- Lesson Details
In this lesson, instructor Steve Huston will teach you how to simplify and understand the mechanics of the shoulder girdle. Steve will teach through diagrams, lectures, and drawing from a life model. You will practice and gain confidence not only in recognizing the anatomy of the shoulder but also in drawing it.
This lesson belongs to the course Art Anatomy for Beginners. In this 6-week course, renowned painter Steve Huston will provide you an introduction to human anatomy. You will study how he uses the perspective of aesthetics and mechanics of motion, to deconstruct the anatomy of a human figure. You will learn how to simplify the structures of the figure, in order to create compelling and effective drawings. Following the traditional approach of historic drafts persons like George Bridgman and Burne Hogarth, this course will provide you a concrete foundation of anatomy, tailored specifically for artists.
Throughout this course, you’ll have access to the NMA community for feedback and critiques to improve your work as you progress.
Transcription not available.
clavicle, collar bones come over. The chest is this little
meaty area here.
Pectoralis major and minor is going to attach all the way
down and you can see that kind of striation lump and bump
going down. That's the packet, the fibers it works in bunches.
I'll show you that another time.
Breaks down but the whole mass attaches right down the sternum
and then attaches across, it's fitting on attaching to the rib
until it gets somewhere around the nipples here on him and
this going to take off for the arm. Now when the arms are down
notice that the arms pinch a little bit against the chest
Notice if I poke him he jumps.
So pinches and that's deceptive that can do this up. Okay, so
I'm going to behind you now, go ahead and bring engine now go ahead and bring
it, start to bring your arm out. This like that
now we can see a little better how it detaches. So the ribcage
here, the armpit. Let's look at it this way. The armpit is
created by where the pectoralis, here's the chest, where it
suggest is stop right where my finger is.
The rib cage is getting remember from wide to narrow.
You can see over there. It's where the rib cage ends and
disappears underneath and then the latissimus, I'll show you
that in a little bit, the back muscles, think of the pectoralis
as the hugging muscles. They do this and think of the
latissimus dorsi, the lats as they call them in the gym. Those
are the yawning muscles,
like that, you pull down and back or you pull the kitty out
of the tree using the yawning muscles when we do that.
Down and back, forward and in like that. And notice what happens
when I go down and back, like go any farther than that. I'm
stuck there. The rib cage is in the way and everything binds
up. We'll talk about why another time in a little bit,
but when I come forward I got plenty of articulation don't I?
I can really move all the way across and I can hug no matter
how small that huggable thing is like that. The reason for
that is when this comes down attached, attached, attached,
attached, attached, attached, to detach where it's going is not
on the inside of the bicep, bring your arm down again for
me, feels like it's attaching under the deltoid doesn't it? Well it
kind of is. Bring your arm out again. What's happening is the
chest goes all the way to the outside of the arm and
It's attaching there. So notice what happens when I -
if I go this way, I can't do a full hug. But if I relax my
arms, let them do what they want to do, notice bicep is
forward, but now it's turning in. So what's happening is the
chest muscle the pectoralis is attached under that deltoid on
the outside of the humerus in effect. And so the muscle grabs
here and bring it all the way over. Gives us a fuller range.
If it was attached here it would stop there. It's all the way over
here and pulls it over and around, it rotates it
in a little bit to get the fullest motion that way. Okay.
So that means when we draw an articulating arm, we've got to
be very careful that we do it the right way because the chest,
if we look here the chest attaches at the armpit. Of
course, I can see that pinch. That's what we think they're and the
deltoid pinches against that but as soon as we articulate if
we take the chest and attach here or attach here is not
going to be correct. The chest attaches under the shoulder
under the deltoid. So our rule is where the deltoid goes the
chest follows. So that means since the deltoid is on the
outside, it's on the outside and you're always your
own best model. So I just start grabbing yourself feels good to
And just say okay, where is that going? That
muscles underneath there, dig around look for it. So now notice
if the chest goes where the shoulder or the chest follows,
where the shoulder is shoulder goes chest follows. Look at
what happens here, the shoulder's in the back, I'll show you why
in a little bit, but if the shoulder's in the back, where is
that attachment to the chest? It's in the back also. So come
on up. Keep that arm coming up, up, up, up, stop right there.
Okay, come back down again, all the way down. Okay deltoid's on
the outside. It's a lateral muscle. It's a particularly
weak muscle. We have so much freedom of motion here. We're
going to spend a whole bit of time on this area, but it's on
the outside. So ladder most particularly weak because the
load is you way out here and this is just right here,
horrible leverage and it needs to have full freedom of motion
mainly so we can swing through the trees in our earlier selves.
So this incredible mobility, when you have a lot of
mobility, you don't have a lot of stability and you can either
be the hare that runs really quick, but can't take a lot of
punishment or you can be the turtle, the tank, that doesn't move
very well and can take a tremendous amount of punishment,
is very stable. So this is a particularly unstable area. We
get a lot of injuries, sports injuries, rotator cuff,
all that good stuff. It has this incredible flexibility
Mobility. But it has a lot of fragile little connections. So
watch what happens now.
That shoulder's on the outside, deltoid's on the outside. Now
when we lift up bring your arm up slowly to a horizontal, right
there. Now it's on the top side that makes sense, started
on the outside went to the top side. Now if he moves - don't
move yet - if he moves then the shoulder should be now on the
inside when you finish is right? Outside, topside, inside. Let's outside topside inside. Let's
see what happens, go ahead and move it up. All the way up,
still pointing at the ceiling.
All the way up. Where is that shoulder at? Is it on the inside?
Well, let's try it again. You do it yourself.
Shoulder's on the outside.
Shoulder's on the top side.
Where is the shoulder now?
Back side, isn't it? Let's do it again. Shoulder's on the
outside. So it is on the top side now try and keep it on the
inside as it should be when you get it, that stays on the
inside. Can you get it, it binds up doesn't it? So that's one of
the problems, that's what muscle-bound is. Muscle-bound is
when the muscles get in the way of each other for a full range
of motion. You get muscle bound because you workout too much but
nature doesn't want you to be muscle-bound. They want
you to be very stable to take some abuse or to hold still and
they want you to have great explosive energy do you can
get out of there when you need to, the fight-or-flight
theory. So that means nature is going to design our body in
such a way that the muscles move and get out of the way the
each other so we get a full range of motion and the only
way to do that here is to rotate it back. Now, let's look
at it another way, rather than looking at the shoulder
look at the palm. When you relax your arms are down your palms
when I lift up they face down, again that makes sense. Faces in,
faces down, faces out, faces up. So when I go all the way up,
they should be facing out there, right?
Can't do it. Where do they stay?
So notice what's happening. This isn't a hinge joint like
this. This is a ball-and-socket joint. So it
not only articulates in a much fuller range than a hinge joint,
hinge joint only has one axis. It can work on this way. It can
only go this way and this way. A ball and socket, this isn't
quite a ball and socket but close enough.
Chis can move in every axis within the range of this
mobility, its connection. So the leverage point can come over
and affect the load from all these different directions,
almost a hundred and eighty kind of thing. This actually
has more than a hundred and eighty and it's an amazing
design, amazing construction to allow that we'll explore that a
little bit later on the paper. But for now what we need to
know is since it's a ball and socket joint, as it comes up it
rotates a way to get this bulky muscle out of the way of this
bulky structure to allow full range in a few who are more
flexible than me. You could bring that elbow over here, you
know the yoga types.
So take it all the way over there. It's got incredible
range of motion, but that makes it very easy to injure so you
don't want to pick something up like this. You want to come
over and use your whole body and use the stable strength,
the things that are less mobile to add position and leverage
and power to. So this moves over here. So for the chest what
that means is when you come up here the chest is going behind
as the shoulder is and attaching over there, it does
not attach. An easy mistake to make is to attach your chest here.
It goes behind,
hangs over again. I'll show you in the drawing in a second.
So that's that now let's go this way.
shrugging muscles, now let's look at the yawning muscles.
Okay, the yawning muscles are latissimus dorsi.
Dorsal as in dorsal fin in the back. They attach right over
the strap, right over here, right over the blade I should say
across here. I'll show you that later. And they come over and
it comes over on the outside and pulls that in and does as
we've seen it do, the latissimus attaches on the inside and
that's why it binds up quickly. Doesn't have much range of
motion, doesn't need it. Pull it in,
mime kind of thing.
Attaches there now, but we have that incredible range of motion
and it's all through the magic of the shoulder blade. Notice
that comparative anatomy between as we just did a little
bit between quadrupeds, knuckle walkers, and bipeds can be very
useful because we start to see why things are designed the way
they should be for the function. The forms following that function performs falling that function
of someone who has to be upright as opposed to in a
tipped over position, a tabletop position, and then we start to
see why things are the structure the gesture, the
engineering, we're going to remember it better and we can
also then design and redesign that to fulfill that. Now we can
make an alien that it's a 20-foot tall, it's a knuckle
walker and that might have a great effect on how we design
the ribcage, how the muscles attach and its six arms that
we put on him and all that kind of stuff.
But just aesthetically we can then make it a more pleasing, a
more interesting more dynamic design. So this attaches in here, this
whole thing moves. Notice that this has what's called a blade.
This also has a blade. Notice how robust this blade is, much
thicker because this has take all this weight and propel it,
support it and propel it. Very thick heavy bone. This is the
strongest area of the body. It's the fulcrum, lever idea. It's a
fulcrum of the bone. It's where we can articulate our torso and
then use these amazing tools to do what they need to
do their work and where we propel the leverage point and
the momentum we're propelling that structure with whatever
task that's done forward.
So this has to be very powerful and since it has to
be so stable. It can't be as mobile. Hence the sacrum. So we
have this little sacred triangle, comes in Christian
mythology, the sacrum sacred triangle
in here with our tail bone. We don't need much of a tail
usually, some of us do so it, so don't attach but
this is in and just been that over we've got the quadruped
coming out here with the spine going that way and this extends
out of course, but we've got a little tail here.
But these guys are fixed together.
And that allows for the great stability so that these can be
pretty mobile. But notice this is a ball-and-socket joint. We
said the ball and socket joint is - well if I didn't say I'm
saying now is the most mobile of all possible bone
connections. Hinge joint doesn't do much it's actually hinge joint
here. These can move a little bit and they move quite a bit
until about six and then they fix. This has a hinged joint
that has quite a bit of mobility, but only along one
axis. Ball-and-socket joint can go around in a very full
range, can have close to a 360 degree range. That's pretty
good. So this can move all around in here nice mobility.
That's terrific. This has even more mobility because not only
does it have a ball-and-socket joint, notice that the greater
trochanter comes into the ball and socket joint because we
need to have that way in there to take all that weight when
this breaks down that's when you get a hip replacement. This
has a very shallow it's called the glenoid Saugus called the glenoid
cavity and it's a bare little ditch. Just a slight
concavity in there, which means it's not fitted in as well not
connected as well so we have to strap it in with all sorts of
ligaments at your rotator cuff stuff that hold that in there
and didn't do a very good job and if you get a yank and get a
concussion to it, it's damaged. But the secret to this is not
only does this move all the way around and move around a little
farther than this because it's shallow not deep, give or take
this obstruction, but notice if this stayed straight we wouldn't
be able to go
as far as the horizontal.
We'd be stopped somewhere in here. This whole thing rotates
up. And now this is always a problem. Maybe Joshua will come
up with a skeleton where we can fix this. These things are fixed
together they're never right the way they put together and one of They put together and one of
the most grievous injuries to us is this is fixed on this is
why it's there, can't move, the whole thing moves and this will
rotate. I'll show you on him in a second. We'll see it in the
drawings and it's going to go from here to about there. It
can go all the way up here on people but somewhere in there
once you get about here, it's going to create a T to your
arm or an L.
That whole thing moves and by that moving it's much more
fragile, but it's much more mobile. It's not as stable, but
we have incredible mobility and we can swing through the trees
and get to where we have to go or you know, scratch our head
or whatever we need to do.
So that's that. So let's take a look and see how that works.
Here's the shoulder blade here, it's a triangle, comes
Here's the spine comes across here.
Flips up there and this is the the cavity to attach the
trapezius which are the shrugging muscles, the yawning
muscles, hugging muscles, shrugging muscles. They come up
here. We'll look at those another time. This is coming
down here. So we're not going to see this in here. This is
filled in with fairly heavily muscle structure. This gets
filled in with those strapping muscles that go across the
to hold this in and to help articulate it. We can see this
though. And sometimes we can see a little bit of this. This
is actually latissimus, it actually will pop out from
under that latissimus sometimes and we can see this. So we can
see it right in here. So do me a favor and pinch your
and we'll get it balling up and one of these pinches is picking
up closely. There's the bottom
right here and it's going to come right up here. Now here's the
neat trick. Go ahead and scratch your back with one arm
or the other.
Okay stop right there, see how that pops off? That's why it's so
mobile. That's why it can be injured. It floats. It strapped
on in this beautiful way that allows it to float around. You
get a massage, you lay on a table and relax, masseuse can
actually move that a little bit around so it is actually
This way as he scratches his back that arm's going forward so
that elbow can go back so that can go up and it's risk can go up and it's
dragging this around the corner
and doing this.
So what we'll find then
if I can do it this way is if we think of that kind of wide
and narrow structure. here's the backplane to it. The
shoulder blades are on the corner of that. The arms are on
the side of that structure. So if we think of that box or that
flattened cylinder from the top, we have the spine in the
center, we have the shoulder blades on the corner. They
create corner planes. Remember on the front we said the
nipple was a great landmark to create the corner of our
structure for the rib cage in front. The shoulders create a
whole corner plane on the back, they're doing extra surface. This is
just a point where the planes meet. So you get that corner edge
going down implied by that that nipple there. But here now,
we've got the back with the spine and a little bit of
territory, the shoulder blades, and then the arm is on the side
plane. So we get three planes from back to side and then over
here too. I'll show you in the drawing. And you can see when he
scratches his back it goes back quite far, flips back. This
is sitting a little flatter. Instead of doing that where
this is it's doing that but when he bends that around it's
doing that it's doing even more, so that floats on. Okay. So now
you can relax at arm down. Now slowly bring this up. Now I
want you to watch for that blade. Go ahead and bring that up
slowly, slowly, stop about there. Now depending on the model, the
model of the body.
Come down a little bit.
Anywhere from here to here usually that shoulder blade
will start moving. Sometimes you have to get up a little
higher on some but it's already starting moving right there. Now
watch this. Go ahead and come up.
Now it's going to start to rotate over and then go ahead
and bring it all the way up to about there.
It will rotate about that far. Now that blade, that triangle is
Right in there and then depending on the model and how
flexible he is, he's probably gonna be able to go farther when you
keep going it will keep rotating up, but for some of us
it stops there. So now it's right over here. It won't go
any farther. Some will come all the way up here. So notice that
kind of T or L idea going on. So when you have that arm
look for that shoulder blade and look for it crossing the
arms going this way, the shoulder blade is going across
this way. We don't get to see it here. So when this is here,
this should have turned this way. And then when it gets up
here, it'll either stay there. Or it'll rotate up a little
farther, anywhere in there, but that whole thing moves. So
that's going to be a particular problem and a particular
opportunity. There's a lot of stuff changing there. This is
the only - you can bring your arm down. This is the only area
where we almost have to have a little bit of anatomy
understanding to make it work. Most of the time you can just
look at it as architecture or structure. If you see a
shape and give that shape a fluid design, it'll serve you
very very well. And you can refine it into ever smaller
architectural solids and you'll do just fine with that for the
most part. But if you can add a little bit of anatomy, those
truths will become now more useful. You can push them for
the stability in the mobility ideas. You can redesign those
to make it more dynamic, you can turn it into monsters through
comparative anatomy and learning how things insert and
connect with the muscles group and all that good stuff, but
you don't have to have that. Here you almost have to because here. Almost have to because
that moves around so much and because of that rotation we
talked about changes so much you're going to be looking for
these egg shapes that all sudden disappear or more for
sporadically from what to expect and you'll get confused and
you'll make a long attachment and it won't ring true. So
wherever the shoulder is the chest follows, the chest goes
in back because the shoulder's in back so we go from side to
back by the time we are fully articulate that.
Same way here, it goes from the side and now it's going to
come towards us, it's going to be on our front instead of being
inside. It'll be on the front. So now that whole egg shape,
that whole deltoid shape is moved and is coming right at
you and binding up with a lot of stuff. We have the shrugging
muscles. We have that moving triangular blade of the
scapula. We've got the deltoid, the arm fixing of that, we there the arm fixing of that we
have the rib cage below and we have the latissimus
chasing after, all that stuff now has moved in a radically
different position and rotated it in a funny way that can
really screw us up. So that's great. Let's go down here then.
And let me show you in drawing. Let's do one last pose if we
Transcription not available.
There is our spine
coming down here.
Those are our obliques we'll have fun talking about.
let me just do a
quick schematic here. Here's the rib cage.
You'll be able to see up there here in a few minutes.
There's our spine. Here's our shoulder line and shrugging
muscle, shrugging muscle the trapezius. We take the top
section stick it on the shoulder line. It's just a
And then the shoulders are very complicated. This whole
shoulder girdle area as we've just talked about but no matter how
complicated they are or how simply you want to design them,
make sure they're first and always corners. They are the corner
where the shoulder ends at wide thickness to the torso and the
arms begin. Unless it perfectly lines up and even
there I'll show you some point this weekend how to get that
sooner or later. We want to make sure it's a corner. It's
an exterior corner when the arm's down. It's an interior
corner when the arm's up but if we just stick with that with
this articulating shoulder blade business, it's not going
to be convincing. They're not going to believe that the forms
are going to kind of
peter out or dead end or bind up in some awkward way. So if
we want to make that corner more sophisticated what Shim more sophisticated what
we're going to do is we're going to add a shoulder blade
and we're just going to draw the top along the shoulder line
and draw the blade coming down. And when the arm is down and
the shoulder blade - when the arm shoulder when the arm and down
is down and the shoulder area is relaxed that inside blade will
be more or less parallel and has a little curvature to it you
can see on our model or on our skeleton.
It'd be more or less parallel to the spine. The whole blade
comes up here. You don't need to do all that whole triangle,
just draw in effect and L. If you drop the top of that away
from the shoulder line -notice that was the shoulder line here
is now the top blade or spine I should say of the shoulder
blade now come down, we've created a little L there that
leverages off that same corner and now we're doing a couple
things. You're starting to give a thickness
to the rib cage, it suggests kind of like the gabled roof
top. It's sliding up and in so we get a sense of that
thickness of the rib cage and it's now starting to put our
shoulder blade as I alluded to on the corner. So if we look at
the top, here's the head here, here's the feet here, this here's the spine
area, here's the shoulder blades in a relaxed position,
arms and shoulders here. Notice how it creates nice corners,
scratch your back, that corner can get more dynamic if you
are a guard at attention or ballet dancer, it might get a little
flatter but it creates a nice thickness there, a nice corner
structure. That's all you have to do. And then you can
just draw the armpit as you see it and go along your merry way.
If that arm articulates more dynamically, this has to rotate.
Let me show you up here.
Now shoulder blade's here. Notice
here is a
bit of the trapezius, that shrugging muscle, comes along
the spine. There's the spine, you can feel this going down here.
That's not the shoulder blade. That's the trapezius, it's actually a
diamond shape. It comes up here like this to the neck and down
to the middle of the back. It's like that. We'll look at it
more carefully later I'm sure.
You can see this little striation, this little
separation of muscle. You see this little separation of
muscle, you got some stuff in there and
quickly, this is all shadow, just so you can see the
topography on my drawing of what we've got on
the model up there and then here is the rib cage coming
down. This is going to be the shrugging muscles or the yawning
coming back that way. This is the shoulder blade right here. It's
not popping out hardly at all, but it's right there.
Notice what's going on here. If we can pretend that hand's not
there. We have the shrugging muscle coming across. Here's
the shoulder line in this dynamic pose, shrugging muscle
comes across and binds up. You can feel that on your own body.
Lift your shoulder up and you'll feel that the deltoid
binds up against bone and that shrugging muscle goes over
to the neck. It's all kind of bound up there. So that's what
the pinches are here. When I get something bound up I'll
put two little lines, that will suggest that something has
ended, some structure that I may or may not define has ended and
some new structure has begun. The shoulder girdle area, the
shoulder blade, and all the muscles that attach. The trapezius
shrugging muscle and stuff has ended and the deltoids we got
it fits right here. What we'll see is in some way or another,
in this case something like this. I'll bring it up a little
bit so you can see a little bit more. There is the deltoid. Now
if I go to a profile
put an arm down I'll tend to draw an egg shape or it can be
a delta shape. You can be a kind of a wedge. Catches on the
side of the arm, chest would be here, shoulder blade would be
back here. This is a profile, here is the head and th eneck
and stuff. We get a nice full shape there, but when that arm
goes up to articulate this top binds up with all the other
And so we only get one, two, three sides of that egg. Now we
can choose to make a different shape, a wedge shape, a teardrop
shape, doesn't matter. Whatever is simple yet characteristic or
in keeping of
whatever your intentions are. I'm going to draw three sides,
let it bind up, and then
think about it coming all the way back
Let me show you over here.
I'm going to draw then the shrugging muscle. I've drawn my
spine, my head, probably my rib cage certainly. I draw the
shrugging muscle. I do a couple little
bumps that tells me something's ended. Something's about to
begin. I do one, two, three sides
of my egg shape
and then I just - this egg shape has a cylinder let's say
coming out of it. This egg shape will also have a cylinder
coming out of it. This one one drops down of course, this one
reaches up, but same idea.
So in other words it deltoid is on top of the arm.
Always on top of the rest of the arm.
Whether it's laying down or
One, two, three sides there. We have it bring this right back and
curve that or you can curve that, it can do all sorts of
things depending on the nature of the model and exactly the
dynamics of that arm,
That gives you a sense of the shoulder, shoulder blade unit.
The shoulder, shoulder blade unit is on top of the arm
and on top of the rib cage and moves as we've seen independent
of the ribcage. We can move that arm all over the place and
the rib cage barrel or whatever the structure is
doesn't have to move at all.
It can remain fixed.
So we want to feel that on top of this. Let's look at it here.
This is - I'm going to keep this up as I said higher. It's on top
of the arm and more importantly it's on top of the rib cage. In
this case just barely it's bump - the muscles are filling
in the gaps and it's just bumping
on top of like that and then you might find where that arm
was actually down a little bit more and I need to carve a
little bit of that away because of its particular
But that's going to be the process. Let's do it one more
time. Shrugging muscle, pinch,
shoulder, three sides of our egg, shoulder blade.
I'm going to turn it that way. I'll show you why in a second.
You may or may not see this whole thing separate, you may or
may not see that little end there. Draw it anyway, just
draw it lightly. If you're planning to render some more
accurate detail over but now that shoulder shoulder blade
unit sits on top of and suggests its independence nature from
the rib cage. Arm comes out of that
like so and then that
our yawning muscle, I saying the wrong on, the
muscle, the latissimus.
But that attaches in there.
Okay, so that gives us the sense of it. Now, when should I
curve the blade that way and have it go shoulder, shoulder
When should I make it straight shoulder, shoulder blade unit?
And when should I curve it this more concave way?
Well, look at the rib cage as a barrel for a second or it could
be an egg, think of a pickle barrel or a cask, old wine cask.
If we have slats to our cask
Tthere's a slat in the center.
And then notice as we move out to the side how those slats
bulge and become more and more curved and show us a curve
character and they'll proceed to get tighter and tighter and
tighter and that's going to be part of what gives us the
illusion of it wrapping around behind us isn't it. Remember
movement over the form. So in this case as we feel this ever
greater buldge to these wooden slats we're going to feel it
wrapping around this way.
if I then want to show a ,let's say a rib cage that's here.
Here's the spine going over one of those slats and then
attaches into the lower back and moves on.
If we were going to draw this shoulder blade on this side
then I want to keep this logic so it bulges around. I don't
do it this way.
I want to do it this way so it tracks, even if it's off the
axis it tracks that bulging curvature. So I'm going to tend
to and I'll do this whether I see it on the model or not, but
you don't have to.
I'll do it that way.
Now here is a shoulder blade here. I'm just going to draw
the shoulder blade without the interrupting muscles. There's the
shoulder blade there and the arm goes off this way let's
Notice we make it a little bit fatter here.
Notice its proportions here. Let's come over here.
This arm also is going up
Notice this length is more or less equal on the two.
But here we have a very narrow foreshortened. What should be this
has done this because it's going around, wrapping around. So how
wide is my hand, how wide is my hand? Basically gets more
So this would go that way so I will tend to make this line
either bulged or straight
because it's closer to the center here and I'll make this
one more concave this way. So it bulges and wraps around that
one so I can alter these let's say well no, I can see it
bulging here. Go ahead and order that one back here, maybe
that curves even more but you can let that change and you can
do it based on the anatomy. You'll actually see that at
times or you'll distort the aesthetics of it to reinforce
that structural idea to get the wrapping around much
Notice how if I treat this torso as a structural problem.
I'm just going to make it a tube and as I start to build a more
sophisticated structure, I'll come back to make sure I've got
a more accurate gesture started over here. And now I'm going to
refine that gesture. As you refine the one idea, refine
the other idea. Make sure gesture and structure work
Okay. So this is all just
structural thinking, just the lay in idea.
But if I can be aware of a little bit of the tricks of the
trade, I'm going to make this bigger, when I lay in
those nipples I'm going to lay them in so that their axis is
pointing up towards the center. That's going to give me a
little bit more bang and they happen to do that and they they happen to do that and they
will often do that.
I'm going to make sure that the pectoralis muscles also lay on
Notice how the center as my mark, whatever the mark happens
to be, muscle, shadow, contour, whatever. I make a mark and I
want that mark to point up towards the center and down
towards the side.
And hopefully it's at least as dynamic and maybe even more his Dynamic and maybe even more
movement for the construction line. If I want the construction line if I want
to get tricky I can look for and even distort into the
contour. So it tracks truly the curvature of my perspective
marks or again it can be more exaggerated. So I can break
the other way and it will be believable or I can let it stay
as it is and just for a little while
break it into that contour and then go right back
to the true contour.
That's going to start to be one of the ways I can make it
stylistically my own by taking these principles and distorting
them. Now the shoulder is all sorts of complicated things we
found but it all it has to be is a corner
for that arm
and then we can make it much more sophisticated. I can make
it a couple corners. I can add secondary structures.
Notice how we have a little bit of a interlock there.
Notice how the chest chases after, wherever the shoulder
goes the chest followed. When you put a little simple shadow
Notice how if I can conceive of these of simple connections,
interlocks, overlaps, anatomical insertions and origins
on whatever level or all those levels, if I can conceive of
that simply I can make it up or redesign it in a simple way and
it can be a square conception or a rounder conception and
have it ring true still even though it's not true to the
And that again can give me a possibility for style and if he
moves I can keep drawing for quite a while afterwards
knowing the simple architectural truths and those
basic connections, those anatomical connections. So that
fits in there like that. Now let's take that and put it in
the back view.
Here we be that coke bottle conception. If you look up at
the skeleton imagine the the fleshy neck on that, you'll see
how the fleshy neck passes through the center line or
through the shoulder line
connecting through the spine, of course.
And we go from a very skinny neck to a fatter bottle base.
So and we get this lovely connection there, which it's
going to be important for gesture.
A better connection between those and we'll explore that
the last day more carefully.
Okay. So now when we add our shoulder blades
so this comes back at us like this, remember it's a corner
that is most important.
And when you're trying to get that corner
the more information you put down, the more sure you will be
of it. So if I add the shrugging muscle on top now,
I've got the shoulder line and the shrugging muscle against
where that corner is. It might be a little more accurate.
If I add and probably until I add some of the armpit
or the armpit attaches and the
latissimus which we haven't had a chance to talk about yet.
Well, I add some of that I'm going to be not sure. So for
example, here's the rib cage,
here's the shoulder line, here's a shrugging muscle.
There's the arm, the corner and the arm. That's my best guess.
Now when I try and add on the armpit and the connective
tissue there I know immediately it's wrong. So
connect on the outside corner, you get a nice clean corner.
You can always make it a more sophisticated more nuanced
But double-check your proportions on the inside.
Is that bicep far enough away from the rib cage? That's an
easy place to measure well, that's way too far. It's got to
come over, should be here. So there is my corner, that's going
to be more accurate. The more information we add the better.
So now if we put on the shoulder blade, there is that
spine dropping that down. Let's look on top
of the rib cage again.
Here's a spine.
The erector muscles of the back. Here's the deltoid
Shoulder blade's here.
And notice if we separate that shoulder blade from the
it's going to help feel the thickness out and if we had a
little bit of this which, is impossible in this view, but
little bit of that
down plane of the rib cage would see it drop down that way. So
just by doing that it gives us a sense of thickness. Again I'm
thinking of a house.
Like that if we can get the spine here and we're getting
another corner, top thickness going into the skinny neck out
to the fat rib cage, very helpful. This pulls this way
and because that arm's going back, it might well pop off a
and really separate.
You're typically not going to see this section very much
of it because you have all those strappy muscles going
across, putting the deltoid, cover that so usually just see
about that much. Sometimes you'll see the tip of that
blade and then you'll see it muck up and get blended with
all the other connective tissue, we'll see that more carefully
later and then attaches, remember it attaches on the
inside. That's why we don't have much flexibility as
opposed to the chest that attaches way over his way over
then the outside wraps all the way over.
So it stays in here pretty pretty tight. And then you may
well want to cap that structure at some point before or after with
the greater deltoid that attaches.
If that arm swings around the front
it's going to drag
that shoulder blade on the front. Notice what we're doing,
shoulder blade unit.
It's creating this architecture, this ever more refined
landscape that's tracking and always referencing the greater
form that it's on when done properly and so now we've got
this wrapping tightly around, going around the other side
there and so notice very thick section here before it meets
the deltoid, very thin section here as we get this pretty flat
to us and this doing this, that foreshortened, think of the picket shortened think of the picket
fence going down the highway. It gets smaller and smaller
and smaller. It also gets closer and closer and closer
together, you know, this is not foreshortening this way because
this is only a few inches away from us compared to that. So
we're not having it go in distance to a vanishing point,
but we are having it recede around. That's where that
pickle barrel idea is useful, I think. Spine will track it and
the shoulder blade can at least have some reference to it.
So that's the corner idea.
Creates a corner here, creates a corner here, and creates a
corner here and for the whole structure, of course coming
over that it's doing it this way, this and
this and then this is on the side in the armpit area.
This whole plane
becomes a corner here. That's all shoulder blade. So that's
the back of our big structure. Here's the corner of our big
structure. Here's the side and then if we follow the deltoid,
There you go, I could have said that better.
I will blame Joshua. There's there's a nipples,
that creates a corner for that whole structure.
Here's the shoulders. There's the shoulder blades.
There's the shoulder blades. There's the back where the
spine is in there.
Okay, and we'll do this.
terms of its anatomy, why is it a strong muscle or a
weaker muscle? For example, if we look at the hip which is the
strongest part of the body I said that was the fulcrum of
the body. So it's the pivot point where the torso
articulates in all sorts of dynamic
It also becomes the - so that's the fulcrum the hold this
weight and allow that way to be anchored and move as it needs
to move. But also it's the
fulcrum for our
connection of the legs which allows for stability and again
for action. It can highly articulate and so it can propel
us, motor us forward.
all those possibilities and back out and back in and all
that good stuff. So it's got a lot of work to do, its got to hold
a lot of weight. It's got to do quite a bit of
it's got to hold those legs in the socket to allow them to
propel and it helps with some of the propulsion. They have to
be very strong. What we're going to see is if a muscle is - there's
several ways to answer this really.
If a muscle has a limited action, say the bicep,
we'll just make it one shape, even though it's two shapes.
The bicep has two heads, comes down, we've got the
radius and ulna here.
We've got the - to make it super simple, just make them little
two by fours - we've got the humerus the upper arm bone here. The hand
would be down here.
Like so. It just has a hinge joint. It has to open and
Comes down here and notice where it attaches.
Notice where the load is,
Notice how close it is to the fulcrum when you've got your
leverage point very very close to the fulcrum, it's terrible
leverage. What we want is we want the load close to the
fulcrum and we want the effort to move it. The muscle is the
effort, the muscles going to do the work.
We want the effort way out here so that this is multiple times
of this from here to here. Here we have the reverse and we're
always going to have that problem with the body basically
way out here gives us trouble.
So part of it is what's going to have to be moved.
You know, do we have something way out here or do we have something
closer? If the load is much closer, say the jaw,
Here we don't have we have our load here. Basically, we're
going to crush the peanut against the upper teeth. The
upper teeth is going to be a fixed
structure. The lower jaw is going to be a hinge that slams
shut and crunches it.
Like so. And notice that the load is here and the muscle,
that makes it work the masseter to masticatate and chew is here. It's
pretty close to the load. That's doing great work. Now if
we've got a bear, cave bear skull,
he's got a relatively little brain.
And he's got huge - I'm going to make it
little bit over overdone.
And then he's got his muscles come way up here.
masseter group, something like that.
Look how big that is to crunch this stuff. And actually these
are just to bite and tear. The crunching teeth are way back
So look at how close - he doesn't need the lower jaw to tear it
and to pierce it. He just needs it to crunch it. Again so very
close to the load equal. But now he's got multiple times the
size a muscle to work. So part of it is going to be how close
it is to the load as opposed to the fulcrum.
There's the fulcrum up here really.
And then it's sheer mass. So we've got the
medias. There's the fibers comes down and attaches out here
And then we got the gluteus maximus,
comes down here.
Much bigger structure and then we have the the buttocks, the
split, gluteal split, gluteal fold that just fatty material
fills in that gives us that square bottom there, but this
muscle comes way over here, massive. So look at these
surface area, compare that to the bicep.
Which is doing that kind of work.
This is pulling that leg down and back.
Going back this way basically. This is pulling that hand up,
they're doing similar work on exactly the same, one's off-axis,
one's in axis, similar. But one's massive.
Notice the latissimus, massive muscle,
the head of the cobras, that V shape, very masculine. shape very masculine
Superheroes like it, they always designe the costumes to play
most of it's up here.
It's actually not as powerful. It's a powerful muscle but not
as powerful as you think because it's actually very very
thin. This is very thick.
So the sheer mass of it and the connection of this.
I won't go through all the construction ideas. I can do
that in person when you send in work or when I talked to the
in class students.
Otherwise, we'll be all day on
this. So we have the neck connecting up into the skull,
point there. We have the neck and then we have
the trapezius inside the neck and it attaches up on that
base of the skull here.
And it's inside
and in this case on top of
The sternocleidomastoid muscles. silliest name in anatomy.
So we have these series of overlaps.
In terms of construction just attach to the shoulder line,
but that's not exactly accurate. That's - we're
going to keep the trapezius our are nice Indian red. Here's the
neck in here
and then the face is even beyond that.
So it attaches out to the shoulder points here.
Where the spine
of the shoulder blade ends and meets the end of the clavicle
from the front, attaches right here, goes up, as I said attaches
and then it's going to go down the spine and it's a big diamond
Like this is the simplest version of it. If you want to
keep it super simple all you have to worry about is the
sagging triangle that helps connect the head as it overlaps
out to the shoulders. And I said it's shrugging muscle so
when it contracts
it just pulls that shoulder up closer. Doesn't lift the whole
arm up, that's what the deltoid does, but it drags that in and
shrug, pulls it in. So that means the fibers are going to
go out that way.
Attaches here, comes over here, and then it has it
actually fits like that. But the meaty part, the sheath, comes
down, the meaty part of the muscle takes a little bump to
allow for a shoulder blade attaches in here,
and swings down and attaches down the middle of the back like
So it does that. Really has two sections, this section, upper
triangle and lower trianglem like so. Pulls in there.
Here on our friend up there we can see the shoulder blade
creates this nice corner on this one.
And it gets - this gets dragged way out here.
This comes back that way.
Shoulder blade in there,
you can see that little bump.
Little bump comes down here. Here's the
shadows doing that run right along the end of that
Let's look at it simply here. Here's the real simple
conception of the rib cage. Here's the shrugging muscle.
It's a construction of it. Here's the shoulders, shoulder
girdle, all that stuff, simplified to a corner.
Spine coming down there.
Here's the simplest
way to think of it.
It's going to come along the shoulder blades and then just a
nice kind of bulging triangle or teardrop come down to the
If you want to make it more complicated than that, you can
split it in two.
So we have two little shapes on top.
Two little shapes on top of the rib cage.
If you want to make it simpler,
just make it the shrugging
that the contour suggests.
And don't deal with any of the lower structure at all.
That big structure is in here, though,
radiating up to the skull all along the spine
and then down in here and this also helps to shrug back. If
you've got an itchy spine you can press your shoulder blades
together. This is going to help that's why it lays over the
shoulder blade. It takes that shoulder blade and draws it
into a pinch.
I'll show you that and I'll show you
a couple things we want it to do for us
when and if we decide to use
If that arm comes back, let's say
one way or another
then what's going to happen is that the trapezius is going to
the inside of that arm back in and we're going to get this
stuff binding up, think of garden hoses.
A rolled-up garden hose hanging off a peg in your garage.
Lump, lump, lump, lump.
And can take all sorts of
incarnations and such but it's just going to bind up in here or you
could even just do a zigzag
and you'll find the shadows track that zigzag down and that
gives us a sense of the binding of the arm. So we use the
trapezius anatomically to pull our arms back here this way.
But notice we don't have to think about the anatomy of it.
It's really just shape. It's just a compression idea. So
it's just like if that
torso bends here we're going to feel all these shapes bind up.
It's just a beanbag idea, just a pinch and a stretch. So we're
just dealing with that pinch. Whenever we get a pinch we get
a zigzag in some manner or form, zigging and zagging, zigging and
zagging, zigging and zagging, whether we use a shadow or not the we use a shadow or not
really. So we don't have to think of it anatomically there.
It becomes a shape problem. Here it becomes a structural
problem and we can use it and all we really need to know
about it is that we want to help coordinate, define that
And we want to make sure structurally
it's on top of the neck and the neck is structurally on top of
So we get a series of these overlapping structures, the
shrugging muscle, that trapezius, the neck, the
sternocleidomastoid, and then the mandible, the lower jaw of
the face. Ears would be in here.
So make sure we get a series of overlaps. So notice here
anatomically, shape-wise it's very very interesting. Anatomically
it's one of those muscles you don't have to memorize
So one of the things we want to do is pick our spots on the
chest, the pectoralis, we're going to want to memorize some
of the information about that because the articulation also
comes with shape change. This one we don't have to worry so
much about but notice if you do choose to show it in its
manly glory here, it can really add to that kind of heroic,
athletic, tough guy maybe, whatever the reasons are you're
showing it it can help show that span and it can help
define the landscape, track us over that landscape and it can
show the heroic maleness of that figure maybe.
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1. Learning Recommendation24sNow playing...
1. Shoulder Girdle Live Model Demo10m 15sNow playing...
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2. Shoulder Girdle Rear View13m 7s
3. Learning Recommendation24s
4. Placing the Scapula14m 37s
5. Planes of the Upper Torso12m 14s
6. Mechanics of Muscle7m 3s
7. Neck and Trapezius12m 16s