The Art of Anatomy

Welcome to the art of anatomy forum!

Please pardon the current appearance of the site, the important thing was to get it up and running as fast as possible, so the emphasis has been on getting the information up and I will try to make the site prettier as I go along.


About anatomy training.

When I first got out of college, I was like a med student, I could rattle off the names of all the muscles and bones. The way I learned was to spend an hour a day on my anatomy training. I would take one small part of the body at a time and learn the names of the bones, muscles and tendons that are visible to the naked eye in that area.
At one hour a day, here is how I broke up my week.

Day one -I would spend the hour gathering as much referencel for that part of the body as I could find and writing down the names of the body parts that are visible or that effect the shape of the human form.
Day two -would be spent copying as many as possible, trying to be as faithful to the reference as possible, and naming the parts out loud as I worked.
Day three -would be spent trying to redraw the previous day's images from memory.
Day four -was a repeat of day two.
Day five -was a repeat of day three
Day six -was spent trying to make it up out of my head from different views and angles, while carefully naming the parts. This is where you realize the places that your knowledge is definicient. What ever isn't clear to you will show itself at this stage. I would end this session with a quick review of the parts that were unclear to me.
Day seven -was spent drawing that drawing that part of the body. Sometimes from memory, sometimes out of my head, sometimes from ref. This was just the fun day. I would do monsters and cartoons, charicatures and realist drawings with the emphasis placed on that part of the body.

It's important that even though you are only spending an hour a day on drawing or sculpting, that you constantly look at people in the street, on the train, in classs, etc.. and try to recall the names of the anatomical parts you are learning that week. Using this technique, it's possible to aquire a great deal of anatomical knowledge in a relatively short time.

I have a strong belief that one should work from reference or from life as much as possible. I don't mean one should become a slave to the reference, but observation is the key and is most important. Too many artists learn their anatomy solely from books. The problem with this is that they never become aware of the incredible amount of variation that is possible when it comes to the human form. It's like they take the whole of the human race and press the "normalize" button. So much variation is possible and unless you are constantly observing, you will miss a lot. For instance I have a friend who is a six foot seven basketball player. He has very long legs and a short upper body. His girlfriend is a Five foot-two inch asian woman, she has short legs and a long upper body. When they sit next to each other, she is actually taller!

Here is what I'm gonna do, every monday evening (my work deadlines permitting), I'm gonna post a new part of the body, starting with the parts of the head and working down. I will post reference shots and a drawing or photos with the anatomical names and a brief description. Memorizing the names isn't important, but it helps. the most important thing is to know what you are seeing. I recomend that you do a couple of quick rough sketches using your own ref or my ref, naming the parts to yourself as you do them. Then after you feel you are a little comfortable, I think you should do one from memory or out of your head. I totally recommend that you follow the day to day format you see above. It really works. But of, course what ever works for you is best. Remember that observation is the key, and please post what you do. It will keep me motivated and it will give you a goal.

Good luck and welcome,

Ricky Mujica