muscle reference


Step one of character design: don’t ever do research in public.

Art Help: Figures

Because you asked, let’s talk about bodies now. I know some cartoonists like to just throw anatomy out the window altogether, which can be fun and creative, but I prefer to know what’s inside and behind the things I’m drawing, I like to know what constructs a body, including the human figure, so #1 advice would be to just do a lot of figure drawing when you can:

 It doesn’t even have to be 100% realistic all the time, just learn to do it properly. After a while, you’ll be able to whip up a body in whatever pose you want without references. I drew these two tutorial pages without checking references or anything, these are just blind doodles, which shows that practice and the knowledge of structure work wonders! (And that I probably should’ve checked out some muscle references afterall but ehh close enough.)

And now, onto how you can get creative with what you’ve learned.

As it is always, just the sheer shape of a character’s body can be an instant visual indicator of their personality. Use this wisely and strategically. Unconventionality can add to this too. (Toothpick arms on a round-bellied character can look quite comical. Or sometimes it’s just a nice change.) However, though that kind of stuff is a long way from realistic anatomy, I still prefer to always make up a core structure to a given character, however impossible their body may be biologically. This way you won’t have ill-proportioned characters, you won’t lose control over them, and you can pinpoint where their centre of gravity is, and so on. Learn to find the possibilities of breaking free from realism but limit this freedom so that your character still makes sense and doesn’t lose form like a melting pudding. Know how far they can bend, stretch, etc. This would be vital if you were to make the character move. Take this jumping sack, for example:

This was just some weight practice from a few of months ago, I only posted it on my other blog just because it wasn’t anything interesting, really. (Look at it go “woouummmpfh”. ^^) That’s why structure, joints and weights and centres of gravity matter. You can get creative and simplify bodies to whatever extent you feel like but I personally prefer to keep characters make sense - it’s a bit harder to make work but it pays off so much when they can be shaped more dynamically when the need arises!

That’s all, you can find tons of anatomy tutorials and references around the internet and, if you can’t get a chance to go to a firgure drawing class, I’d even suggest doing favours for your friends/family/boyfriends/girlfriends/mysterious neighbours in exchange for them posing for a couple of hours for you. (Or blackmail your crush into it and write in about how it went. Or, don’t take life advice from me and you’ll probably be fine…)

Hope this is helpful and, as always, have fun drawing!

Exercising the upper leg muscles with references. I think the most important basics to understand are:

– the contrast of the straight line on the inner face of the leg and the round shape on the outer face
– the two “lines” that divide the other muscle masses (sartorius on the inner side, iliotibial tract on the outer side)
– the teardrop-shaped muscles that intertwine on the front
– the tapering of all forms towards the knee

i did a more uh… detailed??? thing for male anatomy. Like it says up in the drawing there was no reference used (I didn’t google anything or look up pics of hot guys or whatever) so this is all from my mind and stuff and from what I observed before so some stuff is bound to be wrong (especially the back part. I don’t know the back muscles as much as the front).

Feel free to use this as your own reference but it really is better to google a reference for it.

Here, have some cropped sketchy sketch! I spent a long time doing all the muscles, even went through some écorchés for the arms (dear comrades, do not use that to learn anatomy, as I do not guarantee its accuracy). Well it still needs some fine-tuning but feel it. My pride. Cuz it was one hell of a lot of work. :’)

And in case you wonder, yes, this is Rin Okumura. From Ao no Exorcist. At one point I decided to draw him as HellSpawn McFireFaun™ and as such shall I keep him.


got tagged by dani to do a thing.  decided to use this as an excuse to try fucking updating eden’s design. again.  one day i’ll be happy with it. still not happy with his body.

8 facts about Eden Rose

1. He does’t care for guns and tends to enjoy using hand to hand combat to very quickly bring someone down and keep in control of the fight. overall he likes trying to have the most control over anything he does.

2. Eden has troubles getting along with people and communicating feelings. He already feels awkward in his own skin, and him becoming a reaper increased his mental capacity ten fold as well, making it hard to understand some people’s actions.  he’ll often get annoyed easily with people and come off blunt. so to counter this he tends to just be quiet and sullen looking.

3. He can grow and manipulate plants at will. He tends not to use this incredibly often, wanting it to be used as more of last resort. he can also grow them from his flesh, but this is incredibly painful since he has no built up pain tolerance. 

4. His plant abilities influence his demon form, creating thorn like protrusions and sometimes tendrils looking like vines.

5. The scars on his shoulder are from his father nearly killing him with an ax as a child. 

6. He’s Gem’s boss and best friend. Though they try to keep their friendship somewhat hidden, it becomes obvious at times with how many situations he’s saved her from.  She’s the only person he truly trusts and confides in. She doesn’t mind trying to gently help him relax and get past many of his issues. 

7. He’s incredibly self conscious about his body.  his ailment has him grow muscle mass very quickly and it often makes him uncomfortable with how often his clothes don’t fit him. he also dislikes that most of his outer image is not influenced by him at all, and he hates being called a brute or a monster.

8. He has a pretty strong smoking habit, even though drugs don’t effect him in anyway. He finds it comforting as something to do when he’s anxious, which is most of the time. The habit was influenced by his father, and he hasn’t kicked it.  His daily life is incredibly stressful, so it’s not uncommon to walk into his office and see it thick with smoke.

“I’d rather sit out in the rain for a whole three hours. Naked.”

Tiny picks up on Ed’s irritation with Roy and does the Scary Small Dog Thing. Unfortunately for all three of them, Shakespeare has already fallen madly in love with the little lady. Ed eventually relents to sharing (but only because Tiny is cold) and tucks the puppy in his hoodie. Shakespeare jumps in every puddle and soaks Roy in the end anyway.