Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anatomy, the continual learning process.....

One of the most important aspects of sculpting is anatomy and I am always studying it. Anatomy is not something you ever can completely learn. There are no books or courses you can read or take and viola! you've learnt anatomy! (Don't get me wrong school is always a better option than self teaching, but everyone continues to learn after school as well).My philosophy is that anatomy is a continuing study, that as an artist, I strive to keep learning.

One of the best series of books for anatomy is Burne Hogarths's series of books on anatomy. I have all of these in my reference library and they are invaluable. Part of the reason for this is the way in which the drawings are illustrated. Most of the muscle groups are broken down into thier base shapes, which lends itself to sculpting because the shapes are the same that you would form the putty to sculpt them. His drawings give clear definitions of the muscle groups without being confusing like other more technical medical anatomy reference.

Burne Hogath's Dynamic Anatomy
Copyright ©2003, By Burne Hogarth Dynamic Worlwide Media LLC.

Throughout this post there are a few samples from his book Dynamic Figure Drawing. Each muscle group is first shown as a shape which helps you visualize the individual muscle. The drawings are clear and easy to read and naturally relate to sculpting.

What I like about these books is how clear they are. When I first started sculpting I was using medical anatomy drawings and while they were very precise, I found them very confusing and difficult to interpret. I was lost until another sculptor Jeff Grace showed me these books, and I am grateful.

So if you are having problems with anatomy here is a good place to start.


Anonymous said...

his book on dynamic wrinkles is also excellent, and one of a kind as well. it has been monumental in my drawing journey.

ps. the HoT daredevil made me tear up.

James Van Schaik said...

Yes that book is great, I have it myself.

Thanks, glad you liked the Daredevil.I'm just happy that HOT will finally be released.

Anonymous said...

Hi James, I know what you mean about medical books. In college for my science credit I thought I might take Human anatomy to help me out. Was not ready for the cadaver that Med students get to work on all semester long.

But these books you have talked about and the comment above on wrinkles are fantastic.

I would also suggest people look at "Human Anatomy for the Artist" by Stephen Rogers Peck. It too has a similar style and clearly defined drawings. But it is limited in how many drawings due to doing the entire body. Good face and eye references.

Matthew Grove