Flex Friday doesn’t stop, even during healing. It just means I’m busy growing gains for another part of me, preparing for when I get to go back & hit the gym twice as hard. For now, I will walk my horse babies and take it easy.
Would you perhaps do a tutorial on arm muscles? Or at least link a few good ones you know
Arm muscles took me a bit to figure out when I got started out with anatomy. But the layout of the arm’ muscles can actually be simplified a whole lot while still maintaining a rather believable look. So let’s have a look-see.
One of the first tidbits I discovered that really made it click for me - was that the upper arm contra the forearm intersections kind of like a set of chainlinks. Both in the way, they sit statically but also how they move. If a “broad” or “wide” side of one of them is shown, the “narrow” side of the other should be shown in correspondence. If you just keep the rough shape of these two lings in mind - you ‘ll have an easier time remembering the layout of muscles.
Just for kicks. This is roughly how the main bones are laid out in the arm. We have the Humerus, the large bone in the upper arm. This one’s rather dense and thick. Then you got the Radius and Ulna that start at the elbow and then reach into the wrist. When we move our wrist, the two ends attached to our wrist twist around one another. ( Take a look at your own hand, turn it, twist it, You should be able to vaguely feel the slight shift in angle in your elbow ).
So here’s a pretty accurate depiction of the muscle layout in the arm. The most notable muscles ( or at least those most iconic ) are the two large ones on the upper arm ( the Bi- and tri-cep), as well as the brachioradialis on the lower arm.
I’ve gone and simplified the layout accordingly to how I usually consider the layout in my own art. Here we can see the “chainlink” figure again. The bi- and tri-cep forming the “upper” chain link, and the brachioradialis along with the flexor carpi Ulnaris former the “lower” chain link.
The reason I tend to simplify this is that the many extendors and flexors on the lower arm, aside from the two listed - are rarely defined on people who’s muscles aren’t highly defined. And having these two braid into one another is just easier than having to keep track of 5-6 different muscles that feed into mostly the same shape.
On the upper arm: We have the bicep in the palest red, the tricep in the darkest red.
On the forearm: The brachioradialis in the darkest red, and the flexors/ extendors gathered up in the lighter red.
What’s interesting to note is that the flex/ex’ es meet with the brachioradialis kind of cross each other in a V-shape, which opens up into the dent of the elbow and attached - not on line with the elbow- but slightly above it. Attaching this muscle group underneath - or on the line with the elbow was a common mistake I used to do - which contributes to your arms looking like sausage links. But just like any other muscle layout, the muscles of the arms are carefully braided with each other with little areas where no muscles are overlapping or weaving into one another.
A brief detour for posing- when the forearm is bend upwards (especially in people with highly defined muscles), you’ll notice that the bi-and tri-cep are compressed and thusly build their mass upwards, which makes this engorged bump. The flex is also visible in non-muscular people, but much less prevalent and rarely anything that one depicts - at least in semi-realism unless they want to emphasize a physical strength with their character.