Ulna and Radius, one

Ulna and Radius. Gray, Henry.

Reading of Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

About the Ulna, some remarks:

Ulna is the bone on the medial side of the forearm, when supinated (in the anatomical position), and during pronation the distal end becomes lateral, while the proximal end, always remains medial. The ulna only flexes or extends, and does not twist like the radius. And unlike radius, it is larger at its proximal end, shaped like a triangle, and rounds and turns in an S-like fashion distally.

Proximal expansion articulates with the humerus, and consists of a block-shaped olecranon and the coronoid process. And further articulates with the ulna at the small notch, called, the trochlear notch.

When the elbow is flexed, tricep tendon lies against upper (top) surface of the olecranon, appearning like a bump– and is not visible when elbow is extended, under a loosely bunched layer of skin. Its edge is at the same level as the axis running through the medial and lateral epicondyles of the humerus. (The olecranon drops, in relation to axis, during flexation)

Subcutaneous posterior surface of olecranon is triangle shape with apex ending three-fourths of the way down the bone, reflecting S-shap, and over curve of the bone. Upper lateral curve allows for a large mass of flexor muscles. No muscles cross the entire posterior border of the ulna, and the middle third of the posterior border, which is subcutaneous, sit at the bottom of a groove, called the ulnar furrow, created by a mass of flexor and extensor muscles on either side.

Shaft expands into the head of the ulna, where the styloid process projects distally, but is not visible in life. The posterior surface is grooved for the tendon of the extensor carpi ulnaris.

. . . the head of the ulna does not rotate around its long axis, nor does it move side to side through motion at the elbow joint.

During pronation and supination, observe how the tendon of the extensor carpi ulnaris to the distal end of the radius changes. The head is most prominent when forearms is pronated and hardly seen in full supination.

Inferior surface does not directly touch carpal bones. but articulate via a trinagular fibrous disc, this disk also connects the styloid process of the ulna to the radius.

Articulation of the hand and ulna is therefore weak. Major joint of the wrist proceeds from the radius.

Distal end of the ulna is always associated with the little-finger side of hand.

Between radius and ulna, is an interosseous membrane, where muscles originate on both anterior and the posterior side.

Humerus one

Humerus. Gray, Henry.

Beginning this day with words from Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

The humerus is the upper arm bone and is longer than the forearm bones. The shaft is cylindrical, curving forward inferiorly: with sphere on top and flattened triangle on the bottom.

Proximal extremity: head of the humerus, is directed medially, superiorly, and posteriorly, which causes the shoulder to project forward, under the anterior portion of the deltoid muscle (i.e. influencing surface form). Below the head, is teh greater and lesser tubercles, between which is the bicipital groove where the tendon of the long head of the biceps slide.

Shaft widens into the distal expansion: the triangle shape, bordered by the medial and lateral supracondylar ridges. Ridge end subcutaneously at the medial and lateral epicondyles. And, “In life, because of the muscle massa anterior to the elbow joint, the epicondyles are located toward the back of the elbow region, close to the olecranon process of the ulna.” The epicondyles lie at the same level– in the anatomical position the axis through both is horizontal. Medial is larger and more prominent of the two, in skeleton and life.

Locating the medial epicondyle in life and ascertaining the axis through both epicondyles is the key to establishing the orientation of the humerus, and therefore all its muscular origins and insertions.

Medial supracondylar ridge is deep and never seen. Lateral supracondylar curves forward (descending), the lower portion subcutaneous.

Behind lateral epicondyle andsupracondylar ridge, the bone surface sometimes become subcutaneous when elbow is extended (tricep slides away).

If elbow is extended (forearm supinated), the lateral epicondyle sits in a depression on the outside of the elbow, called the condyloid depression, where the depression contains the easily palpated ulnar nerve.

Rounded capitulum articulates with the radious, and when elbow is flexed , bottom of capitulum becomes visible just lateral the olecranon (as the head of the radius glides off its distal surface). So it rest just under a thin muscular layer of the stretched anconeus and triceps.

Spoolheaded trochlea articulates with the ulna, slanting downard and medially, and because the spool is larger medially (half way) the downward projection is increased, causing the ulna to angle outward when elbow is extended.

Obtuse angle on the outside of the elbow, called the carrying angle. (I dunno).

Anteriorly, just above trochlea, is the notch for the coronoid process of the ulna; the large and deeper posterior notch receives the olecranon.

“Most of the humerus lies deeply buried within the surrounding musculature. Its subcutaneous areas are the medial and laterla epicondyles, the lower portion of the lateral supracondylar ridge, and occasionally the posterior surface just behind this ridge.”

The humerus. adieu.

Scapula, butterflied over ribs

Scapula, ribs, vertebrae. Gray, Henry.

The above is a view of much of what I have learned so far. But what follows will focus on the scapula. Relying, once again, on Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

The scapula, or shoulder blade, is a triangular plate of bone, with a spine on its posterior surface. Slightly convex it slides above the ribs, on a muscle layer. It largest at the back, nearest the vertebrae, and its socket is on the side, midway between the front and back of the skeleton. It has only one bony connection to the axial skeleton: the articulation of its acromion with the clavicle, which in turn articulate with the sternum.

The clavicle, the scapula, and manubrium of the sternum make up the: shoulder girdle.

Inferior two-thirds of the vertebral border is typically straight. And usually has a convex curve, but sometimes it is concave. This blunt ridge can be see in life, and may project quite a ways from the rib cage, and in extreme cases is called “winging of the scapula.”

“The portion of the vertebral border above the base of the spine may occasionally be seen under a thin or stretched muscle layer. The lateral (axillary) border and the superior border are deep.”

Superior and Inferior angles border the vertebrae. The inferior is an important landmark, and only sometimes can the superior be seen. Superior is beneath the trapezius, inferior, muscle.

Shoulder socket:glenoid cavity, is a shallow socket receiving the head of the humerus, and the supraglenoid tubercle above (provides attachment for bicep), and below the infraglenoid tubercle (provides attachment for the tricep).

The caracoid process projects forward, laterally, and slightly downward. Tip ends at shoulder joint, and from the front may be seen under the medial edge of the anterior portion of the deltoid, and partially subcutaneous in the infraclavicular fossa.


Scapula. Gray, Henry.

The spine is a platelike ridge further projecting laterally, and become flush medially, into a triangular shape called: the triangular expansion. The triangle appears in life, either depressed because of bulging muscles surrounding, or projecting slightly as a triangular relief. It lies under the scapular aponeurosis of the trapezius, which glides over it, and is not covered by any muscles.

The spine expands into the tubercle, then later, turns sharply forward and flat, into the rectangular acromion, whose top surface faces upward and backward. The lower lip, called the acromion angle, shows up as a bony landmark in life.

Acromion sit at a level slightly lower than the lateral end of the clavicle. Even though the acromion is the point of the shoulder: the most lateral bony point of the shoulder girdle.

There is a small gap between humerus and the slanted acromion.

Except where the deltoid attaches at the outer edge of the acromions suface, the entire spine and acromion are subcutaneous. The spine can be seen as a depressed furrow, when surrounding musculature is developed, or as a projecting ridge when muscles are thin or stretched.

At rest, the spine is oblique and directed upward and outward. Arm raised, scapula rotates, as the spine approaches verticle (if rased above the head, spine of scapula is almost in line with the humerus).

Width across outer borders of the acromion is greater than widtch across the hips at the outer surfaces of the greater tronchanters of the femurs (and is more so in males).

Point of the shoulders are widest when shoulders are thrust forward, since scapulae slide anteriorly and laterally over the rib cage.

When shoulders are down, and relaxed, inferior angle is located at the seventh or eighth rib, and in relation to the front, the inferior angle is about one inch below the level of the nipples, at about the level of the infrasternal notch. Vertebral border can be vertical downward and outward, or, downward and inward, either way, being located near the angle of the ribs.

Distance between vertebral borders of both scapulae is roughly equal to the width of the neck.

Most evident surface forms in life are: the crest of the spine, acromion, vertebral border, and the inferior angle.

collarbone, anterior

Clavicle, right. Gray, Henry.

This is so, so, from Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

The clavicle articulates medially with the sternum, and laterally with the inner border of the acromion of the scapula.

Articulation at the sternum is the only bony connection between entire shoulder girdle and the rest of the skeleton.

Clavicle appears straight when viewed from the front; S-curved when seen from above.

Begins at thorax, where neck meets the chest, and end at the middle of the top of the shoulder (the midfrontal plane of the body).

Medial two-thirds projects forward (an anterior curve)(and is rounded), while the lateral third has a short, tight, backward curve. Clavicles together form “archer’s bow” from the top (view)(and is flattened).

clavicle, posterior

Clavicle, right. Gray, Henry.

The acromial is the highest point of the shoulder, slightly higher than acromion process of the scapula– May be so prominent that it protrudes as a round bump in life. In contrast the medial end sits slightly forward of anterior surface of the sternum.

The pit of the neck, or the suprasternal notch, is formed between the pair of medial ends of the clavicle (about an inch apart).

Front and top surface of clavicle usually visible in life. While laterally, muscle fibers often obscure the form of the clavicle.

Varying in size, about one-fourth of the way in from the lateral end of the clavicle, is, sometimes a bony landmark. On this anterior surface, is the bend where the long anterior curve meets the short posterior curve), and is where the deltoid originates, in part from this projection.

At rest the clavicle may appear level or slight raised laterally. Sometimes it may be downward, therefore causing the neck to look longer.

When the shoulder is raised, the hollow behind the middle third, the supraclavicular fossa, deepens.

Both shoulders pulled back, the clavicle rest along the cylindrical base of the neck (explaining the S-shaped curves).

Arms raised, clavicle is less prominent, and is concealed in a groove laterally.

“In this position, appreciating its S-shaped curvature provides an important key to understanding the way the neck, shoulder, and upper chest muscles meet at the base of the neck.”

Rib Cage, front

Rib Cage, front. Gray, Henry.

More from, Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

The rib cage is made of twelve pairs of ribs, their costal cartilages, the sternum, and the thoracic vertebrae. It forms a semi-rigid enclosure, protecting organs, and allows negative pressure to develop within for breathing, so says Goldfinger.

Egg shaped, with a vertical axis slightly tipped backwards, and an opening, relatively, small compared to lower.

The costal cartilages of teh seventh ribs attach to bottom of sternum, called, costal arch, or skeletal arch etc., at an angle of roughly ninty-degrees, in male, and sixty in female. (during inhalation angle increases.

Bell shaped; lower half covered only by a thin layer of muscles: therefore directly determine’s trunk shape in life. Upper portion covered by shoulder girdle, pectoral muscles, and reveals its basic shape when shoulder apparatus moves (because it is set atop the ribs).

Male rib cage: ranges from slightly wider to narrower than the width of the iliac crest of the pelvis. In female: always narrower.

Each rib attaches to a costal cartilage of vertebra. Cartilages of first seven ribs connect direct to sternum (true ribs). Cartilages of eight and ninth ribs attach to costal cartilage immediately above, while the tenth, only occassionaly reaches cartilage of the one above (these are false ribs)(sometimes eight reaches bottom of sternum). Eleventh and twelfth are not connected to any rib cartilages (floating ribs).

Outer edge of ribs, because they are flat, contribute to overall form of rib cage.

rib cage, backside

Rib Cage, backside. Gray, Henry.

On the back of the thorax, a short distance from the vertebrae, each rib abrubtly curves, formingwhat is called, the angle of the rib. This can be seen in life as a line, because erector spinae muscle inserts up to, but not past, the angles of the ribs.

The side planes of rib cage converge slightly anteriorly.

Ribs seen from the side, angle downward and forward (slightly less than 45 degrees): they have a slight S curve. Inhalation: more horizontal, as front ends rise, pivoting at the vertebrae.

Lower ribs most visible during inhalation and when trunk is flexed forward along with shoulders.

Posterior surface projects backward almost as far as spinous processes of vertebrae. Superiorly, there is increased posterior projection of spinous processes.

The tip of twelfth rib is the lowest point of the rib cage; in the male it can be as close as one inch from the iliac crest, much closer than is usually indicated in illustrations and in articulated skeletons. Says, Goldfinger. The distance is greater in females.

Costal cartilages, are extensions at anterior ends of ribs, from ribs five through eleven cartilage curves upward and medially; cartilage of three and four, generally, straight and directed upward and medially; cartilage of two horizontal; cartilage of one downward and medially. Except for first two ribs, cartilages taper medially, especially eight through twelve, which are pointed. Cartilage of six through eight, adjacent cartilages come into contact with each other, usually swelling.

Cartilage of seventh ribs attach to body of sternum and adjacent xiphoid process. Costal cartilages, here, meet at a sharp angle, articulating with the sternum: creating the top of the costal or skeletal arch. (Ligaments attached to the tips of cartilage, of the xiphoid process, may soften the sharp angle). Skeletal arch proceeds downward through ribs seven to ten.

Side view: anterior costal cartilages seven through ten may form a rounded or straight profile.

Costochondral articulation: connection of the rib to its costal cartilage. This articulation at the fifth ribs lies at the bottom of the sternum. Costal cartilage attached to sternum is called sternocostal articulation. And except for the first rib, these articulations are true synovial joints. (Synovial: relating to or denoting a type of joint that is surrounded by a thick flexible membrane forming a sac into which is secreted a viscous fluid that lubricates the joint.)

rib cage, sideview

Rib Cage, sideview. Gray, Henry.

Sternocostal articulation gets tighter the lower the rib (less space between ribs).

In thin individuals sterno and costo chondral articulation may be seen in life, especially, under upper half of pectoral muscles. Or lower in inhalation.

Semilunar line, between rectus abdominis and external oblique, crosses the tip of the tenth costal cartilage, indicating the bottom of skeletal and abdominal arches.

The sternum, or breastbone, is made of the manubrium, the body of the sternum, and xiphoid process. In female, sternum is shorter and arched forward.

Manubrium, shield-like shape (short and wide), meets sternum at an angle, the “sternal angle,” usually visible on the surface. And directed more upward than plane of the body of sternum.

Sternal angle is also due to swelling of lower edge of manubrium and upper edge of the body of the sternum: into thickened lips or ridges where they meet.

“The costal cartilage of the second rib attaches to the sternum at the sternal angle, making it a good point to begin counting the ribs in life.”


“The medial ends of the clavicles articulate with the upper outer corners of the manubrium, and, along with the upper edge of the manubrium, form the suprasternal (jugular notch), also called the pit of the neck.” And since the pit of the neck is lower than the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebrae in back, the neck descends lower in front.

The body of sternum is elongated and teardrop-shaped. Gentle anterior curve.

Three evenly spaced transverse ridges on front of sternum, may be seen in life.

The uppermost ridge, where the third costal cartilage articulates with sternum, may be prominent, even more than sternal angle. The bone at sternum swell slightly at sternocostal articulation, which may be seen on the chest in life.

A narrow subcutaneous strip of the sternum, between pectoral muscles, getting deeper and wider inferiorly, into a flat triangular area, exposing front surface and lower end of sternum body.

Lower edge of sternum is located below nipple level and above lower border of pectoralis major.

There is a depression immediately below the sternum, called, the infrasternal notch or episgrastric depression. Upper ridge is created by the seventh costal cartilage attaching to the sternum.

The xiphoid process, or ensiform cartilage, is a thin, flattened, cartilage attached to the bottom of the sternum, projecting downward and slightly forward. Superiorly it is deeper, helping create infrasternal notch, and varies in size according to the size of the distal phalanx of the thumb, and shape.


Vertebrae. Gray, Henry.

From, Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

Vertebral column, spinal column, spine, or backbone: vertebrae and fibrocartilaginous discs: is a rigid column for support and flexible, capable of motion: thicker inferiorly because of the weight it bears.

Twenty four, true, and movable, vetebrae, and nine fixed, false: seven cervical (neck), twelve thoracic (dorsal or chest), five lumbar (lower back), five fused sacral vertebrae (forming sacrum), and four partially fused cyccygeal vertebrae (coccyx).

Because of upright posture, there are four curves to the spine, enabling body masses over each other, with the least amount of muscle energy to maintain balance/alignment. The curves are located: 1. Forward:cervical and lumbar vertebrae. 2. Backward: thoracic and sacrum and coccyx (pelvic curve). In profile, anterior curve is more pronounced, than posterior (along the spinous process). Curves increase or straighten when column is flexed or extended. (respectively?).

Thoracic vertebrae: is part of the rib cage

Sacrum: is locked between pelvic bones (forming part of pelvic girlde, which also, supports movable portion of vertebral column above).

Cervical vertebrae: supports head

Lumbar vertebrae: supports the thorax (and, head and neck).

Spine is behind the mouth, and cranium sits on top.

The subcutaneous tips of spinous process divide, and are, the midline of the back– Back muscles and shoulder blade conceal while erect. Spinal furrow extends from base of neck halfway down sacrum, where it stops at the flatness on the posterior surface of the sacral triangle, continuing as the gluteal cleft between the buttocks– it is deepest in lumbar region.

As spine is flexed forward the spinous process becomes prominent, and “conspicouous.” When the thorax is bent laterally, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae assume a single long curve when seen from rear. However, the upper thoracic tends to remain straight, with the most curvature in the lower back.

Each vertebrae consists of: a drum shaped body and attached horizontal arch. The bodies are wedge shaped, helping form the thoracic curve. A transverse process projects off each side of the arch, and a spinous process attaches to the arch. (Seventh and sometimes two upper thoracic vertebrae are pointed; all others are squared-off).

A chordlike ligament runs throughout spinous process of vertebrae. The supraspinal ligament runs from the seventh vertebrae to the sacrum, and, the nuchal ligament from the seventh vertebrae to the skull. The nuchal ligament, forms a ridge when head is flexed forward, and a groove between columnar bulging neck muscles.

Intervertebral discs: the elastic fibrocartilaginous disks between individual vertebrae. They allow only a small degree of motion between adjoining vertebrae, but cumulatively, the range of motion can be quite extensive.

Seven Cervical Vertebrae, except for the seventh (and sometimes the sixth) are buried deep in the neck. As for the seventh cervical vertebrae (vertebrae prominens) is an important conspicuous bony landmark.

Sometimes spinous process of the first thoracic vertebra is more prominent than seventh cervical.

First cervical vertebra, called the atlas, has a body replaced by a bony arch (has no spinous process), the second cervical, the axis, has a vertical bony projection, called the dens or odontoid process that projects of its body through anterior arch of the atlas. Atlas rotates around the vertical dens of axis.

Twelve thoracic vertebrae have back ward curve. Curvature of back is straighter than anterior, because spinous process of fourth through ninth vertebrae are directed obliquely downward, straightening the middle part of the curve. These and sometimes the lower thoracic spinous process are not prominent on the surface (not even visible sometimes, even when fully flexed forward. Each thoracic vertebrae articulates with a rib on each side.

Five lumbar vertebrae have an overall forward curve. The greater the forward tip of pelvis, the more forwardly curved is the lumbar curvature (“arched back”). The lumbar spinous processes are longer vertically than thoracic spinous processes.

The sacrum, made of five fused vertebrae (triangular bone), is locked between two iliac bones of the pelvis. Because covered by muscle, the sacral triangle, connecting posterior pelvic points with the top of the gluteal cleft (seen on the surface in life), is smaller than the actual size of the sacrum itself.

Subcutaneous spinous process of sacrum form median crest on back surface of the upper two-thirds of sacrum. Crest ends inferiorly, (upside down, or, V-shape): called the sacral hiatus. Crest is sometimes at bottom of a furrown when figure is erect, while muscle columns bulge slightly on either side. This area can also be a simple posterior curve and no furrow: the width of the sacrum is approximately one-third the with of the widest part of the pelvis.

Coccyx, four (sometimes 3 or 5), is a tail. Not seen, but continues back ward curve of sacrum, before disappearing in the vertical gluteal cleft. No spinous process. Its inferior tipis level with the top of the pubic symphysis, approximately the halfway point of figure.

Racing around in circles, and the drawing will land itself.

Skull, grays

Skull. Gray, Henry.

From Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger.

Skull has two parts: 1. Cranium: braincase. 2. Facial bones: orbit of the eyes, aperture of nose, cheekbones, and upper jaw, mandible (the face hangs from cranium).

The widest part of skull is the parietal eminence, or sometimes, anterior and below this point. Widest part of cranium, is almost always, wider than zygomatic arches (widest part of the face). The highest point is, posteiror to the midline skull, in side view, directly above mastoid process (sometimes more anterior though).

The cranium is balanced directly over vertebral column. At foramen magnum (opening where the brain connects with spinal column), is the point where base of the skull is, and is alligned with the base of nasal aperture.

Neck meets skull at external occipital protuberance (a bony projection at back of cranium). And further, the “cylinder of the neck meets the base of the skull in back at the superior nuchal line.

Cranium is flat, but still convex, on the sides, meeting front of the cranium at a ridge (that can be seen in life, more anteior than posterior, at least), the superior temporal line.

Following the zygomatic arches– to the external auditory (acoustic) meatus (earhole), is the mastoid process, which is, a pointed conical projection on the base of the cranium.

Forehead can appear as one bulge or two bulges (called frontal eminences, located on either side of the midline). “The female shows a rounder, more upright forehead,” This is something I’ll need to draw and verify.

In profile, the facial skeleton is basically straight and vertical, with the brow, nasal bones, muzzle, and chin variously projecting forward to different degrees, depending on sex, race, and age. A classical skull has a projecting forehead and a receding face, Goldfinger says.

Eye sockets, or orbits, are squared with rounded corners. The outer border is recessed compared to inner, and upper outer corner is a surface landmark for where the front and side planes of the face meet. Eyebrow is on the upper border of eyesockets.

Superciliary arches (brow ridge), touch on midline above eye sockets (thicker medially, and crescent shaped: form a wide raised V above nose). More prominent in men, creating more sloping forehead.

Root of nose just below superciliary arches, with a slight depression between called the glabella.

What does this mean for drawing the skull: “The nasal aperture is an upside-down heart-shaped opening . . . .”

Zygomatic arch is the widest part of face, located, as the lower border of eyesockets, wrapping in an arch from cheekbones to, just above, the earhole (above the tragus of the ear in life).

Cheekbone is forward projecting and downward sloping: parallel to the plane of the nasal aperture. Bottom of cheekbone is same as the bottom fo the nasal aperture, and bottom of cranium.

Mandible: lower jaw. contains teeth and the thin, flat and vertical ramus. What is the ramus? Ramus: the what is forked superiorly, terminates at the condylar process posteriorly, and anteriorly terminates at the coronoid process. The ramus is, the part of the jaw, where only little food can be chewed, wink. The posterior portion of the ramus, is not covered by muscle, but is recessed in life. Condylar process is just under zygomatic arches, and, anterior to the earhole: this is called the temporomandibular joint (tmj). (if the jaw opens a depression form in fron tof tragus of the ear, where condylar process previously layed.

Body of the mandible: v-shaped, apex (at chin) is squared off and blunt in male, pointed in females.

Mental tubercales, just off midline of the front of chin, more developed in male. Mental protuberance is the single projection off the chin, which is unique in humans, and located just off the baseline of the chin, and ontop of the midline.

The mandible appears: outward swelling, at the middle third portion. Bottom edge inclines upward and backward, meeting the posterior edge of ramus, of the mandible, at what is called, the angle of the jaw. Jaw is usually rounded, but sometimes is pointed; at time everted laterally. Width of jaw is equal to width of outer borders of the eyesockets (in front view).

The muzzle: teeth and bony socket rows of the maxilla and mandible. Roughly cylindrical, tooth rows U-shaped, the muzzle more spherical (slightly wider than the centers of the orbits). The lips sit on this cylindrical muzzle, reflecting its curvature (very evident when head is tipped back). Relaxed, the teeth don’t touch, while from teeth overlop lower front.

Half way point from top of skull to bottom of jaw, is just below the center orbits, and halfway point from front to back is, or just behind, the temporomandibular joint.

Another odd phrase: “On average, the male skull is larger, more angular, and more robust than the more delicate skull of the female.” Umm ok. I think I will just keep thinking of how bony landmarks might effect my drawing, not . . . .


And there is an adams apple, it curves round the neck.

That’s a lot to remember.

Skeleton and body convergence

Mensch. drawing.

Human Anatomy For Artists: The Elements of Form, by Eliot Goldfinger, says,

Artistic anatomy, which is dealt with exclusively here, is a very specialized discipline. It is the science of form– what creates it, and what influences it.

I am beginning with the skeleton, comprehensive or not, focusing on, “hmm, this is why my body moves thus.” This will translate later, “hmm, yes, that’s the form, it does look beautiful in pencil.”

The Skeleton:

While keeping a mass erect, it promotes movements, bears marks of stress at joints, and can be an identifiable surface to aid the artist.

Bone may diretly create surface form (elbow, forehead, medial surface of the tibia, clavicle), strongly influence it (rib cage, sacrum, back of hands and feet), or be concealed deep in muscle (shaft of fibula and humerus, cervical vertebrae).–

Areas of bone just below the skin are subcutaneous. Prominent subcutaneous points of bone are claled bony landmarks and may serve as important proportional measuring points of the body. Locating the bony landmarks in life is the key to understanding the exact position of the entire skeleton, which for the most part is embedded in the soft tissues of the body.


A. In musucular individuals, subcutaneous points are depressions surrounded by bulging muscle. B. Bony landmarks, surrounded by fat, depressions or dimples. C. In thin individuals, appear as raised ridges (i.e. lack of muscle and fat).

And. “Proportions are measured from bony landmarks, but can be measured from flesh landmarks as well (e.g., nipple, navel).”

And, like any basics. There is the axial skeleton– skull, vertebrae, sacrum, coccyx, and rib cage. The appendicular skeleton– arm bones and shoulder girdle, and, leg bones and pelvis.

Goldfinger says,

The artist must develop the ability to visualize the skeleton within the live model, for onto this internal scaffolding are attached the numerous convex forms of the musculature.

And in this photo, there is some suggestive proportional measurements introduced:

skeletal proportions

Just realized how horrid graphite scans, and without photoshop to bump the contrast or sharpen the lines, I don’t have a sketch for today, or perhaps, for a while. What can be devised with my budget, so that I can keep uploading sketches? And- as an aside- getting the work prepped for display, even as menial as for a post, does take no small effort, or, time. And so it is patience, time, today.

Not just sketching, but thinking how to sketch- somethings wrong, somewhere.

There are lines that converge in a drawing– overlaping, curving, splitting, erasing, bordering. But never overlook the simple rule: that lines parallel in perspective drawing will never touch. Even in a very small drawing there is no reason to loosen your style, forgetting this rule, because if you do simple errors will interrupt the composition, and readability of the picture, such as, shadows having incorrect core shadows, or simply, disproportionate line weights, making what didn’t need to be a mistake, a mistake. It is worth the effort to get an extra line in tight quarters, than pretend it was never there, and even though this may be a personal bias, there is a satisfaction in not being intimidated by what you see because you are capable of using what you know to do it, and perhaps make it better.


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