The Legs are Secondary

We have stated the necessity of using a new order of form in drawing the figure in deep space. Our initial assertion has been that the torso is first in importance. Following the primary torso masses in this notational order, our rule proposes that the legs are secondary.

The reason that the legs (not the arms) come after the torso masses is that the figure, in whatever action it takes, is for the most part related to the ground plane. It works against the pull of gravity, expressing weight, pressure, and tension; it needs leg support to sustain it. Without this support, the figure may not be able to project a convincing demonstration of exertion, effort, and dynamism. This fact also calls for a more emphatic use of the pelvic wedge than has previously been discussed. When the torso forms have been sketched in, the pelvic wedge must be clarified as to structure and direction, with the midline division well laid in so that the legs can be given their relevant attachment.

Figure Drawing Legs

In this figure, the upper rib cage barrel has been lightly indicated. The lower torso (the pelvic wedge) on the other hand, has been explicitly defined, with the legs set into each side of it.

How Draw Legs From Upper Perspective

This series of figures shows the wedge block of the pelvis initiating the attachment of the legs. Notice how the cylindrical thigh form of the upper leg enters the pelvic mass well below its box-like front comer.

Intestine Leg

When we attach the legs to the sides of the pelvic wedge block, note the large, protruding secondary form, the centrally located lower belly (actually the mass of the small intestine), which is encased in the hollow of the pelvic basin. The figure to the left shows a schematized version of the bulging belly box mounted in the opening of the hip flanges. The center figure relates this belly bulge to the legs. Notice how the legs, entering the hips, tend to squeeze the base of the belly. Because of the apparent pressure, the belly rises high in the basin. The figure to the right emphasizes the high belly insert in an action figure: when the legs move, the wedge may spread to accommodate the change of position. The round protru sion, high in the sides of the legs, is the great trochanter, the bony eminence which lets us see the origin of the leg as it swivels, bound yet free, in the socket of the hip.

Drawings The Leg

Let us review the structure rhythms of the leg. In the small, erect figure to the left, the front leg is characterized by a B-shape. The side leg (in a raised bend position) has an S-curve line. (Both rhythms are shown in the dotted lines.) The large, center figure faces left with both legs in a side view position which are expressed with S-curve notation lines. The two figures to the right show how the side view leg is easily interpreted in both front and back positions. The upper figure presents a front view leg in a deep bend, which is described with a B-shape curve. In this case, notice that the upper leg is shown with the top section of the B-shape folded backward as the knee bends back.

Human Sketches

No discussion of the leg would be complete without noting the stance of the feet and their relationship as support platforms to the pillars of the legs. In this front view leg, notice how the entire length of the leg thrusts inward from the high, outside hip projection to the low, inner ankle projection (see long leg arrow). The foot stance is shown in the dotted ellipse. Note the thrust of the foot as the ankle connection reverses the bearing of the leg and thrusts the support direction of the foot outward (see short foot arrow).

This series of action figures allows to see the stance of the foot from number of viewing angles. Observe how the foot arrow thrusts outward from the ankle to

Ankle Inside Outside Anatomy

We have mentioned the enormous flexibility of the two body masses the torso, which effect extreme move ment in the mid-axial connection the waist. When the body weaves sways, or gyrates, it is important give the leg pillars an effective a convincing support. In the figure the right— a multiple action torso the front legs are underpinned with outthrust foot stance support. (Note how the long leg arrows reverse at the ankle, then bear the foot stance in outward direction from the leg.)

Figure Leg DrawingHuman Leg Sketches

In this summary series of sketches, which show leg and torso positions and actions the reader is asked to let his eye range casually over each figure. Can you identify easily which of the legs is drawn from a side view (S-line) orientation and which from a front view (B-shape) orientation? In making your judgment, do you observe how the anklebone relates to each leg view —whether the bulge is inside or outside the outline of the leg? As you look at the lower legs, are you aware of the outward thrust of the feet?

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