The time has finally arrived for me to practice anatomy, methodically. Due in part to the constant reminders of importance around here,
but mainly because I've finally hit my irritation threshold. Irritation with possibly my worst off yet most desired artistic skill - anatomy
or the ability to render the human figure as I will. For so long I've skated by ducking the need for improvement, knowing it would take great effort. So . . .
I bring you the:The Anatomy Guild practice regimen:
- 8 sketches per day (just a general goal, do however many you please. Digital, traditional, doesn't matter.)
--- 4 with reference (practice copying various reference, get a feel for the human figure, learn to understand it, etc)
--- 4 with NO reference. (test your knowledge, see what you can do with NO reference. Even attempt positions you've never drawn before. Use what you've learned)Ultimate GoalAbility to render the human figure, male and female, old and young, in any position during any action with accuracy.
Many here have recently expressed a desire to improve their own anatomy skills.
I'm posting this all publicly here so those motivated enough can participate and we can all perhaps improve, as a group, helping and encouraging one another along. I could certainly use the help. And I can probably help others.
Having been planning this for over a week, I jokingly called it the anatomy club talking to EyeCraft, from down under, the other day.
He said "Anatomy Guild", so that's what it is. I hope this to be a significant effort so even an official logo was even made hehe.
As a guy with intermediate drawing skills I find that anatomy drawing, like nothing else, greatly challenges the skill-set of drawing. I'm feel pressed just to copy images of humans. Symmetry adds another layer of difficulty.
I dug my anatomy books out of my closet once I thought of this initiative. Got a few decent ones. But it doesn't take great reference material to do this. Most important is the drive to Just Do It®
, with a view to improving.
I find myself falling back into the ruts of my own ancient drawing practices from years ago when trying to render humans even now - Making the same mistakes, taking the same shortcuts, based on the same incorrect anatomical knowledge. Frustrating, but I know I'll replace those tendencies with better and more correct ones as my studies continue.
As it turns out, I can't follow my own system of 8 drawings a day, 4 with and 4 without ref. I'm not even good enough to do that - I need to procure some basic skills before that's a realistic and useful goal for me to have.
Primarily at this point, I've determined I need to focus on proportions. I cannot satisfactorily draw a correctly proportioned human male simply standing normally facing the camera. 7 heads length, etc, are rules I need to memorize and be able to apply to my work automatically.
Looking through my books, and drawing drawings I've also determined that a basic to intermediate knowledge of major muscle groups is necessary - how they fold into each other, how they contract/retract due to movement, etc. Also the skeleton. Notice how Helm in the post before this included the pelvis. Though all we really draw the is skin, it's the bones and muscles underneath that give it structure to stretch over. You might say skin doesn't matter at all, you must know what's going on underneath.
Fortunately, I've got a nicely thorough anat book with plenty of muscular and skeletal diagrams, even some on transparent pages laid over full color photos of models.
I have all I need to progress. Switching mindsets in order to sit down and have a productive drawing session can be a challenge. So too can just be finding the time to do it. Amazingly though, the one thing I've always lacked - ambition, I have in full supply. Afterall I've meant to do this for years.
Let's begin. Here are some sketches done getting into my own anat drawing regimen.Proportional confusion abounds. I'll get it, though. Didn't break much from doing simple straight-ons. Not happy with that yet. Will start doing more muscle and bone-based studies.
I think my focus at this point should be quick numerous sketches. More quantity than quality. With each stroke I'm teaching my mind how to render a human. The more I do the better. No sense in trying to copy botticelli plates just yet.
Just winding up. Much more to come. Otherwise I'll never improve.