words, your hip bone is
right here. You have your vastus medius and minimus and maximus taking and pulling up.
The medius is taking and coming through, and it all comes down and attaches through here.
The gluteus maximus is starting from here and pulling off the sacrum. This is coming all the way
down and attaching through here. Notice that your buttocks muscles are considerably lower.
Okay, gluteus maximus takes and comes down considerably lower than your pubic arch.
Now from the front we don’t see any of this. All we see is your gluteus medius, which is
the shape coming down through here. Now, we were talking in the front here, we have this
tensor muscle. What the tensor is, it’s the tensor of the fascia latae. Okay, what’s
the fascia latae? First, let’s just take and come through feeling the pattern again.
Curve, really straight. We take and pulling into the calf. Again, notice this is a very
standard rhythm that we start to feel through this whole process. It actually carries right
into the foot. Now, to take and explain what this fascia latae is and how this tensor stuff
works, I take and let’s draw the leg more of a three-quarter with the leg bent.
Coming through this way. Coming out to the end of the patella. Box form. We have the condyles
coming through. Again, your trochanter let’s say is right here. Coming through your end
of the pelvis is here. On the outside of the leg going over your vastus muscle, in other
words, your large vastus muscles are taking and coming in a point about like this. Coming
through. Remember, they are attaching going to the patella. The rectus femoris on top,
going through and coming through here. So what happens is that on the outside here you
have radiating from the surface, you’re looking at your anatomy books and you’ll
see this is rather large, white area that takes and comes down the side of the leg.
Now, what you find happens here is that this is often very misleading. The large white
area coming down often is confused as a tendon for your vastus lateralis, which it’s not,
obviously. Okay, so you end up actually two tendons looking there. What we have is coming
to the fibula, which is at the end of the tibia, and that’s coming to the outside
of the leg, the bone here. You have the biceps of the femur, which is as I mentioned attach
to your ischial tuberosity at the back of the pelvis. This is coming down. So now we
have these two lines that are coming through here. So often these points now, they come
through, the iliotibial track is attaching actually to the tibial—excuse me.
This comes down, the fascia latae is attaching to the ridge of the tibia. So this is coming through
into here. The biceps of the femur is attaching to the head of the bone in here. So these
are this line. If you turn this around, we turn this around—oh first we have to go back.
The tensor is the form that’s coming through and this is tensor of the fascia latae
or iliotibial track. This line is coming across and we can feel these muscles now are going
in between at this point here. We have this flat area shape, and we’ll go to the curve.
We’re coming through. Now, if we turn this around and look from the back—this is where
I was talking about, that we use those tendons as a way of describing a direction of the
forms in space. This leg is going in. It’s a cylinder going in. And we’re pulling the leg coming back
this way. Okay, on the outside you would have the biceps of the femur coming through.
And on the inside you would have the tendons of the semimembranous, the tenuous.
And even the Sartorius coming through. These are coming through. Now, as I was pointing
out on the skeleton your calf muscles, here’s your calf muscle. These are going inside.
We can feel this going inside this pulling through. Again, I’m drawing from the model.
This will become very obvious. You can feel the shape. As we’re going through—so now
these are, all this stuff is going behind that tendon going through. Now as this leg
comes down this way and you have your fibula coming down to here, your tibia is in here,
coming through. So as I mentioned we have the soleus muscle. The soleus muscle is underneath
your calf muscle. This is a large, large muscle. It really gives us much of the shape. If I
draw it in here you see the soleus as this big muscle underneath the calf muscle, and
it’s coming down in a tendon coming to the end of the heel.
Okay, your calf muscles are on top of that, and they have the common tendon that we refer
to as your Achilles tendon. So the shape as you’re coming down you think as this.
You feel that fitting on top. We can feel the bulge underneath. We can feel the shape.
I made a point out of trying to point your peroneus muscles.
These are pulling from this area right in here.
the arms. These create sort of a boundary between the back of the leg and the front
of the leg. These are going behind your ankle bone. Coming through and then going down and
attaching. There is a long one and a short one. This is the short one. The long one goes
underneath and attaches underneath the big toe. Then you have all of the other extenders.
Feel the common tendons that are taking and coming through and pulling down. The straps
literally wrap around the leg holding all this stuff place.
Okay, from the front what we have, and I’ll just add that to what we were drawing over
here. We have the, okay, here’s where the bone would be. This straight is the biceps
of the femur. Here we would maybe see the iliotibial track coming through. The patella
may come down to the kneeling point here, and we would see fullness of that coming through.
Right at this point here is where we deal with the tibialis anterior muscle. This is
a fairly prominent shape, and if there is anything that gives a shape to the front of
the leg here, that’s your tibialis anterior coming down. This is pulling this area here.
As we look at the model you saw that this is a strong shape that came across and going over.
That went underneath and attaches below the big toe. That was mating—I shouldn’t
say mating. It goes in conjunction with the peroneus muscles, the muscles that we were
just talking about here that take and come down, go behind the ankle bone and go down
and attach. This is your peroneus here. The short one is this. The long one goes underneath
and attaches to the big toe. Well, the two of them if you can visualize this going behind,
they’re both going over and attaching underneath the foot so that when you raise the foot up
you’re doing this. These are the muscles that have an awful lot to do with raising
the foot. Also they take and rotate the foot. They’re taking and rotating it from one
side to the other. These are very prominent. They are paired with each other so you have
one on the outside and one coming down the inside. That really gives us a basic breakdown
as we look at this.
So you can see here, now let’s just take and add the tensor coming across the top.
We can feel the rectus femoris going between that and the sartorius going down the other
side. The rectus femoris on the top, the vastus lateralis underneath, and the medius on the
other side is coming to the common tendon across the knee. We have then the tendon pulls
all the way down to the kneeling point down here. You have fat pads building up but we
feel the corners of the bone on both sides as we then build these volumes up and go over
that surface. The buttocks would be taking and coming through here underneath, and here
we would have the vastus medius coming through. Just to clarify where that buttocks muscle
comes from, if we look at the back of the pelvis, the dimples are here, going back up.
They feel the sacrum coming down. Your ischial tuberosities are in line with the points on
his pelvis. This is taking and now you’re coming across.
Here is where your trochanter is. Your gluteus muscles are taking and pulling from this surface
here. Gluteus maximus. So there is a break at this point. On our male model you will
see that or maybe not. We’re taking and thinking this is coming through. Gluteus medius
us taking in this whole area here. They together create the sense of the feeling of the flank
or of the buttocks. This plane that goes through here. Trochanter is sticking out. It’s coming in.
The tensor coming across through here, and then your vastus and rectus femoris and
then the back attaching at that point right there. Your biceps of the femur, semimembranosus
tendon. These are then taking and going down into the two sides behind the knee. Okay,
that gets us started here. Then we’ll take and look at the model. Drawing from the model
you’ll be able to see this a bit more how it’s applied.
Let’s start out with a bit lighter color. I’m going to focus on blocking in the whole
process here. You can see I’m taking, okay, think of the corner of the pelvis coming across.
I’m mentally constructing even if I can’t see things. I build the figure. I start out
first simply blocking in placement. Okay, I’m going to take and draw the legs here.
I’ll draw the foot as a separate element here. That’s going to run off the page,
so I’m just going to take and leave that. Coming through. Visualizing here. Now as I
do this I’m taking and seeing this leg coming forward, seeing this first as a cylinder.
I’m drawing, again, I’m drawing this a little larger than I would or darker than
I normally would. We can feel the large abductors coming through. He’s seated on a stool so
we’re getting some compression in here. We think of where the tensor would be coming
in, rectus abdominis coming down to the pubic arch. The genitals would be in here. Come
over that surface. Come down, end of the knee over there. Look across. Get proportions.
Come through. Feel the tendons coming in. Then we’re taking and dropping down to the
Okay, here this is really nice because what we’re getting is sort of a really extreme
sort of foreshortening. The model is really well-developed, so we’re getting, in a sense
here you can see the exaggeration that we tend to sometimes think about in terms of
a curve in the bone. But it’s not really; the bone isn’t curved. It’s the impression
that we get because of the way the tendons and one form leads into another. There is
a famous story about Peter Paul Rubens and a large painting. He had done this painting.
It was a big battle scene, and there were some figures hanging off of a bridge. And
the emissary for some duke that was paying the bills took and came and he said, well,
the duke is not very artistically developed, I guess. I’m not quite sure what the terms
were he used. But he asked Rubens if he could take and change these curved lines on his
figures’ legs as they came down. So they did and they looked distorted. Rubens told
him, well, that’s convention. It’s what’s going on and, you know, etcetera, etcetera.
I don’t think he did change them.
Notice what I’m doing. I’m going to keep going over volumes. We can feel where—we
don’t see the sartorius here, but the Sartorius would be coming across going over. We can
feel the tendons coming across. We can feel the fullness of the bone coming through the
patella out on the end. The kneeling point is clear. We feel the gastrocnemius coming
down behind into the Achilles tendon, and we’re coming through.
Now, I’m going to take and shift over to a little bit darker. So now when I’m drawing
this I’m very conscious that the patella is out here. This is the corner. This is like
the end of a box. I want to feel the form. So as I’m pushing the form and you’re
drawing the shape of the patella, but behind that is the actual condyle. This is the end
of the femur, and it’s sitting. I’m just going to push this a little bit here.
I'm creating a little bump there to clarify the fact that it is sitting on the tibia.
We can come across the other side. There is a corner here we can feel the bone at this point right
here. There is a corner as they’re coming across. In here we can feel all of the tendons,
all of the tendons coming from the quadriceps coming down to what would be the kneeling
point in here. But all of this going along the ridge, the ridge of the tibial ridge coming
down. This creates a very, very strong plane that’s going in this way. That is where
all of these muscles that are coming down from behind here. Your semimembranosus tendon
and sartorius, the gracilis; these are taking from here. Now if we could see going back
in, and sometimes on the female model is fairly clear—or the male too. But you can see there
is usually a corner right at that point right there.
Then as this, in other words, we can feel at this point where the ligaments would be
coming down. Then we can see the abductors would be pulling from that point out. This
is coming down and then coming through. But here, again, we make a point out of seeing
that this is in front and this is going back in.
We’re going over that surface back through,
coming in. So we can see that these abductors are way behind. This is going around. As we
come around. Now, what you’re seeing here as we come through here, you’re feeling
the action. You can feel the bone. You can feel the corners of the bone here. You can
see the vastus medius coming up and pulling in front and we’re going back. We can feel
the head of the patella going back in the corner, coming across the tendons. So as the
muscles go back I’m going over the surface of the form as we go back in.
As we come across here we can feel the head of that ridge behind that. I really don’t
even see it. We just get a hint of the fibula back here. We can feel these forms going underneath.
We can feel the tendons are coming across, through, fitting in. All of this now is going
back. The vastus lateralis is really full now. This is the pull coming around. And so
I’m pulling around the outside edges coming forward. The muscles on top coming through.
That’s going to attach. We’ve got, this is a corner here. Feel this corner going back in.
You can see I’m emphasizing the three-dimensional quality of the forms that I’m drawing. And
going through, the rectus femoris here is relaxed, but I can still take and create a
sense of where that is going to be going back. At this point we don’t see it, but we can
see the sartorius on one side and the tensor on the other. The gluteus muscles, in other
words, your greater trochanter would be back inside in here. The vastus medius through
here. The buttocks taking and compressing and seated on that base going underneath,
behind. And so as I’m doing the drawing then I’m constantly building the anatomy.
Now, as we go down into the leg or the foot we can see—you have to keep in mind we’re
really looking down. We have this corner here that’s coming forward. All of this going
down. And in fact, I could justify dropping this all in tone
just to give us a sense of a corner.
medial head, through. The lateral out here coming from behind. Then underneath that we’re
actually seeing the soleus through, and we start to pick up these forms here now. As
we come down into this point here, we really think of this as a cylinder going down. And
as these forms are coming across in this way, and they would be working with the tone going
across this way to show the top edge of that muscle coming out from behind.
Okay, so now as we come through, we’ve been going down to the bottom. It’s like a cylinder.
I’m going to think of the foot as coming out this way. We can feel the tendons coming
through. Before we get to the foot here let’s take and deal with these as a series. I’m
going to draw over the surface coming down. Shin bone coming out. Then we have the tibialis
anterior and we have our common tendons coming through and finally back to the soleus and
the gastrocnemius. See what I’m doing, wrapping around. So if this is coming down we would
be taking and going over that surface. I feel these forms pulling through, overlapping.
Coming in, through. Build from behind, in. As we come into the foot here is where we
take and feel the fullness of the shape here. And then coming down here we want to feel
the—in fact, as I draw this section right here what I’m doing is, we talked about
the fact that we have the vastus, I should say the tibialis anterior actually wraps around
and goes underneath and attaches below the big toe. What I do is as I’m drawing this
I’m taking and draw this to where I’m actually feeling, I feel the pencil going
underneath. And then I pull the forms over the top. So I’m going through and under,
coming out, feeling the end of the bone, feeling here, now your big toe. This is a point where
a lot of people confuse the big toe tendon with the tibialis anterior cause that takes—they
cross right at this point right here. So they tend to get confused.
Now, you have fullness. This is like a ramp coming through here. We have somewhat the
same situation as I’m talking about the hand. First we’re going over the surface
of the form. Feel the shaft going in. Then we take and feel the toe coming out. And we’re
going over the surface, going through. I would take and open up the space which I do not
see. I would open up the space between the toes to take and show form. Again, that was
the same thing with the fingers. I give a bit of a sense of the shape of the form and
then come through. So then we build now. As this comes down we can feel the pad underneath
carrying us through, under. And we build and build the forms one on top of the other. As
we go back in, eventually we get back to where the heel is. But all of this is really going
back in. We take and think about the corners going down, feeling the volume through.
Let’s take and look at the other side a little bit here. Here this flat area, this
is where we would be creating by the tensor. Then the rectus femoris coming from in front
of that. The sartorius—in this case we don’t see it, but it would be taking and coming
down here and going below the knee. Now, as we take and draw the end here, first consideration
is I’m drawing the actual sense of the bone. I’m feeling the bone. It’s taking and
coming through. Thinking of the patella out on the end fitting up through here, and then
we have these sitting on the tibia, and that has a ridge that’s coming across. We have
the kneeling point right here. You can see the tendons. Here’s where you get that whole
group of tendons coming through and attaching below the point here. There you can see we
get through the belly of the semimembranosus tendon coming up until we get into the compression.
The abductors are creating a shape in here like this. I’m going over the surface. We
can feel where we’re going off of that surface, pulling down, coming through. Now as you look
at the model here you can see what we have. There is a plane here. We can see there is
a corner coming through. In other words, I can just emphasize this shape coming through
on the side. Then we have the leg slightly tilted so that if we were to draw a box we
would see an angle going through, something like that.
As I come around I take and I focus on the corners of the bone. Feel the end. Feel that
point here. There is a fullness underneath the ankle bone or underneath the patella here.
This is where you have fat pads. You have bursae. Here we can feel the tendon coming
down to the kneeling point. All this is sitting. The next big shape that we see here, this
is the end of the tibia. This is a plane. This is the bone going down underneath this
way. We can feel the tendons coming across, and they’re all taking and attaching. At
this time we can see two of them. But part of one of these is the sartorius, which is
coming through this gap in here. So what we have is this belly here of your large abductors
coming through and filling in that triangle, like I said. We can feel this stuff coming
over, coming in, pulling through. We can feel the tendon coming out from underneath.
So at this point then here is where we get the gastrocnemius. First we have to finish
feeling the end in here. We can see the kneeling point here. Then we start to work into the
shin here. Now, here is where we get the gastrocnemius pulling underneath, behind, coming through
and going over that surface. We can feel this coming down, and we can see the bare bone
of the shin coming through until we come down to where the ankle bone, the Achilles tendon
coming down behind. Okay, so we’re constantly going over the surface, these forms as you’re
building it up. So I’m constantly drawing anatomy, but I do it in a way where I’m
thinking of the three-dimensional. I’m thinking of boxes, cylinders, and spheres, and then
applying the details to those simple forms.
Now I’m going to focus on going down from the knee down to the foot.
Let’s block this thing in really quick.
Now the model has really strong feet to the point that when you look at this that it really
brings in the reality is that the foot, as you see here—I’m going to push this a
little bit stronger so you can see it a little more.
Okay, now what this shows right here in that simple shape that we got going here, and this
is something that I don’t think we think about very consciously, but you can see that
is really an arch. We call it the arch. But the idea is that if you think about it we
have all this weight that is coming down, and one of the most strongest architectural
shapes is an arch. And so you have this arch. You have all this weight coming down, and
that arch is holding up all that weight. So that’s what you’re taking and considering
now. As we come back now I’m going back up here, I’m taking the patella up here
and coming in. I’m drawing the bone again coming through. We can feel the corner.
I’m drawing this rather quickly now. Coming through you can feel the kneeling point coming
through. We can feel a slight swelling from the tibialis anterior as we come down. We
can see where the gastrocnemius calf muscles are going underneath and back, pulling through
in here and underneath that we have the soleus, the very clear shape underneath. This is coming
down to your Achilles tendon. So the shapes that we’re talking about now, if you take
and visualize the ankle here, and I’ll draw this a little bit even though I’m not seeing
this right now. But if you think of the ankle bone as fitting, it goes over the shape here.
I’m taking this as a corner. Go over the point here. This becomes the anatomy, but
it’s also a clear way of taking and drawing it, so as I’m going over that surface I’m
going over, and as I mentioned earlier I’m taking and I draw all the way
underneath to get that arch.
You can see now on the model here how clear this shape and these forms are going back
in. We can see that pulling in at that point, and then we can feel the pad of the foot underneath.
We can see how this carries through all the way to the other side. We have the arch. We
can feel the calcaneus bone sticking out right at that point. All of this then becomes the
pad of the food. From here we can feel the stretching of that Achilles tendon going up.
We can see how full that soleus muscle is going under. Keeping in mind, though, as your
drawing the calf that these are corners. This comes down. What creates the shape there is
that as the muscle comes down and attaches to its tendon that is actually the boundary
of that muscle. That’s sitting on top. The tendon continues on down. We can feel here.
Coming in you can feel the bone sticking out, going around then end of the bone. You can
feel the pull. Tendons coming across and over that surface.
Remember there are straps that go around over the surface that are holding all these things
in place. So you’re building, coming from here and you can see the corners of the bone.
You’re always dealing with the bone and feeling that the ridge is coming through.
The way the shape is coming in, we build. As we come through and we don’t have to
do this separately diagramming and talking about the feet. As we come through you can
feel the pad of the foot. We can feel the knuckles. We treat the knuckles just like
we did the hand. Corners coming through, the palm of the hand or the bottom of the foot
is larger than the top coming through.
Actually, I have a photograph given to me by a friend of mine who has a photograph of
a man who had lost his thumb in an industrial accident. They took the big toe and replaced
the thumb with the big toe. It works fine if you don’t mind having a hairy big toe—big
thumb I should say. But it actually works fine and is actually a fairly common thing
to do for that type of a situation.
So thinking roughly from the waist, a little above. You can think of the rib cage as taking
and tilting. We take and come through. We can feel the general sense of the flow of
the figure. In other words, what I’m doing is taking and just feeling the natural rhythm
as we go through. And come across, through.
Now the model is really slender so what I’m
going to do is I’ll start with her, and then I’ll add a little extra, sort of exaggerating
a little bit. It’s a natural flowing movement. That’s what makes the gracefulness of a
woman is sort of the flow of how we go from one form to the next.
Now, taking and starting all the way up and hitting the corner of the pelvis coming through.
Think of the way we’re coming down, pubic arch would be about here. The trochanter up
in here. So what you can see as we come from the waist this is really, she has a nice contrast.
Even as slender as she is there is a lot of contrast between the waist and the hips. Although
the hips are not the widest part on a female. It’s the thighs that are the wide part.
So we can feel the flow from here. So you can see how square this actually becomes at
that point. So here is where you’re feeling, I’ve talked about the tensor, but this is
where the tensor is, creating that straight shape.
The pubic arch is here so this is actually where you’re bending your legs. The leg
will be bending from this point. We would feel the tendons coming down from here. Now
you can see where we would come through. If I take and draw a straight line from here
down to behind the knee and feeling that line there you can see that right at this point
now we can feel the fullness. We can feel the pulling out of that thigh. Now part of
this muscle. Part of it is the extra natural fat pad that women have. So you can see that’s
the shape now. So as I come out now what’s really clear is you can really see the end
of the knee. See how in contrast to the male model. She’s very, very, these are simple
shapes. That’s why originally when I started talking about the bones and stuff we look
at the female first because the bones are the things that really come forward more.
Notice that we don’t have any exaggerated sense of where we’re coming to the base
here. We don’t see the big, she doesn’t have a big gnarly kneeling point. But we do
feel these forms coming in front. We do see the corners coming down. This is the patella.
We barely see anything of the bone behind that. Just get a slight hint as I go behind.
And from there we follow this coming through. The leg is going up. You can see there is
a tone as we take and we come through. This would be going all the way inside. This is
where the sartorius would be coming. Then we have the abductors over here. This is again
a slender little pulling coming though, but it’s going behind. So again, the common
theme I’m always making now is we’re talking about the overlapping of the forms and feeling
and going over the surface as you’re drawing. It’s going over the surface. You can feel
the pull now. Now we can, you can see the vastus lateralis coming through. It is pulling
through. We can feel the pull underneath that.
This is probably right here that pull, it probably is the iliotibial track although
we don’t see it very prominently. We can also feel it coming down over the ridge of
the patella, and it’s very subtle. We can barely see it at all. So with that very, very
simplified form. As we go from the gastrocnemius coming out from behind. Here is where I look
to where I’m going. Coming down to the heel we can feel that there is a slight pull. Again,
it’s a slender shifting that’s going on. Come through and feel the heel coming out.
I come down. On the inside it’s an overlapping. It’s barely happening here. We can just see.
Having looked at the male and how extreme these forms were, this is where you take and
you know it’s there. Once you know it’s there you can draw it. You come through you’ll
actually be able to see it. So I’m starting to pull these forms through. We can feel the,
I’m going to make this a little more stronger in the back, feeling that Achilles tendon
coming through. We can feel the ankle bone that’s coming out. You can see the end of
these forms coming down. Fitting in and you think of a bit of a folding here. We feel
the ankle bone on the inside. Then we look at the shape of the foot. Very simple.
Very simple, clean foot. Very, very simple. The biggest difficulty with drawing feet is they
draw too many bumps. She is pretty much devoid of a bunch of bumps.
Nice, clean simple shape that we’re looking at.
Now, the point I wanted to make here with the foot was that—in the lesson on drawing
feet I’ll go into this more extensively. But the idea that the foot is really very,
very simple shape. You can almost think of it as a right angle triangle that we’re
fitting into it. As you look at her foot you see that this, you can take a put a ruler
on there. There are no bumps happening there. It’s all perfectly straight. You come down
and you want to feel this. As you’re doing this you constantly are taking and visualizing
the really simple, the really, really simple shapes that we’re taking and working with
just a right angle triangle coming through. In other words, what happens is we tend to
over exaggerate all of the little bumps that do take place. So we come through, go around
the corner, coming in, going through. Coming in. What I’m doing is I’m making this
starting with a straight line. Then I’m coming in and I’m barely, barely changing that.
It’s just every so subtle. Then I can come back in. Even the little toe is sticking
out. The tendency is to exaggerate these things way, way too much. The main point here then
just in drawing this, we want to feel a very, very simple, very simple shape. I’m just
going to block this in a little bit, and then we’ll talk about it in
dealing with the feet and hands. Okay.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview49sNow playing...
1. Intro to legs and feet12m 22sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Drawing the leg and understanding anatomy15m 27s
3. Continuing the anatomy of the legs15m 4s
4. Creating the shapes of the legs15m 58s
5. Female and male differences8m 58s