Part 4, Project 4, Exercise 1: The structure of the human body

Loosely sketch some of the structures that make up the human body. Look for images online and in the library and use your own body as reference. Work in your sketchbooks to help you understand the body’s measurements and mechanics – for example the length of each part of a finger in relation to the other fingers, thumb and hand, the shape of the knee when the leg is bent or straight, the shape of the toes when the foot is relaxed or stretched, etc…

Looking closely, work upwards; start with your toes, sketching them in several positions, then do the same for the feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, torso, shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, neck, and skull, until you have pages of small studies of the individual parts that make up your own body.

I used a combination of pictures in books and magazines and also studied parts of my own body to sketch a number of different physical elements on the human form.  I was interested to note how much more aware I became as the exercise progressed of the underlying structures (muscle/skeleton etc) that informed some of the mark making.  It is also interesting that when I draw the whole figure the parts I struggle most with (apart from the head) are feet and hands, and yet when drawn on their own with close observation I felt the sketches came out very well; showing the correct proportions and believable form.  Not every part of the body looks obvious when in different positions due to foreshortening or altered physical nature.  For example, a fist and an open palm are two completely different things in terms of shape proportion, energy, tautness of skin, prominence of skeleton etc.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s