So, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about thigh gaps (some good and some horribly mean- some criticizing others because they have one) Ive gone through several A&P classes and I’ve learned that thigh gaps are indeed based off of bone structure.

You are beautiful, you don’t need one to be beautiful, and you are going to be successful whether you have one or not!!!


sorry I had to make a photoset because for some reason I can’t upload more than one image to a text post any more? hm

Tips on "getting the right weight", muscle definition on animal drawings (part 1)

cephalopodqueen asked tutorial suggestion- how to give a living thing the right “weight”- to make it look not flat/to show muscles properly, that sort of thing

—— Ok I’m going to do a different thing with this weeks tutorial. To answer specifically to this tutorial request I can’t pull off one of my regular ones. Otherwise it will be text text text and very few images. This one will be more “notes” and “tips” on the subject, because it is a vast subject. One of the common mistakes when people are in the very beginning in terms of drawing something (wolf, dog, horse, snake) is that the basic structure is not studied. People jump right into the detailing part. In the end the result will be an extremely detailed pictured of an anatomically incorrect animal. How to overcome this - well, you need to build your skills from the inside out - study the basic parts of the skeleton of an animal, then add the muscles, and only then will you worry about fur texture, feathers or scales. Until the first part is not correctly understood, you will risk spending hours on a highly detailed picture that in the end will always look wrong because the structure didn’t come out right. So, understand the basic structure of different groups of animals - fishes, birds, marine mammals, four legged mammals, lizards, snakes, primates, marsupials, etc. Whatever you need to draw, go and look for the basic structure of it.


So do I need to know every single skeleton structure there is in order to start to draw?

No, of course not. Once you understood how the skeleton of a dog is, you can loosely apply that basic structure to wolves, foxes, cats, and even other four legged animals, but always taking into consideration the need to make a few tweaks in order to make it believable. Or once you’ve figured out the structure of a dolphin’s skeleton it is easier to understand how it works with wales.

No you don’t need to draw every single bone in the skeleton. Actually you don’t have to draw the skeleton. Just lines showing the structure. Like this bellow

This helps you understand where the limbs, tail, thorax, neck and head go, how they work as a whole structure. Also it clears your mind from useless information like fur, texture, eyes, nose, mouse, etc. Yes it is useless information if your main goal here is to figure out the weight.

It also helps you understand where the center of gravity is located and keep the drawing in balance and with the right weight.

Only then you start working on the muscle part. AGAIN - stare at anatomic images - for example this one bellow. Then you figure out the basic muscles and you can apply in similar animals what you learned only with one.

(©DaveCarlson Studios)

After getting the whole idea of how the muscles look like, then apply the “meat” to the structures previeously sketched

Then, once feel comfortable enough, you can go and sketch different animals using photo or life references. For this stage, in the beggining , I highly recommend you giving a shot with animals that have VERY SHORT hair. Like lions, horses, rottweilers, etc. Because the fur is so short, its almost as if you can see their muscles right beneath the skin and there are no distractions caused by thick coats of fur. When you feel comfortable enough with this, then go and give a shot at other animals.


- When doing these exercises, draw a perfectly horizontal line representing the ground. It is easier to practice the weight distribution/gravity center.

- Once you have tackled this issue, start working on small parts for practice, like eyes, nose, paws, etc.

- When in doubt, go and check “specify the animal” anatomy. For example - Doplphin anatomy. Google will get you some good references.

I guess I covered the basics on this. The part to make it look not flat will covered next week because it involves shading.

Brain anatomy differences between autistic and typically developing individuals are indistinguishable

In the largest MRI study to date, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Carnegie Mellon University have shown that the brain anatomy in MRI scans of people with autism above age six is mostly indistinguishable from that of typically developing individuals and, therefore, of little clinical or scientific value.

The study, “Anatomical Abnormalities in Autism?” was just published in the prestigious Oxford journal Cerebral Cortex.

"Our findings offer definitive answers regarding several scientific controversies about brain anatomy, which have occupied autism research for the past 10 to 15 years," says Dr. Ilan Dinstein of BGU’s Departments of Psychology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences. "Previous hypotheses suggesting that autism is associated with larger intra-cranial gray matter, white matter and amygdala volumes, or smaller cerebellar, corpus callosum and hippocampus volumes were mostly refuted by this new study."

The researchers used data from the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE), which provides an unprecedented opportunity to conduct large-scale comparisons of anatomical MRI scans across autism and control groups and resolve many outstanding questions. This recently- released database is a worldwide collection of MRI scans from over 1,000 individuals (half with autism and half controls) ages six to 35 years old.

"In the study we performed very detailed anatomical examinations of the scans, which included dividing each brain into over 180 regions of interest and assessing multiple anatomical measures such as the volume, surface area and thickness of each region," Dinstein explains.

The researchers then examined how the autism and control groups differed with respect to each region and also with respect to groups of regions using more complex analyses.

"The most striking finding here was that anatomical differences within both the control group and the autistic group was immense and greatly overshadowed minute differences between the two groups," Dinstein explains. "For example, individuals in the control group differ by 80 to 90 percent in their brain volumes, while differences in brain volume across autism and control groups differed by two to three percent at most. This led us to the conclusion that anatomical measures of brain volume or surface areas do not offer much information regarding the underlying mechanism or pathology of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)," he states.

"These sobering results suggest that autism is not a disorder that is associated with specific anatomical pathology and as a result, anatomical measures alone are likely to be of low scientific and clinical significance for identifying children, adolescents and adults with ASD, or for elucidating their neuropathology.

Dinstein believes that more complex explanations involving combinations of measures in more homogeneous sub-groups are likely to be the answer. “Expecting to find a single answer for the entire ASD population is naïve. We need to move on to thinking about how to split up this very heterogeneous group of disorders into more meaningful biologically-relevant subgroups,” he says.

This conclusion stands in sharp contrast to numerous reports of significant anatomical differences described by smaller studies, which have typically included comparisons of 40 to 50 individuals. “The problem with small samples, large within-group heterogeneity, and a scientific bias to report only positive findings, is that small samples are likely to yield significant differences across autism and control groups in a few of the 180 brain regions,” Dinstein explains.

"In such a situation one would expect that each study would find significant differences in different brain areas and that findings will be very inconsistent across studies," he says. "This is exactly what you see when you examine the autism anatomy literature from the last decade or so. Our study simply explains why this has been happening and puts an end to several ensuing debates."

I got a new sketchbook! I’ve wanted a toned sketchbook for years and now I finally have one (…actually, I bought two).

I gave up on my Tolstoy ‘sketch’book because the paper was frustrating me and kept ripping. So, I started a different project instead.
I’m teaching myself anatomy with this book: Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie Winslow I like it quite a bit. Hopefully I will actually be able to finish this project and will, for once, have a full sketchbook