Hey there! Do you know any resources where I can learn properly anatomy from since I'm a beginner at art? Thank you for your time!
WARNING: all the links are related to human anatomy, hence some have images of internal organs, skeletons and genitalia.
first thing first: anatomy is a fucking nightmare to learn. for me at least. You need to do a lot of boring stuff before getting to the really fun stuff. I can tell you what my own process was because I studied it the long way at school.
While you’re not a medicine student and you don’t really need to know every single name of every single bone it’s good you at least can name the most important ones and where they are and what are their proportions with the bones close to it and ho they attach.
You can learn this basically one way: by copying those kind of images:
Is it boring? HELL YES. is it necessary? VERY MUCH SO.
You should copy those while trying to understand from the image those things I told you about. it’s really important to focus on proportions and how bones interact with each other, otherwise it’s just copying and it’s time wasted.
Where to find those kind of images: I haven’t found a proper online resource for this unfortunately, but something is out there:
- this book has a full figure
- This post has a run down of what an artist should know about the skeleton. also details to copy (this website is v good I’m going to post several stuff from there)
- A pinterest search shows a lot of stuff
My best advice though it’s this: since it’s a pain in the ass to copy from screen and most of the images you find online are low-res you should go to your local library and look for a book that has this kind of images. look for either medical student books or artist books. You can also find them in a book store but you won’t need those books for long so it’s frankly a waste of money as they tend to be SUPEREXPENSIVE. I never ever ever opened mine after doing those exercises. Avoid buying them on the internet because you never understand what’s inside and you’ll need those specific things to copy:
What to copy:
upper body: front - back - side
an arm: front - back - side
a leg: front - back - side
skull: front - back - side
a full skeleton: front - back - side
This should be it, any more than that and you’ll want to kill yourself.
Thankfully you won’t need to learn every single muscle in the human body, just the outer layer.
The exercise is still the same but there are a lot more resources on this and you need to pay attention to: how they move, how they work, how they attach to the bones underneath it.
- The blog I posted before it’s great with those explanation, they are simple and direct: their anatomy tag. He divided everything for muscle group and explain how they work and how they move and everything is really clear.
- this person have a nice pinterest board for this
- This is full of images to copy, they are sort of good quality but since it’s for medical students it’s a bit tricky to find the ones you are looking for. there’s a LOT of stuff.
Still, the advice I had for the skeleton is the same: try your local library for something on paper.
Once you have done the basics copying (upper body, arm, leg, head all in front, back and side. Remember to include the neck and neck muscles in the headshot. ) you can start doing something MUCH MORE INTERESTING: copying real poses.
Do a few exercises like this:
(image from Amenarae)
where you look at a pose and then draw the muscles on it. If you have done your studies well (and by well I mean: learning where’s where and how they work) you should be able to do this easily.
Start from this website: http://www.posemaniacs.com/ (which by the way is the resource the artist of the example used) because they are 3d models that already show the muscles. And do it properly, and by properly I mean: trying to understand anything you see and match it with what you’ve learned of muscles.
But as soon as you can start doing it from photos! Copying is important as I said but even more is actually applying those things you’ve learned. Pixelovely has a ton of photos to copy for this exercise.
And now for something more interesting: life drawing and gesture drawing
QuickPoses is great. it also have a sort of a gamifying system of earning a sort of certificate after tot-hours spent doing it.
Now, there is a difference between life drawing and gesture drawing. I love gesture drawing much more if you ask me but both are important.
Avoid using posemaniacs for either of these exercises, as they are 3d models they lack the natural aspect of a real human body and they’ll ALWAYS look fake.
Life drawing is… well, drawing from life, with a model. You should try to find a class in your area that does it, the more you do the better. The poses are long, from 10 minutes to 2 hours each and you focus on drawing the person in front of you in detail and good proportions. if you can’t find a IRL class (you should!) those links I gave you previously (quickposes and pixelovely) are decent substitute.
Dude. do it. this is one of those exercises that artists keep doing all their lives, because it’s worth it.
(source, these are mine btw)
Gesture Drawing is a bit more different but I love it much more. It’s also scary as fuck because it’s fast and dirty and people find it intimidating but once you’ve done it a bit it’s AMAZING.
It is similar to life drawing but it differentiate in the purpose, in gesture drawing you look at faster poses (usually 1 or 2 minutes each, sometime even just 30 seconds) and you don’t really focus on anatomy and proportions (something you have to do in life drawing) but on gesture and movement. Basically you try to draw the idea of movement of the pose.
these are some of mines:
This is the PERFECT way to learn movement and how to simplify your pencil-strokes. learning how to suggest a pose just with few lines is the most powerful tool you’ll ever have at your disposal.
I spend periods doing it every day, 5 minutes a day, usually 30 seconds or 1 minute each (which means either 10 poses or 5). and it helps SO VERY MUCH. In the months I do this exercise daily I draw so much better than when I don’t.