- Lesson Details
In week five, Steve Huston will teach you techniques for simplifying and constructing hands and feet. These complex structures are often overwhelming and many artists resort to hiding them or copying from reference. Steve will show you how to use the concepts of construction, design, mechanics, as well as aesthetics to create beautiful hands and feet in your artwork.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
hands and feet, get that with the ankles and wrists, that kind
of thing. We'll move through that and then we're going to go into
the sesthetics. We're going to look at some Old Masters, see
what they did to play with it, how they dealt with the anatomy,
how they changed the anatomy, how we can take this stuff and
submerge it into a beautiful drawing, and hopefully more
importantly start taking those first steps, or maybe even a
little farther stepping than that, into our own styles.
Transcription not available.
so when we look at our
hands and the feet we'll do also, remember we have the one single
and then we have the two lower bones. And this allows
for this unique articulation. It's just a hinge joint, a limited
joint. But with that radius creating the wrist and the ulna
creating the elbow joint, we have this really Joint, we have this really
interesting articulation. And this is one place where the
skeleton is put together well, you can really feel that
pronation and supination. Now notice this little finger bone
here, this little process, that blocks us from - I guess here - blocks us
moving that way, there's no flexibility that way or very
little. There's a lot this way though because it can fall off
this and notice that the ulna is set back a little bit. So it
allows for a nice move and artists have used that throughout
the centuries to create this lovely beautiful line. You'll
see it in the Renaissance Art and all sorts of stuff. There's all
these beautiful rhythms of arm into hand getting past that
thumb. Now notice the bone structure here, we have these
little pebbly bones called the carpels.
And then we have the sticks that go beyond that. These are
called the metacarpals. This together ,carpal and metacarpal
that creates the back of the hand. And if you feel in there,
you can feel those metacarpals in there and you can even feel
the carpals here not quite as easily, but you can find them.
So there's our back of the hand. We're going to structure
that as one big shape without the thumb and then we're going
to add the fingers, phalanges has.
in here. The phalanges I should say.
Here. And notice that each finger including the little
finger has one, two, three little sticks added on here and
so each has the three joints. If we come over to the thumb now,
it's a little crazy. It's much thicker, notice how thick it is
compared to these guys because it's on its own. This one
structure has to be able to work against these four
together. So it has to be more robust. And that allows because
it's opposing, that allows it to be a gripping structure, a vice,
pincers, pliers. That kind of thing
gives us all those possibilities for the tool and
it's that opposable thumb that gives us so much - so many
possibilities with the hand here.
What we're going to think of
is this is really just one, two, three, phalanges too,
but it doesn't have the metacarpal. That's the easiest
way to think of that. Instead of starting my finger at the end
of the back of the hand, we're going to start the thumb at the
end of the wrist. So your four fingers start at the end of the
back of the hand, the thumb starts at the wrist, and that
allows it to be opposable. Now notice that it's very - we
got our thin skin and we can get right to the tendons
and right to those bones under the surface. There's not much
there to protect it.
Notice also that we have extra skin on the back here and that
allows us to articulate that. So that extra skin gives us the
mobility to move it down, which is the only way it's going to
go. These are hinge joints too basically and so we need to be
able to close that joint. We need the extra material there
too so it doesn't get bound up. My shirts stuck, I can't of my shirts stuck. I can't
bend over. That shirt I need some loose material to be able to
make that flex. So that's going to create this
loose skin, going to create these wrinkles. We're going to
use those. They're going to be useful in our drawings.
If we flip the hand over now
we'll notice something very different. Very padded. Even
the ends are padded, we have the fingerprints there.
Fingerprints are not - biology didn't create fingerprints so
we can be identified by the FBI, fingerprints are for traction.
So you'll notice if you have to turn a page it's easier to turn
a page of paper, you get a grip on that slippery surface. You
can turn it. If you try and do this, whether this hard surface
doesn't give you the traction. So we have the
texture of those and we have the soft padding to do two
things: it grips better and it protects, it takes impact. And
so we have the pads here to protect these delicate - look at
how fragile these things are. We have the padding there so
that when it impacts it's protected and when it grabs it
grips, so it's doing both those things. So this side is going
to look very different
in character than this side because they have a completely different Has have a completely different
function. And so when I start looking at the the pads and you
can see, you can feel this, is isn't fat that's all muscle. That's a
very strong muscles, called the thenar eminence. And that's to
allow this great movement. So what we're going to want to do
see how this stuff works.
And we're going to find that between each joint we're going
to have a swelling
and it's kind of a dog bone shape, all these are dog bones.
They're thin and they get thick at the ends. And again just
like the tibia and the femur, we get a nice and the femur we get a nice
broad surface to articulate and to move as it was designed to
move, that big thickening of bones, both bones getting
thicker and hitting at the end, plus the tendon going over
the top is going to mean each time we begin a new part, a new
structure. When have a swelling at that joint and we're
going to use that swelling of the joint because we're going to join because we're going to
move along that part and we're going to swell up over the joint and
quite often the articulated joint and we're going to go
into the new direction, the new structure and get this lovely
wave. So one of the defining features of the hand is every
time we get to a joint it's going to swell and then fall and
swell and fall and we're going to - we can use that
throughout the body in fact. Oftentimes the joints have a
thicker muscle structure or a heavier bone structure that
swells that jointed area and that creates us lovely wave.
Now it's not the fundamental design that we were interested
in, it's a secondary series of gestures. So we don't want to
focus on the contour first and get it to wobble because we can do
a wobble like a corrugated roof. It'll still be straight
design. We want to make sure we get the big structure first and
then we're going to - when we get into these areas when you get
to secondary detail and these wonderful rhythms will pick up
that we can really play up or if we want we can play Down.
Transcription not available.
we're gonna lower it down a little bit here.
So if this is the thumb side,
this is a little finger side,
the wrist is going to sit here.
Here's the radius.
Here's the ulna.
will pop out there, the carpals sit in here. Those little
tic-tac-toe set of bones, little pebbly Bones.
Like so. It's very much like you draw for the rib cage. It's a
little longer than it is wide, something like that. If you
split that in half and make the thumb side half a little fatter,
the little finger side a little smaller, that's a good way to
split your finger. Split that half in half, split this
side in half.
And then this would be our
index finger, middle finger,
which is about as long
as the back of the hand, ring finger,
and little finger.
And notice that the fingers
flow together. You can pick up a gestural arc between the
fingers and that can be a great way to show how they
and yet have this separate structure that has a rhythm
together. And notice that the back of the hand rhythm of the
knuckles and the first joint rhythm of those and then the
second joint and then the ends each can have
this connectivity there.
Like so. So once you are move into articulation,
you could draw all these little sticks.
And it can get - it can throw you if you don't start
thinking of them
as a grouping as well.
So it helps to keep that big picture idea.
Now the fingers all start here, thumb starts way
And just like these have a knuckle,
this will have a knuckle here. That's where that really that
carpal comes down in here.
Has a second structure
and it has a third sculpture.
Notice that that first structure is hidden in the
So you're only seeing
popping out -
two of those sticks are popping out, the third stick structure
is hidden in there.
And that often times creates a secondary gesture.
So notice the back of the hand goes this way and flows in an
interesting and often times very beautiful way,
But we can also create a secondary gesture
with the thumb. If this is the thumb over here. Let me draw of thumb over here. Let me draw
it a little bit more clearly.
Like that. So we can think of that.
You notice that the finger
is fairly boring, they diminish in size and length, but they're
pretty stiff little characters. They're just little short
sticks. The thumb, the center section of that thumb is also just
a stiff little character and same with the stick in here.
However, we've got that webbing to spice things up in interesting
ways. It becomes an egg, becomes a triangle, all sorts of possibilities. It
pinches, it stretches. This though is kind of like - here's
The thumb is like a caricature of the finger.
And because it has so much fatty pads - it's on its own so
it's got to have more protection, more grip, and so
it's got extra fat there
and it really scoops up or can really scoop up.
boring finger joints
just carve up a little bit but this one swings up in a
beautiful manner. And notice how stiff that is and when we
articulate it it stays stiff and that goes against our wish for
a fluid, graceful, watery living drawing as opposed to a
mannequin drawn. These are fairly mannequin like and that
is where our knuckles come in because each - if you do this you
kind of lose that knuckle. But then you've got that nice sweep of
the whole thing. But when you get this straight or slightly
bent, we'll see the knuckles come to the surface. I'm going to
make a big deal out of that. There's a watery design and
whether it goes straight off or articulates by bending down and
over, you get this lovely then
rhythm going that way. And with the pads binding up here.
Get that stretching pinch idea, we're stretching over
those joints and it really gives us a sense of that
articulation part to part which plays into that fine instrument
idea. Each of these little things has a high level of
articulation independence to do what they need to do.
The thumb has, as I said, its own gesture, that's
even more dramatic. If we look at the back of the hand we
notice the fingernails are right on the back, even dirty
The thumb skews off because it's opposable. Look what it does. It proposal. Look what it does. It
doesn't turn straight back and can't get it straight back
here. It's skewing out this way.
So that's going to be important to pick up.
And then when it turns under the grip almost perfectly it
opposes. So the fingernails are going this way to the fingers,
the thumbnail's going straight back in almost because it's
rotating as it comes around it rotates and faces in a
different way, faces at an angle up, faces almost straight down.
So we're going to want to be able to be aware of that articulation.
And the finger nails, the nails, will be the things that show us
It can look right at us
and be kind of a spoon shape.
It can be in a deeper perspective and become a bean
bag, where that knuckle,
that padded in
bind up around that nail
So it has various incarnations depending on how it's
and what angle you're seeing it from. So simple yet
characteristic. We want to pay attention to these things. Now
hands and feet are particularly problematic because they're -
especially the hands, for some people that's even harder to draw
than the face because we spend - partly because we spend
less time, but also we've got vast tensions for articulation
positioning and deep perspective problems. So they're tough
And on top of that we only have ten minutes to draw the figure
or we only have an hour and a half to draw figure. And so
invariably we start with the head and work all the way down the
body, we get the big stuff and this is a little stuff. And so
we never really get to the little things. So what
we're going to do now for a little while, and what I want
you to do in your own work when you're working for the model
from any figurative reference is every once in a while, every
few drawings, just draw the hand. So just draw the hands
and feet or just draw a thumb and just work out those issues.
How is that structure
sitting in space and how does it connect to the
And depending on the character, I've busted my joints a lot,
art's a tough business.
So I have kind of knobby joints here.
And you may have a model -
often times I have a model where there's not - the joints
don't break out as much, the knuckles don't swell. If you
injure them, that calcification, that scar tissue like we
talked only on the muscles you get a build up, the blood will
actually clot and calcify on the bone and the bone swells and so
like here, here, here, here, that's happened.
I'm not asking for sympathy.
No hugs, well just a couple hugs are okay. Alright now when
we do that fingernail or a thumbnail this case,
where we place that, if we look at it here, for example, we go oh,
that fingernail's right at the end and shoot it's actually
over the end I got to trim my fingernails.
Sits right there. But if we get that
thumb or finger or toes
articulated, going back in space, notice now what I'm doing with
The key thing to remember
is how far it is from the front.
That's critical because what that does when you place that
what that does is start to make this area feel an awful lot
So anyway, when we put that nail at the top of the tubular
then it's doing its work. So notice by keeping that here, in
this case we're thinking of it as a flattened tube,
it gives us a beautiful conception of the end, whether
we draw those construction lines or not of course. N
look what happens if I want to get that
to come towards me and I don't do that.
It starts to destroy that structure and in fact notice
what I did here,
I cheated the nail back.
So for the actual fingernail contours with my constructed
truth that I'm trying to to impart.
And so I'll actually twist that nail back and it will twist
back if you get in deep enough perspective.
It will curve back. But if it's in just a slight perspective
or medium perspective, we'll feel the curvature this way, but I'm
going to twist it over this way.
Okay, and that reinforces that truth. Now that extra material
we talked about
it's wadding up. It's very similar to what we did in the
shoulder blades where they pinch against the spine.
That kind of thing.
We're going to have this
material wadding up.
Now if you look at it, you'll see what it tends to do is we
get a crease and a crease and a crease in effect. We've got
our tube here. We have a crease on the backside of that bony
structure. Remember our bones do this. They get thicker like
a little dog bone idea. Milk bone. That's got the cable over
that, the tendon, and we'll have a crease falling off this side
of the bone, falling off that side of the bone with that
extra material and a crease in the middle just more or less.
Like so. And then there can be more and there can be organic
variations, but that's kind of the MO of that thing. I'm
not going to use that. Generally
what I'm going to do is I'm going to make sure I play up
the prospective. So I'm gonna make sure I only pick the detail
that gives me that greatest chance to express a structural
truth of that going away-ness. So your construction lines are
always going to be the guide for your conception of the
detail. And then you're going to change the detail to that when it
was really that. It was this when it was really that or
you'll pick out the detail, you'll leave out that. Maybe
play that down. Maybe I'll do this to that
thumbnail, this, and I'll just make that lighter.
So we don't notice it as much. And that would be fine too as
long as we keep it well away from that end. This is of
course true on the toes and all the fingers as well as the
thumb. We're going to be in good shape literally. So pick
out those. So those creases become great chances and the
same thing with
any folds in the skin and any fabric in a costume. There are East amarak a costume. They're
always going to be opportunities to express that
structural truth and the biggest possible. I'm not so
interested in this little - it's really again that garden
hose idea. I'm not really interested in the pinch itself.
It might be a lovely little detail, but I'm always looking
for the big picture. How does that little thing
or little set of things work on a much bigger idea and help
to explain that bigger idea?
So and notice again as we start building that knuckle on what
now has the opportunity to become that. See how that's - how
I'm swelling that up?
Now you're going to have to pay some attention. If you're doing
a cute little child that's six or a lovely elegant woman or a
Madonna and child you're probably not going to want to
give them big knobby knuckles. You want to play it down, but
you can still
Because it is there, the flesh is doing that over that and the
flesh may be doing that over it.
Okay, so that's that.
Now, let's look at those tendons
and see what they can do for us.
then you can just come on back whenever you're ready.
Now we've got - before we get to the tendons let's look at this
wrist here. We've got the - let's
put it right on the surface. We've got the radius
here. We have the ulna here.
Let's do that.
And then we have the that group of little pebbles, little keystones.
And if we looked at it in this way
we'd see they do this kind of thing.
And you can think of a
spanning and that's what the foot does too to create that
arch. Rolls over that way but I'm looking straight on at this
in the structure or in any prospective what I'll do is
draw a half cylinder to suggest that, I'll just cut this off and
then take that back and whatever perspective position it
needs to be.
And then this thickness intercepts all the it except sterile.
They're sitting in here.
And again you can check that rhythm, whatever it's doing.
So again, whatever this is doing
that thumb has the potential to take us off into a brand-new
rhythm. So if I'm looking at this, I'll draw it like this
first, then I'll add that on secondarily.
All right, but anyway these sit here and what you'll get
is a series of bones here. This is actually going to
the wrist from this direction, a series of bones here. We'll
just do a crisscross like this.
And you've got the swelling of the ends of these bones.
This whole thing swells that joint. And you won't see that
swelling here or here or here, but you'll start to see it
here. And can you see kind of the light here? You'll see this
in the Renaissance all the time. The Madonna's hand will
be something like that.
And then we'll put a little egg here and play that up. And so
you'll see it in Da Vinci and all those
crazy fellows, those party animal Renaissance guys.
It will swell in here, thumb will be this way,
fingers will be this way and we're picking up
that and of course that becomes an egg for the rebirth of
born-again idea, but what it does for us if we don't want
that symbolism, it gives us another swelling joint that can
be a lovely way to
take a little stroll down this wirey
So and then the tendons come for each finger has a tendon
that goes over the knuckle and you actually have a groove where
that tendon fits
on that dog bone end.
So wherever our knuckle is
you have the opportunity, you are not required, but you have
the opportunity to pick up that tendon and I'll show you
especially on the fly with doing some of the our the doing some of the our
demos, I'll show you where we could pick those up. But notice
now we're in kind of a 3/4 front view. We're getting a lot
of side and a little less
of the top and so this first finger is going to be
overlapping this second finger and the third and the fourth
And notice what will happen,
we've got the finger which is just a stick. And remember the
back of the hand, we had the
phalange, had the stick of the dog bone and we
had the metacarpal.
Same way in the feet. And when you get in these positions, you
can see that tendon oftentimes pop out very strongly.
And the danger is you're going to draw the back of the hand
and you're going to draw whatever finger your drawing.
Let's do it this way.
And you're going to see that strong tendon.
And you're going to do this. There's a finger. There's a
finger, there's a finger. And it's going to look like this is
all finger and there's no back of the hand. There's just a
series of stacked tubes or it gets to corrugated like that.
what we do is we could play it down.
So notice I'm going to pick up
this webbing in here
or that knuckle rise there and I'm going to make show you that
is - remember what we did on the armpit? The arm
is just this tube and I'm not going to show you a lot of the -
I'm not going to show you a lot of the shoulder girdle. I'm
just going to curl that armpit and that little book
tells you that something has it has ended and the tube pf the arm and
something else has begun. The shoulder girdle is shoulder
blade, whatever it is. And that's a visual, it can be any
thing that's a visual clue to the audience that we have a
finish there. Two things have come together. One's completed,
one's about to begin. The finger as a
tubular structure has ended, the knuckle on the back of the
hand's begun. So if you just darken that and wobble it
you're all set. If you want to bring it into
the tendon sometimes you do want to make that quite strong
and it can catch strong shadow
and you can have a series of these
The pinching knuckles and such. But notice what happened by
pushing these darker
and by wobbling them off then the audience is still clear
that this is all fingers that articulate this way and this is
all back in hand - back of the hand that's fixed. But it may
have, you can see, may have quite strong passages. So notice this
way I'm diminishing the bump of the knuckle there.
So what I - in drawing that what I might well want to do
is if I can't play up that knuckle I'll play up the next
of the finger this could - maybe these fingers are going that
way or I'll just darken this here and that's going into that
and then continue on in the tendon. So I'm just going to
accent that and the audience then will feel -
hopefully they will feel
that sense of truth that this is a solid and these are
Let's look at that hand.
There's the wrist coming down. Now notice I'm just going to draw
the contour here.
We've got that lovely example, that swelling, there's that
Renaissance egg if we wanted it. Now what we see in contour
is the wrist, that carpal group.
Here's a pad pushing out, the thenar eminence underneath that
webbing and then the thumb over here. And so we get the contour
is this, pretty stiff and straight. And so our job then to
a large extent is to visualize these things by looking past
the contour. The contour is accidental.
But there's going to be some internal rhythm that's going to
be powerful and it may, if we're lucky, it may show up
right on the contour or a simplified contour like it does
for the -
here like it does for the lower leg, the calf, very nicely
representative of the gesture but oftentimes the
contour confuses or distorts the real gesture that we should
be looking for. What I'm going to do is I'm going to look past
and I'm going to find
the back of the hand.
Again, I'm doing this strategy, so I'm finding this structure.
Now the other thing we'll notice is when that hand splays
out like that. There's a lot of flex here. Notice I can
roll those bones over or I could flatten those bones out
and it's very tempting to see this kind of narrow wrist to
fingers. Don't do that. It's going to look distorted. You
probably visually adding at least some of the thumb but
what you're doing is you're not taking into account that almost
always the base of the hand is thicker than the wrist. And
so we have again that kind of drumstick idea that happens so
often, we have a wider
structure being met by a thinner structure. And so this
is going to be the back of the hand this way and to keep it
organic like I do with the hips and the ribs, I'll make it a
bulging box rather than just a simple straight edge box just
to keep that curvature idea going through. So I'm not going
to do this. I'm going to try to look to keep this as parallel
as possible. And so I'll look out for the karate chop side
here, a little finger side, and I'll look to where it goes
and I'll turn it this way.
And I can let it splay out a little bit.
And I won't be completely completely sure how should it
really splay out that, should it not split it all. I won't be
completely sure until I build my fingers in there. So if I
break this into halves,
I start to get a sense of what it should be.
And then these are diminishing
a little bit.
And so I can then make my correction as needed.
So like so
and this is very flat. This is going away from this a little
bit, this is going away from us little bit more, that's going
away from this us a lot.
We have a certain gesture through that first knuckle
group and then the fingers extend. I'm kicking this this
way just for fun, going over here.
Like so. Now what I want to do is have a sense of how these,
especially these boxy guys, how can we keep this fluid idea
alive when I've got a bulging box that's stiff and I've got
these stick structures that are stiff and that's going to be in
the joints, joints are going to give us that rise and fall or
it's going to be in the articulation if I bend
this more. If the finger is bent,
then we start to track down and also notice how it doesn't
matter that these little sections are straight and stiff
now because I could take any curved idea and chisel it out.
In fact Charles Dana Gibson, I was talking to Annette about that and I
mentioned yesterday, and Leyendecker that have
It's like a wood carver and then you can eventually round
those off, sand down those those,
those corners, to make more subtle transitions or not, but
it would still be designed on the curve basically.
Okay. So now I'm going to go ahead and build this structure
here a little bit. Here's the
Just a triangle there.
And I want to - I do want to think of this as its own
structure. So despite those wobbles and bobbles,
I didn't make it perfectly straight. I let it swing out a
little bit and knowing that when I do add on
those wobbles and bobbles,
I can maybe play up this knuckle to get that out a
little bit more before it takes off.
And you can choose any kind of structure to define whatever
you're trying to do to build structurally. It can be boxy or
square and they can still have the same gestural rhythms
and more or less the same structural truths.
And notice how mechanical that looks
until we put on our knuckles.
And now it evens out and can be a really lovely
This is going to be closer to this because I scooted that
little finger over there, that
Now notice this construction. I constructed that as a web, a
triangle, but that's not good enough. I want that now to
track over this, round it. So notice the other advantage we
have when we take something like the armpit
and we turn it,
now we're taking something off a little form and potentially
showing how it transcends back into the position of the
greater form that it's attached to.
So that's what we're doing here. This curves off. So that tells
me that the webbing ends, this ends, but something new begins,
but also it tells me a lot about that something new.
Notice also when we get pinches
or details, any kind of details, it could be
when they start fanning out like that that also
suggests a gesture. So just like this or squeezing
together, just like that creates a gesture, we actually now have
a gesture -
I'm going to add all these pinches in here in a crazy way.
Here's the knuckle and the tendon. Now notice
what we have.
We have that and that and that and that and even this.
And that creates its own kind of
Those can take off this way.
It's pulling us. It's moving the eye in this way in a
That can be really valuable. It's like
in a comic strip
you got the Flash Gordon rocket ship
taking off here
and the speed lines and then the
ghosting of where it was.
So if we take that rocket ship and do that and then those
speed lines do this and takes off
there and we feel that rhythm. So there's all sorts of ways to
suggest the rhythm and a lot of those things you'll be doing
intuitively, but it's sure nice to have some awareness of them.
Well, no matter how much time you have and whether it's just
a hand or whole figure or ten figures in a composition,
there's always going to be a time limit involved and there's
going to be other limitations that you made, maybe
self-imposed. And so
clearly if I've got a 10-minute drawing and I have even the
time to get to the hands and the whole figure drawing, I'm going
to vastly reduce the information here, but knowing
all this stuff is going to help us with the little detail we do
put in to sing out and be suggestive of greater truths.
What we always want to do is do a good enough job that what
we've what little we've put down because even if you're a
photorealist in a sense, you're only getting a little bit of
the truth there. Even if you're after every here in hair and freckle in
the forearm, you're not getting everything. So there's always
an editing, a choice making issued to deal with. So my thing is
always let's make choices. Let's edit out of strength
rather than that of weakness. I don't know how to draw hands
so I'm going to always do figures with a hands in their
pockets a bit behind their back or whatever the limitation is,
time and such. So for example, if I'm going to show you the
I cannot for obvious reasons show you the back if it's a
But I can do a lot,
dot dot dot dot dot, that's what my constructions lines are
for and details, strategies are for, even though we're only
seeing the front. We're doing a lot to suggest the back. If I do
the rib cage, that is suggesting - and the ribs - that's suggesting
that they're wrap around the back and connecting the spine
in some way. So if I'm aware of what's going on on the back,
even though I'm just drawing the front, very very helpful. So
if I don't have a lot of time
and as I said, we're always Limited in some way then I
prioritize. So maybe I don't have time to rationally
carefully think out this fanning,
this radiating series of linear overlaps.
But what I can do is make sure I darn sure to pick out this
contour and make sure it connects gesturally with that hand, that
I am aware of that big stuff. So once you once you have your
information, you cherry pick and you focus on your favorite
So somebody else may not enjoy doing hands so they will
purposely compose it so that the hands are minimized or
something. You may well want to make it a 10 minutes figure
drawing, the hands the predominant feature. Or what
about the hands is most beautiful part to you? For
example, when a songs that's the most beautiful part. So
we're going to minimize that or compose it so it's minimized
and we go on from there. So it's always choice-making. What
you want to do is not be in a position of weakness. Although
you will always have weaknesses but you want to do your best to
try and learn everything about your subject you can so that
you have some - you're informed on some level even if you're not
masterful on all the levels and then you're not working at a
weakness. That's just filling with the fingers now. I'm
going to finish them off with an out. I'm going to show you
how to get off this thing finger
and move into the back of the hand. And again that can be
enough but there's all sorts of ways to do it. I could wrap
around the webbing and take you off this finger and take you
into that finger.
And notice what the webbing does for us, that's just the
extra material that's the padding, protected padding here.
It starts to give us a thickness to that hand. So if
we think of that hand as a structure, we don't want to
think of it as a paper thin structure, that the fingers -
sometimes you'll feel this, the fingers feel like they connect
to a flat piece of paper. We want to feel like the fingers
have a thickness that connect into the hand that has an
accompanying thickness. And so the webbing does that and now
we notice what happens when we anywhere on the body. When we
have an interruption, this little webbing we can only see
that much of it because it's interrupted by both fingers,
but look at how it connects through
all the way into this pinch and look at how it can actually
radiate out into several pinches. Maybe you can go into
that and that and that and that and that can play up into this
maybe and create a secondary construction idea. That makes
structure and this webbing not to stuck together pieces, but
two things two pieces that have an intimate and ever-changing
rich relationship together and that's what we want. That's
what we want out of our personal relationships and
that's what we want out of our life is we want to
have our best friendships, our best relationships is when we
can talk about anything or lots of things so we can connect on
many levels with people.
So one of the things we can do with our tendinous connections
the tendons, the bones, all those things, down in the hands and
the wrists from here down into the fingers, it's all made up
of ligaments and tendons or very thin muscles and so any of
those, any of those and veins, any of those can be pathways.
So I'm going to pick up a tendon here and notice how now
I'm getting inside the contour
as opposed to on the contour and that watery rhythm became a
greater rhythm this way as opposed to this way, and we're
Now I'm taking that intersection of the wrist and
putting it into the back of the hand and putting that into a
wider section of the wrist.
They're connecting together and greater
cohesion, connection between them, the gestural idea, has
taken us from the outside inside. So it's doing a lot of
work for us.
Here's the knuckle
sitting on here and it's just capping
that simple cylindrical or boxy truth. However we've conceived
And then that's that structure, now the tendon's going to give
me an out. It's going to tell me how to get off that
knuckle and onto that finger and off that knuckle and back
towards that wrist.
That's - and we can do all sorts.
Notice I can do something that's not true at all and it'll
still track because it's moving along the big structure and
it's taken an interesting route to get to a new idea.
And that's the zigzag I did too.
Reverse the lighting here.
And so notice now with the hands,
because of all of those tendinous ideas floating around,
I can draw a bunch of lines there trying to find where
the contour is and I'll just feel like tendons.
Notice that's completely wrong. I've swollen that out here on
that finger it shouldn't be, but it's so much in rhythm
it hides that mistake and even makes an interesting and then I can
take a tendon to bring it back in.
Or I can subdue that and do it shadow to hide that mistake and
maybe that's a little cast shadow
that's working off this other knuckle. Gives you lots of
possibility. It's very linear. I love line and I love
line quality and line. There's all sorts of possibilities
because of the linear nature of these little -
these series of tendons and such. You've got all sorts of
possibilities for line and all sorts of possibilities for
secondary interesting curious little rhythms
notice when you do something with a lot of confidence the
shapes have the general personality of what they should
be. You can make all sorts of mistakes and people won't tend
to notice. So one two, three, four, five, six, seven fingers
I've just drawn but you're assuming these last three
fingers are all tendon, tendinous connections of the one
finger which is impossible
but they're all working. So as long as you do something with
with some knowledge of how the world works,
and in the general style of and keeping with what nature
we're going to be right there with you. So I actually ruined
the end of that index finger. I put on the little
The last little
phalange bone there rather than putting the whole big padded end
with the nail.
So again notice how we can get these rhythms. I can take off
this to here all the way over to the thumb, I can come over
that joint, I can swing this off here and back into that, I can
come off here,
and it gives this sense of composure.
Notice - remember with the body it has all these
ends of the that balancing act of stability and mobility, of
being the tank or being the fleet-footed
so there's all this stuff going on. And so what
we're going to find is when the body is working well, when the
body composes its motion well, say the discus thrower that
gets that whole body to coil up like a spring and then releases
that energy and so every muscle of the body in a sense is
helping that one action. That's the way the body works best and
truest, that's when it looks the most beautiful to us, feels the
most fluid and composed. And so if we keep looking past
these individual ideas that hopefully have their own
gesture but even if they do or even if they don't, they
create together a greater gesture and that gesture may
not end with itself and hopefully if you're doing a
whole body, it doesn't end with itself, it moves on down into
say a a cast shadow on the calf that's on the other leg over
here. Maybe there's a shadow that hand casting off the
cast of the calf with a knee up here,
the leg up here, something like that and will pick up
that gesture which was just the accidental arrangement of
finger parts and that picks up perfectly or nearly perfectly
with the cast shadow off this completely disconnected
structure over here, the lower leg. If in just misses it, you
can choose to align it, make this finger a little bit longer,
make this cast shadow sit a little bit higher, or you'll at
least know how far you missed it by and this will fit better.
This gesture. We're gonna look at that more carefully when we do our
finished demos. This is gesture that moves beyond the
individual element to help compose the whole,
figure, the whole hand. This goes here, but it also and goes
here but also goes in here and maybe in here it also goes in
and maybe in here and maybe in here and maybe all the way
And all those things will help this one thing be in a
family of forms and with intimate connections of all its
relatives and it will feel like it fits in.
as having four points,
especially when we have a deeply articulating lower leg
you know, if I can get in some way get the detail to show at
three of the four
So here's one,
here's two, and I'm going to use a shadow shape and maybe the
to show the third and maybe I'll get a highlight there or
I'll get the vastus internus because this is the inside of
the leg here.
I'll show maybe even the fourth.
How does that square with the wrist? Well anything that's
boxy or it doesn't even have to be boxy, if we think of this as
then really we want to give -
we want to feel as clearly as we can the distinguishing end
of that tube, so we could say we could get four quadrants of
the tube. The reason for that is if I can in some way either
just as a simple lay in is the easiest way to do it, at least with a
little bit of practice, if I can get that end that becomes a
corner against the side or sides.
And it again round or square doesn't matter and then we feel
that architecture. The fact that it's really doing this.
Until I've separated the end and specifically in our
nomenclature until I have moved over the form, I'm not going to
feel that volume or that character.
So the end of any structure we're drawing is absolutely
critical. It's just going to be more apparent if we've got a
structure coming forward and then going back because that
end is visually more prominent. If we've got a arm,
upper arm, doing this
and a forearm doing that, then really queing on that end is
not as important because it blends more or less with the
next form and so if somehow I miss it it's not as catastrophic
and notice if we take our four corners again
to our leg - oops -
to our leg, if the lower leg goes this way it's covering
two corners pretty good. Here's our knee
Here's our calf here.
Make this an interior again.
So we we're not seeing four - we're - two of them are being covered
but even so
if I can show the
corner or corners -
let's do it here, I guess.
If I can show the corner of the knee or the kneecap,
the other corner is two, can't see this one at all, it's
completely hidden, but I could see this one,
maybe by the hamstring.
Overlapping. One, two, three
in no particular order. So that it's always useful. So then if
we look at the wrist on whatever the last pose we had
we'll just take the thumb out there, really doesn't matter
what we're talking about. We'll put the fingers
here. So we'll do a simpler version that.
notice the orientation on that. Here we're seeing more of a
back view and we're not seeing this side at all. We're only
seeing the top
and we're seeing just a little bit of this side. So if we
treated that as a box, say two by four for the wrist.
Two by four, I'll make that clearer in a second.
So here's our two-by-four free-floating, just a two by
in the wrist
with the hand on it.
Here's our two-by-four.
Let's do that so you can
be very clear.
Okay, we all visualize that, so there's that wrist, now that
wrist happens to blend in with the hand.
So we've now -
that won't work.
Oh, that's how you mix blue and orange. Okay now I get it.
You add a little orange.
Okay, so now we can only see - here's the back of the hand and
the palm karate chops. Now we can only see two now we can only see two
corners. We can't - let us say we can't see three at all.
But really we can see enough of it, but let's pretend we can't,
we can only see these two corners because of the
So darn it I can't get my three corners. Well, if you can you
can here but let's say we can't, we can only work with these two
but here's what I could do.
There's my two by four and there I can only see the two
corners. Here's what I'm going to do, rather than getting a box
logic of a right angle brick in there, that right angle, I'm
going to make it doubled.
So I'm doing, instead of doing that,
I'm going to do that or some variation of that. So I'm going
to add corner planes rather than a top against the side,
it'll be a top against the side against the corner, that makes
sense? Say yes. Good.
I've got four corners.
All you need is three to get that in context, to get that
relationship. Great if you get the whole structure as we do
with a bent leg, but as soon as that those things go in a
similar position, direction, we're going to lose some or
even half of those corners. So all we need is to get the two
planes here. Remember different value different
planes, structure is created. As soon as you have two planes said you have two planes
against each other which means one, two, three points, if you
have more than that,
Now you define the whole limit of that structure along with
the character in the position of it,
but it doesn't have to be extended for the whole life of
the form. It can be any
three or four corners. So we can take just a little sliver of
that form over the whole form
is that and we only get this little top, though we still
understand the perspective of that form. And as it attaches
the next thing we'll understand the limit of it to make
sense. Okay, there's always a way, always a way to show what
Am I using the swelling, that Renaissance swelling? I actually
didn't, I just bumped two wedges together in effect.
This was a rounded but I didn't give that swelling, you can use
that and then that becomes the -
whether the two by four end is going to be an egg end and
then I need to show
remember shadow shapes, the beginning the shadow we call
the corner whether it's on a ball or a box.
In our structural thinking, and this is strictly for
convenience, it's got nothing to do with reality really it's
just convenience. There are no tubes in this body. We just use
that for convenience. There is no line in nature, we use it as a
convenient construct. So we're going to say to make life
easier for us that balls have corners too. If we have time we
might spend the time to refine, in other words to round that corner.
Four is still - think of it as corners because that's
convenient for getting our values to group in a way that
suggests quickly and clearly the structure, the character, the
form, and put in space.
So it still has the corners there. So if this were not a
box, but an egg, I could still get those three or four corners
on that and I might instead of doing this,
do this, and then as I had time or inclination I would round
that off like a
wood carver would with a sander, sand that rounder. But
I can chisel it out. In fact, I could have a course multiple
construction points by having almost an endless series of
little structures that could all be very descriptive of how
such and such forms sits in space. space
What could be easier, right?
When in doubt, simplify.
We have the two bones coming down,
the two bones together create the joint. Now again, the tibia
does most of the work it has a malleolus over here. It has a
flat surface to allow for the joint. This is a saddle joint.
If you think about riding in the saddle and I've done that a
couple times, it's, I can tell you it's easy to fall out side
to side, but you can also rock forward and back. And
that's what the foot does. It's not a true
ball and socket at all. It has a lot - and this doesn't have the
flexibility it should as a lot of flexibility this way but it
could also do this as you step over uneven surface. When we
were invented we didn't have paved streets, you have to go up the
side of a hill those rocky shale or over roots and
branches in the forest. And so that foot has to be able to
rock back and forth to get good footing and of course, that's
where we injure ourselves. We can roll our ankle. And notice
again very much like this we have a
high side to the joint where there's not much flexibility and
a low side of the joint where there's a lot of flexibility.
That's the same way here. We have a high side of the joint
where I can roll - let's do it this way - where I can roll it a lot and
I have a low side where I can't roll them much at all. It won't
block that way much at all. Of course, that's because I have
this one over here and that does the support. If I need
better footing this way, rather than turning my foot in a weird
way up a slope say, I can just step out here and get better
footing to take that slope. So we don't need that but very
analogous to the to the hand and then we have, instead of the
carpals, the pebbles or the the keystones to our bridge you
can think of it as, we have the tarsals, are called the tarsals.
And then we instead of the metacarpals we have the metacarpals. We have the
metatarsals and I just means beyond the tarsal, beyond the
ankle bone or be on the wrist bone, meta. And then we have
again, oddly enough even the little toe one, two, three,
joints. Doesn't look like when you look at a little toe and
you don't often have to draw it that way but it actually has
three joints just like the fingers, all the way through. And
then the thumb, instead of the thumb we have the big toe. t
only has two joints, and that's actually true also with the
thumb. Big toe has only two metatarsals. So does the thumb.
I call this the third because it's just easier to remember
take this same unit, make it a little fatter, stick it over
here, instead of in and out here it's easier but this is
strictly speaking the carpal, another carpel.
It's called I think thumbeus major that's what it's
Now we don't have the opposing toe. You do if you're a chimp,
but we don't, we don't need that gripping. But again, it's much
more robust because it's going to take a lot of weight here
these guys group together. They fall down and impact. Here we
have the arch on this side, remember that arching idea. We'll look
at that again as I draw that, I talked about the first day I
think. But the arch we have the impact hits here and hits here.
This flies over the top of it and allows for more
And it spreads the weight down out this way, distributes the weight
for a more stable and less damaging impact and then this
also acts as a shock absorber, it can flex, that arch can flex.
These are loose bones that can give a little bit and that
takes some of the impact out.
And then it falls down here. There's no arch here. This is
all contact on the ground.
So big difference here between the hand. We don't have an
opposing toe. We have everything in line. Although
you can see it's vaguely opposing. It's coming in at a
different angle to these and that's so you can wear cowboy
Like so. Not really that was a joke. And then of course it has a
heel that kicks back. And that kicks back for a couple
reasons. It goes back to create a wider base. So we have a
little bit of stability if we get rocked back on our heels,
but also mainly for leverage. Remember the leverage. Here's
Here is the load here actually
and here's the work, the effort. And we have the Achilles
tendon goes up into that soleus, the gastrocnemius. That's why
it's such a big structure, goes all the way up the leg and the
hamstrings. And instead of pushing the world away, since
the world's going to be immovable we're going to lift
our body up against it. So but that's the effort going down
there. That's the workload going down here, it
leverages us up that way. And so it has to be - this has to be
powerful stuff to move this whole weighted structure. And
so if this kicks out farther, that lever handle
gives you a little bit more power. If we get it way
out here it can even be more power, but that's a little
awkward. It's hard to wear flip-flops if you have a heel
that's this long. Okay. So that's that. that.
or are ankle bones.
And then you have the talus bone I believe it's called
which creates the joint there.
And then that rocks on our
this is going to be the big toe side with the arch.
So this is our
And the tibia creates most of the joint and the fibula
will be on the other side, we won't be able to see it, but it will
create a little bit of a other side here.
When we look at it from a front view
or a back view, you'll see that knob. And again that's that
drumstick idea. We constantly see a thinner structure meeting
and often times inserting into
a bigger structure. And so if we get on top of this foot at all,
we can feel the ankle structure inside the ankle bone structure
and then that creates a saddle
connection to the
foot. So here again is our
Here's our metatarsals.
And then our
toes build out of that.
And what we'll find - whoops going off this page aren't I? But what
we'll find is when we bring
and meets the toes,
the little - let me just do a construction here.
By the little toe here and the other toes, I'll show you how
And we're going to find that the toes like the fingers get
bigger bigger bigger bigger bigger and then draw back to
And instead of having a opposable thumb, notice if I tuck that
and if we were to move it up, that's what the big toe does.
Big toe comes in and you can get a
with these outside toes, you can get a hammer toe where the
toe turns sideways and starts to press in and can under lap or
overlap the other toes.
And actually becomes an issue structurally, but what it does
like do is tuck right in close.
So I'll show you a more careful way to construct that in a little
bit. But here's our basic structure. Notice we have kind
of a drumstick - or I'm sorry somewhat of a starts some somewhat of a
dumbbell. That's what I'm trying to say, dumbbell.
Let me do this.
That calcaneus there.
And that creates our heel.
And you can see how a boot heel
or any shoe
is build off the same concept. There's your cowboy boot or
whatever. You have the sole,
and then you have the heel that steps up and then you come down
connect onto the knuckle
of the tarsal
and metatarsal I should say, and toes structure. And It's a and Toes structure and
then all along to the end of the toe. This all becomes a
contact point. In fact if you take a step
that contact point continues
And the heel and the whole foot and the leg and everything
comes up, but when it steps back down we get some kind of
arch. I'm - this is
vastly exaggerated from most feet but we get some kind of
arch there. Like that of course.
And so that gives me flex and I can take punishment as I'm
running through the woods or up the shell side of the cliff or
down the concrete in Manhattan or whatever. It did gives a
little less wear and tear on the joints. And then as I said
I always exaggerate these things, if I had a foot design like this
then I would - if I rock back on my heels I'm going to more
easily fall over. So having this come back, it buttresses. A
cathedral, say a French cathedral
will have what's called buttresses and flying buttress.
A flying buttress will come out like this, they're rib shaped
structures that hold that structure because that
dome is heavy and you might have a tower above that all
that way it's coming down. And remember how the body's
constructed, we take the great weight, great pillar of the
torso and the head above, we distribute that through the
center line out
to the hips and then the hips distributed out to the legs and
the legs are welcome to distribute out even farther
into the feet
to create a very stable structure.
If we bring the
legs together, here's the hips,
here's the legs,
Now we brought them into one more, one stronger, but more
narrow pillar in effect. This is now one structure to hold
together. It's not going to be as stable, it's tippy.
But then the feet -
we will do a back view here actually. Wouldn't matter but looks like wouldn't matter but looks like
more of a back view.
Look what happens with the feet, the feet splay out this
There's our little buttress. Here's the buttress over time
and his - over
art history, that little buttress. Because as this going
out, those walls are getting pressed. Those are made up
of little tiny bricks.
Itsy-bitsy little bricks.
And so those can break and this can explode out when this
weight comes down and boom and it ruins your Sunday.
So we put these little structures here and as they got
more flamboyant and daring here they became these flying
buttresses. Well, the architects who thought that up
were standing on a buttress system themselves. And the ones
who created the dome,
basically arch in all directions basically,
it's just a - the dome is just a arch like the arch of a bridge
going over a creek.
You take that and spin it in 360 and it becomes a dome. So
we have an arch for the feet here. I'll show you in a second.
And then front-to-back also is we're seeing we have an arch
to our feet.
So it's really amazing stuff. And we'll find in nature and we'll find in nature
because our bodies are nature, all the ideas for man really.
For engineering and such, science and art of course, aesthetics
are coming from our experience.
Now also is that heel kicks out buttresses the
form not just from the side but front and back.
It also as I said earlier
when yesterday or this morning, the Achilles tendon attaches
goes up and that creates a better lever by having our
Then the lever is out here a little farther other than right
here it's out here. We got a little bit of distance that
gives us a little more power to
not lift our
load but push against the load, the world, and move our body by
propulsion off of it.
idea of the rocket. The rocket shoots energy out its tail and
it doesn't move the launchpad, it moves the rocket.
So that force has to go someplace. All right, so that's
mind, again the hands and the feet are very similar in their
part to part development, relationship, and
So how do we construct that?
There's a malleolus of the tibia. So it's gonna be the inside, going
to be another leg over here.
This is a malleolus of the fibula, tibia. And notice this
This sits high, this sits low, that's why
if we think of the
foot structure as a bell ringing in a tower, it can't
ring this way very well. It can go over maybe this far.
But it can ring this way quite a bit. Doesn't have a ton of
mobility either way. Most of its mobility is this way.
And that's so you can tap your foot to your favorite songs.
You can lift that foot up and bring that foot down quite -
pretty strongly, not quite that much. But so anyway, that's
So that's high and low.
Now, let's do it one more time here, away from all that stuff I
So I want to feel the beginning of that foot go way up into
those knobby ankles. And notice I did here, I did here, I did
it more here, that feels better and that gives us that lock,
you know, and I do think of a - the
yoke for a
Like that, so I want to kind of pinch around that, that's a nice
little interlock there.
And then I'm going to draw this foot structure without the toes
and I'm going to think of a Daffy Duck type character.
A bill shape.
Probably without the nostrils but
it's that idea.
And I'll come out here. Because one of the problems we have
with the feet is to get them to come at us from this front
position. And of course to get them to go away from us in the
back position. So that comes out here.
let's do a foot that just hanging off. You're going to
dip your toe into the water off the dock
for a second.
Here's the big toe
and the second toe
and the third toe and the fourth tone and the fifth toe, little
Notice how they drift away and that's not so different than
Got this natural drifting away there and it picks up with
the toes like it did with the fingers.
So it's just that kind of construction. Now if that foot
sits flat on the ground
then it's going to get shorter and it's going to come at us.
So if we do a similar structure that we did to the hand, we do
this half cylinder idea or it could be boxy on the sides,
anything like that is fine. We're gonna find it does get wider
the back of the hand. We want to keep fairly parallel the
sides. Sometimes it can open up a little bit but it stays
pretty parallel just like the ribs do but the foot we want to
expand out from the skinny ankle to the bigger toe, finger
toes connection there like that. And so I need it to come
way out at me and open up. So it's doing this kind of thing
to exaggerate it and that opening up telescopes that
perspective actually helps it and that locking in
for that, the pinching ankle bones, also helps that
perspective coming this way. But we have a problem now,
because I need it to go this way to feel that perspective
vanishing back, diminishing back into the paper at the top so we're
making a construction line that's high in the center and
low on the sides, but we also have the toes diminishing back
in their own way just because of the character of the
structure. They fade from this second toe. Usually, sometimes
it can be the same. Sometimes this can even be longer, but
those go back or or equal out, but definitely -
three, four, five - those toes go way back from beginning to end on that foot.
So they're going this way.
The structure of the foot goes that way. The construction of
the perspective goes this way. So what do we do? Whenever you
have competing interests like that, you use an S curve.
And then at least some of the structure, the first two or
three toes say,
will reinforce your perspective. And then the last number of
toes will support the structure. So I'm going to show
the construction in perspective first, and then I'm going to
bow to, distort into, the structure of the toes
Just going to make these two - will make them half tubes say, for
now they're not going to be very good toes.
We'll just do that.
And just like
went into a fatter
pad for the back of the hand,
now we're going to want to have this body of the
wedge of the foot here,
this whole section before the toes.
Gonna have that whole section come down and we're going to
want the knuckle, the big toe, and the knuckle and pad of the
little toe to be a little bit wider usually.
So usually it's a good idea. Doesn't always happen, but it's
usually a good idea to let that grow.
And that wider structure gives us a knuckle. So we feel
that this dog bone idea of course under the surface,
but also it gives a sense of compression all the way to this
hundred pound or two hundred pound or 400 pound character is
coming down on those poor five little toes
and that's a lot of weight and when you take say a ball and put
a lot of weight on that ball, when it hits ground,
it might just end up being a half ball.
And what happens with all that mass? It goes down this way.
That's not moving at all that way so that material has to
squeeze out that way. And so what comes down squishes, gets
shorter, it also gets wider.
And that's what's happening here in effect, that gives -
it gives the feel of that for our tolerant
audience. So squeezing that out gives a feeling of it planting
and the sweat glands even that aren't as prevalent there
really help to grip.
We have the same thing with the toes. You can actually hold
your position by doing this with your toes and gripping and
if your little brother is trying to push you off the spot
or something that gripping power can actually help.
But also we again have that, you know, the 100, 200
pounds of weight coming down on those toes. So the toes are
going to have the same structures of fingers, but
they're going to be slightly different in
They're going to be a little shorter and a little fatter.
The nails just in general be a little bit wider.
They have the three joints, but you almost never see all three.
You can, I'll show you where you see them the most in a second.
Often times you can group them into one or two joints.
This is a thumb.
This is a finger. Make a little bit more.
I always think of a puppy dog.
This is a toe.
And specifically if we look at it - any of the toes
from straight on - the nail's here and especially the big toe but
they all do this to some degree. You'll see if you
lift that toe off the ground, it'll look like a triangle
often times because there's so much padding here.
And so when it hits the ground,
it gets very very flat. It squishes a lot. Whereas if you
put a finger onto the ground
it doesn't squish as much.
So we really want to look for that and you can think of that
big toe of course
as a squarer
as opposed to a rounder opportunity and just like in
fingers, that nail sits on the top plane
and the pad
is on the front. make sure this distance is correct. So we feel
the volume of that. That's going to be as soon as I make the
of putting that nail right up to the front, that nail right up to the front
it can goof us up unless we're on top of it. Going to get
Big separation there.
And we can get - we can do this with the fingers too, but you
can think of this, and we can do it with the wrist into the back
of the hand as I alluded to. I don't know if I actually drew
But the knuckle structure and then that fatty protective pad
structure, just like the wrist structure with the Renaissance
like a ski slope
that comes in and blends back into that structure.
This is all Bridgman kind of stuff, George Bridgman
deals with this this idea. I don't know that he does this
specifically but this is a standard way of thinking of
And it's really thanks to Bridgman. We'll see it in
he would design 18 - mid 18 hundreds I believe. He would
design his little imaginary compositions that he'd then
get figures for, put a little box figures. So -
and you can see, we'll see in Sybil, we'll see the the Sybil will see the
construction lines where Michelangelo's thinking it
too and such. So it's just been a standard way of
conceiving of things since the Greeks.
So we just steal, you steal from the best. Okay, so that's
the basic idea. And again, these as we're finding here, these
ideas show up over and over and over again, and it's that dog
Or it's the thick muscle into the skinny tendon idea. Or the
thick muscle into the flat sheath of a tendon. We see that
over and over in the body in all sorts of variations, thick
to thin, and one thing not butting up against the other
but inserting into the other. And the more we look at a
skeleton set of skeleton bones or muscles, the more you can see
that and in the flesh on top of that and the dynamics of
the position can reinforce that in all these wonderful ways.
toes, what they can do here.
Okay so the big toe,
here's that dumbbell idea, just like - whoops - just like the thumb.
And now one of the big differences is the
knuckle line, and then all the knuckles down the joints of the
they bend this way. They don't want to go back this way.
They can be forced back for some reason, but they want to
flex like this. And so we have that wave action going this way.
The toes though, the way they're designed is we get the
toes hitting the ground and then the arch to some degree or
another forces them up. Whereas the fingers are
turning down. So it's a different function there. So
that means when we get that nice knuckle that we so cherish
on the hand, it
almost always disappears on the foot because the toes arch into
the back of the foot there. So we're not going
to get a big knuckle like this. We'll see it on the outside,
but we won't see it on the inside. This will go right back
in. So it's particularly dangerous to add the tendon
and again, you'll make this whole thing a toe rather than -
you make this whole thing at toe rather than just this much.
So again, you want to use that webbing idea. And on the fingers
we did that curl.
Fingers ended, hands begun, that webbing, and then often times we
added the knuckle on to that and moved on into the tendon.
We're not going to have that knuckle there. So if we move
right into the tendon, it's particularly dangerous, worse -
but easier to goof up than even the fingers.
Okay. Now having said that, once we get to the next knuckle, it
will usually bend down
And we can see it on this - the top foot over here. We can see
this coming down. There's this knuckle looking from the far
side and then we come down into the toe here. So we will see
that. What we'll see on the other toes then they will come
down here and you can think of those as boxes if you
want and it actually has a three joints of the fingers
have but typically it's like a finger sometimes. We'll do it,
I'll do it this way. It's straightened into two generally.
So we have that one. Usually this is longer than the toe, not
And then we have that diminishing move and this often
times, even though this has three, it looks like one little
But it can also break into
the boxy idea. And then if you're at an angle to see it,
get a little bit of that knuckle, like that. Now if those
toes grip though, then what happens - and each time we'd we
can feel this and those can all drift, these knuckles can drift
If the toes grip then this comes down and then bumps out
and then we see
the three joints. Here's one,
two, and there's three.
And then I almost always do make those little boxy
Those are generally
the toe structures.
And the anatomy then picks up and then if you're careful,
yep, you can use this and look at one of the lovely aspects of
the picket fence effect.
By getting those tendons to get closer and closer and closer
together, we can feel like we're going over that rounded
foot or that rounded hand.
Okay, so that's that. Again if we have If we have our
the extra flesh there
we can put that on. And again if the toes are going this way,
we're going to feel the binding up of that stuff, The Binding up of that stuff
that extra material wad up there. Here, of course, it's
going to stretch over and we're not going to see that.
outside. Inside's always higher.
But you can think of that is a
little cylinder if you want.
And of course a high-low cylinder, but that's
what I'm doing here. You can think of that as just a little
ball, dome, cylinder structure, whatever you want. So often
times I'll just draw that for the ankle bone and draw in this
idea or this little ball, slice of a ball idea. Anything like
that. It's like 1950s alien ears all looked like that. They were
all half ping-pong balls that stick on. on?
When you start getting in more difficult positions,
make it boxier. The more difficult the structure,
the more difficult
the perspective of that structure, the boxier I'll make
Gives me more corners and I can say okay here's the side, here
is the top, here's the bottom, here's the diminishing thickness going
back in space. It gives me more control over it.
Better understanding of it. The ankle in a deep perspective
looks particularly like a two-by-four because if we look
at this front view, there's two tendons that come down here
and they're the reins of the horse and when those pull
back into the tibialis anterior and I forget what the other one is,
then it's going to pull that those toes off the surface.
It's going to tap the -
it's going to tap the foot
like that. And so you have two tendons here and
that's what allows the
structure of the foot to go up in there and create that saddle
idea and it gives a deep cavity almost like the pit of the neck
with the sternocleidomastoid muscles in
there. But usually we don't need or want to draw those tendons
in that position. They're not super visible.
And there's no real need to bring them out, but they become
a nice kind of front plane here. So that's what I'm
drawing here. Those tendons actually create this
nice two-by-four and if we look more carefully, they might be a
little extra narrow and the actual volume of the calf or
ankle at this point might do that as it does here but
gives me a nice concept. Just like the ulna makes a nice
corner and this becomes a nice two-by-four structure this way. cube by 4 structure this way
Wide across and narrow in. front Becomes a good good way to go.
Yeah, so if we get on top, so now this is the little toe side.
You'll see that his feet - think of the
footprint in the sand,
this kind of thing. From the bottom side those pads dominate
Sit like that in the arches in here, but along that little toe
side, think of the little finger side there's our karate chop.
These lying up and we can chop a break in half in our pretend
martial arts skills.
And so when you get any kind of angle here - I'll show you a
different angle in a second - on the little toe side,
I want you to think of this whole side this whole plane
here is connecting with a little toe just like the karate
chop little finger connects on that ulna sign on the side of
the palm there.
Let's look at it from the top.
There's the little toe, here's the
bigger toes here.
Connect that all together like that and what I actually like
to think of -
and this is not unusual, you'll see this in some construction
is think of a platform here.
Think of -
I always think of the Bigfoot sightings. They always find out
some guy in Oregon who made these giant cut out feet
two-by-eights or something and then he they were like snowshoes and he
walks on them.
So we can think of the foot structure like this, like a
And the wedge of the foot, which is simply
designed by - thought of as this, just getting thicker and
thicker and thicker as we go from toes to ankle, can actually
be a separate structure that then merges here.
And the toes fit here of course,
like that. And what I want is a little bit of a wedge here,
little bit of a step here like this. Now if we took that and
made a little more sophisticated.
Now we'll make this the big toe side.
If I can get this without
confusing you on it. Here's the ankle going up here. Here's the
here, there's our saddle joint.
We step back to that
There's our dumbbell idea.
And then here's our arch cut out of that. But we're just
going to leave that in there to create this kind of snowshoe
Eventually, this will all kind of blend together here
and we'll lose that distinction of the wider platform. We
suggested earlier by saying do this
and then add the knuckles of the toes, the big toe and the
There it is there.
Here it is here.
Now if we look at that from a pure front view,
here's the ankle bones inside because its higher, outside because it's lower.
Tibia sides, fibula side.
We're going to find that the inside here with the big toe
actually drops off.
You notice how it doesn't go straight across, it falls off,
and you can
look at your own feet or a good angle are a good angle.
of any foot
and it drops off and that goes back to that flying buttress
idea. We've got the thighs
and the calves - move this up a little bit - calves.
And if we have someone
those ankle bones can touch, those calves can touch, and
those big toes can touch together.
And then to exaggerate it
have the flying buttress
that push out again and again.
Sp if we had to cut them out of blocks, it'd look like that, if we
took the toes away and saw the arches it'd look like that and
there's our bridge structure that takes a shock absorber and
weight and distributes it out for support stability and wear
and tear on it.
So bump out to the little toe, fall off the foot from the
inside of the out, bump out to that crash pad of the little
toe. We'll feel that right.
There's the arch, there's the snowshoe
like that. So look for this, you'll see it quite often
there, even in these kind of views where it should be lost
in the inside. Don't just go right through, look for it if
you can at all see it to get this sense
of compression, of weight, of that snow shoe
structure coming into an ever wider base for stability and
such, feel it there. It might just be a highlight down there or something
but structurally and oftentimes you'll see it on the - I kind of
fumbled that up - on the heel. You'll see it pushing out the
And there going on with the Achilles tendon and such. We might
see it bump out there. Okay and then here again is those
that are stirrups actually go around this saddle structure
that you can just bring them right in and gives me a - by
bringing this inside it's a tendinous connection like we
talked about with the hand and we're getting that two-by-four
structure beautifully designed for us. Not often in the in the
body we get a very very sharp side. We can see it in the
bicep sometimes when we use that vein. Remember there's a
vein coming down here that can show up and that gives me a
really sharp delineation between light and shadow
that will often times pick right up in the lighting situation.
The shadow will break here because of that vein and it gives
us a two-by-four construction for the
upper arm there. And then notice this whole wedge coming into a
wider base, we can see the deltoid doing very much the
same thing. Again these ideas is really variations of that
drumstick. Wider structure somehow meeting, being intruded
upon, by the narrower structure. Wider structure being intruded
upon by the narrower structure.
We'll see it over and over and over again in these wonderful
variations. Tendons can create this nice series of kind of
ribbed overlaps actually go offline, go that way. Austin line go that way.
that ankle bone,
to use this wonderful
wowing out, crazy curve like Indiana Jones on the edge of
the cliff hanging on, correcting
a trajectory there.
Okay so I know,
I've conceived, in my world toes are just dumbbells, big toes are just
In the working out sense.
And if I conceive of a cowboy boot from then the heel of that boot
is going to line right up where the toes hit the
ground, this heel connects to that and then it goes this way
off that fine arch are back.
And then remember that
high low, big toe side, little toe side were
going like this. So that's why we have such a high shadow
And then it flattens out.
Comes down to that toe. So let's look at it from this
side. Here's the toes. Here's the arch. Here's the heel.
So the shadow is going to come off that big tall wedge down
onto that skinny toe.
So we have this descending. And of course
some tendinous connections in there. Now we have a second
pathway to get to the toes here.
Notice how this is - just like the forearm can turn into a big
egg with a tube or two-by-four stuck into it when it gets in
deeper perspective, we're getting this structure, this
wider structure, breaking away and coming inside.
but notice how I'm making sure
that the saddle shape, that spool shape, very much like pool shaped very much. Like the
we conceived of the end of the humerus is accepting that foot.
That wedge of the foot or the duckbill shape of the foot.
Could be squarer,
like so. And we see that overlap there then.
And that insertion in.
So important to break through the contour to feel that end.
That's one of our big opportunities to move over the
form when we feel that.
for the structural end of that thigh.
This comes down and this would be a good opportunity to show
of the ankles group together and we get the ankle structure.
That's more exaggerated but the ankle structure protruding in,
again a drumstick idea.
And then oftentimes in these kind of things I'll come off
that ankle bone.
I'll come off that ankle bone and not into the heel, I'll cut
through much in the same way I'll cut through the thumb and
go from ankle bone all the way to the knuckle of the foot to
get a clean connective line. You could do the same thing remember
that we had the elbow, ulna, we can make a straight line or
slightly curved line. The hanging flexor muscles into the
hand here. We can make this lovely straight clean true
connection from bone joint to bone joint and it ties
everything together. So I'm going to go from here to here.
And it's a real - and it can be straight or it can be curved but
they gives me a nice clean connection and then we get
four - we're basically getting corner to corner to corner that way in a
clean way and then later at some later date - because that's
what later means, later date,
then we'll add what little or a lot we see of the
So I want this to go back this way a little bit.
And follow the structure a lot. So turn that over that way.
And so if we can make - there's that wedge. See it a lot there.
We see it very little here.
put a little or a lot of that in there, but we can just let
the compression flatten that right out if we want.
That's a hint of that idea.
So once you know this stuff,
what it does is it gives you a choice. You look up there and
say okay, that's what I see structurally. But gesturally it
suggests this to me, anatomically it suggests this to me, in terms
of a tonal composition it suggests this to me.
And that's going to affect the perspective of it is like this.
So I'm going to let those strokes show that perspective
idea of that deep
thrust back into the paper
lower leg maybe.
So you start to get choices or you could say I like the
way I did that tone, oh that happens to follow the length
or the prospective width that structure, that's why that's
that. So I'm gonna add a little halftone over here.
And some half tone here. And some darker half tone here that also
work on and that's what a pen and ink artist might well do.
And then all of a sudden the technique is a product of a
strong idea rather than a accidental
choice of taking one teacher who works one way over another
teacher who happened to work another way just an accident of
what you were shown. Now, you've got real choices to make it
The - I went to Art Center, the thunderbolt core shadow
was just a flamboyant stylization of that darker
core. It's a fun way to mark it up, give a little bit of zing to
it. But what it also does is as you're going down the form
which is what the core shadow does it separating two
structures, this darker plane, maybe from this lighter plane. So it's
structural. It's also showing the gesture
but now is it goes down if I make a zigzag and especially if
I make the zigzag curve in the perspective of the structure,
now as I go down the contours, the little zigzag contours are
arrows that are pointing across in exactly - potential exactly
tracking the surface of that form. So it became a way - if I want
this to go back farther then
maybe I'll use a thunderbolt core shadow like
that. That'll give a sense of all that kind of wild. Rococo
shapes with those tendons and veins and stuff. But also now
those are tracking over and so that style - and you'll find most
terrific styles, the great masters, the styles were a
product of a lot of careful thought or a lot of intuiting
and they are very very functional.
Pontormo as I said would draw six fingers, four or five
nipples, searching, but also the product of kind of paranoia,
that mannerist style was a time when Florence was not doing so
well, it was paranoid and things, it was a bit of a dystopia in
Europe, you know, everybody was trying to kill off everybody
else and so rather than the high Renaissance that was
ennobling and statesman like this was a little bit, I don't
know what's going to happen. So they did these kind of garish
colors, they flattened and distorted space. They went crazy
with the proportions. And so why not give somebody a body
were he can't even decide where his nipples are. That seems to be
right in line with our lifestyle at the moment.
And you can - if I have more time I'm going to come and work on
the connections where the important forms major or minor
come together. That's where I should take the time to add
more stuff is at the jointed connections,
to make sure that those major parts
are really doing their work because after all, you can
establish a major part beautifully with one line.
three-dimensional structure, even if it's fairly complicated
with several forms, is fairly easily done. But the truth of
your work, where it's going to shine, is how that next form
comes to it. So whatever I do here, if I spend a little extra
working out exactly - or maybe not exactly but stylistically
exactly - how I think it should work,
then that gives me a better chance
So go to those joints and spend the time and now
through the magic of tens of hours of video you could get
some - a little more control of that information.
And then sometimes just pick a part. Don't pick apart,
pick a part.
Maybe this interesting knee structure. So
I'm doing the other leg here, his right leg.
There's the patella.
Here's the common tendon
catching on to the
Now if I looked at this from a side, I'd see that that kneecap
is here and we have this kind of dome there.
So going to feel the top of that dome structure here, and I
want to come down onto that
Vastus internus or
whatever the new name. Vastus I'm on the inside-ius fastest time on the inside he
what they call it now.
Look at the magic of tendons. I'm going to come inside
and show you how to get from the major thigh structure into
shin structure, the inside of the tibia there. And I'm going to
do that inside in this case the contour
it's in here.
Now if I want the bone structure to be bony,
if I actually make it for separating stringy, say the
tendon, I can make it a sharper line or a darker mark.
And that can stand in with a little bit of work, with a
little bit of consistency, I can educate my audience
to understand that that's bone. That's a hard surface.
A shin bone comes to the surface and then the tibialis
anterior attaches to it. So maybe I'll sharpen that core
Anytime I can get the detail on the outside
to move into the
structure, lower or higher structure on the inside, that
is a good thing.
It's a another way to interlock.
And in this case, I'm going to show the weight of the body
sitting thigh, by making it squarer maybe as it hits the
flat surface. Something like that. Or I can have it squeeze
out, mush out this way. That's what happens with the oblique.
We have the rib cage and we have the pelvis and this comes
down and this comes up and that poor little oblique doesn't have
anything to do, it's like batter in the waffle iron it gets
squeezed up the side, like so. So, but maybe we do that.
So this kind of stuff takes mileage. Do you not going to
get this right off the bat. You need to study the material and
more important like the baseball player, which I happen
not to be, you need to swing that bat until you don't have
to think about how you swing the bat, your body
takes over and then you go I kind of like that and then you
can stop and say now why do I like that? That's bone so that
by making a little darker that's better. I'll make it a
little darker yet. I like that mark, why do I like that mark, it's
going over the contour of the form and the specific
You know, this feels like it's not working so well. Oh I need
to insert it. I need to let those tendons or those
structures intrude into that other structure and not just
bump against it.
This is usually where most people leave a construction
style. They make it a little too stiff or very stiff and not
aware of gesture and they don't know how to make a nuanced
structure. And if they are aware of gesture, they don't know how to
make these simple solids, which we begin in 101 drawing class.
You always get these solids, some version of this. And they
set those up
and paint them light gray and put them on light gray surface and
put a desk lamp on them and then they want you to draw those,
which is great practice for seeing how real things sit in
space. But then you get to something that has any kind of
complexity, let alone the most complexity in the whole history
of the universe,
give or take some weird alien from Star Trek.
You get -
it falls short and then you say well, I don't like construction
styles. It looks like a mannequin. So you - there's just a
world of possibilities here and it really has
everything there that life has if you spend the time to
explore it and understand it.
And that understanding can be heavy
study or can be intuitive, as many of the great artists in
history. They didn't do tons of study necessarily. They
intuited it but a lot of them did. Michelangelo got to hang out in
the Medici garden and look at the
Belvedere torso and all that other great stuff and was
exposed to that. The Renaissance had their support system.
Raphael went he snuck in, looked at did she
Michelangelo's work and then stole it for his own, as was
the his right to do really. We all do that. So everything
is both structural and gestural. Everything's functional. If you
have a purpose for it, it'll make sense.
Okay, and there's nothing more difficult than what we're doing
here, but there's a path through it and just remember
when in doubt
simplify. Almost wrote simper.
Get the big simple stuff because that's tough enough at
first, and even not at first, and then do the
small complex stuff later, if at all. And do it in layers. Do a
big simple thing, then lay some tracing paper over
it and refine it and then lay some more and refine it again and
then make it rounder conceptions and then squarer
conceptions and worry just about this gesture instead of
the structure. And then look at the anatomical connections and
then see how each of those muscles have a structural idea
and each of those muscles have a gestural idea. See how they
become their own beautiful, fantastic, functional thing and
then how they flow into the next beautiful fantastic
Transcription not available.
Reference Images (32)
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1. Introduction31sNow playing...
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2. Learning Recommendation24s
3. The Wrist Live Demo7m 47s
4. Learning Recommendation24s
5. Basic Hand & Finger Construction8m 15s
6. Character of the Thumb10m 21s
7. Metacarpals to Carpals9m 8s
8. How to Place Fingers24m 14s
9. Boxy Wrist12m 29s
10. Ankle Foot Live Demo5m 56s
11. Structure of Foot10m 57s
12. Construction of Ankle8m 42s
13. Toe Construction6m 21s
14. Placement of Toes6m 7s
15. Foot at Difficult Angles6m 45s
16. Architecture of Foot7m 56s
17. Step and Sole4m 39s
18. Lower Leg Foot Demo18m 9s