Anime Woman Sketch

The femur (thigh-bone) is fitted into the pelvis at a ball-and-socket joint which offers free forward movement with some sideways and rotary articulation. Backward movement can only be effected by tilting the pelvis.

Socket Joint EngineeringSpine Sketching

The Head and Neck

The bones of the neck are the seven cervical vertebrae that comprise the upper portion of the spine. The large muscles which affect the shape of the neck are the trapezius at the back and, at the front, the sternomastoids, which run from the back of the ear down towards the inner ends of the clavicles.

The neck is capable of motion in all directions: inclining the head forward and back, laterally towards either shoulder, and rotating it from side to side through 180 degrees.

Apart from the sound-conducting structures in the ears, the only moving joint in the head is the jaw. All the rest of the bones of the skull are rigidly interlocked and immovable.

The muscles of the face are of two types:

• the sphincter-type muscles around the eyes and mouth

• the muscles - studied and analysed in depth in Chapter 6 -that attach parts of the skull to the skin and so allow a very wide range of facial expression

Woman Anime Face Expression

• the sphincter-type muscles around the eyes and mouth

• the muscles - studied and analysed in depth in Chapter 6 -that attach parts of the skull to the skin and so allow a very wide range of facial expression

Facial Expression Woman Drawing

Drawing Heads

The face is, of course, the most expressive part of the body. Here is a simple construction method which will help you to see, in simplified form, the shapes involved. The average proportions of the human head are shown at right. The head is about as deep as it is high, and so in profile it fits approximately into a square. Seen from the front, the head's width is rather less than its height.

Start by drawing profiles. Begin with a circle forthe cranium and then add a line for the front of the face and another for the jaw, as shown in the first two pictures. The commonest fault in drawings by beginners is that the head appears flat so, as soon as you can, try a three-quarter view, striving always for an appearance of roundness and solidity. Use faint guide-lines to establish the centre line of the face and the position of the eyes.

This is a rather characterless face, of course, but at this stage the important thing is to understand the basic forms involved. Individuals vary from the average in many ways, as discussed along with expression and facial movement in Chapter 6. The drawings on these two pages represent a first step. If you draw hundreds of these simplified heads you will come to understand the subtle topography of the human face and be able to imbue your drawings with life and character.

Human Face TopographyHuman Face TopographyHuman Face TopographyDrawing Face AcrowdHuman Face TopographyHuman Face Topography

It is most important to realize that the face is not simply a flat jrface with features superimposed. To draw faces successfully must understand the three-dimensional form of the surface j that's why we began with a characterless 'average' face which jId have been either male or female. If you look at the foggy newspaper photograph of a crowd produced on this page you'll see that each face is distinct from i rest simply by the pattern of light and shadow on it, rather than 1 the shapes of the eyes or lips. If you can conceive of the face a pattern in this way you will avoid the common pitfall of sating lifeless arrangements of eyes, noses and mouths, in-stinguishable from one another.

So practise drawing the basic face with the addition of light and ade until you thoroughly understand its surface form and the iy that the light and shadow areas reveal its contours. On these two pages are several views of basic faces from irious angles. Once again, it is imperative that you understand actual surface form, not merely the outline.

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Ectomorph Anatomy Sketch

Fropcfiop t after Flagman.

Human Proportions For Artists

Fropcfiop t after Flagman.


The proportions of the human figure have interested artists, philosophers and teachers throughout the past 20 centuries or more. The Roman architect Vitruvius wrote early in the 1st century AD: 'Nature has so fashioned the well formed human figure that the face, from the chin to the roots of the hair, is a tenth part of the whole body.' He asserted also that the navel was the centre of the body, so that a circle drawn around this point would touch the outstretched toes and fingers of a man lying on his back. It is this theory that is shown in Leonardo da Vinci's famous illustration at top left. Unfortunately the theory works in practice only if the arms are held out at a very specific angle. We can see, nevertheless, that when the arms are stretched out to the sides the distance between the fingertips is roughly the same as that between the crown of the head and the soles of the feet, and this is a useful rule-of-thumb guide to arm length.

During the Renaissance, human anatomy became the subject of detailed investigation, and artists became involved in a search for significant mathematical relationships between the sizes of various parts of the body. Complex systems were invented to define what was considered an 'ideal' figure. Since then, hundreds of such systems have been devised using various parts of the body as units of measurement, including the head, face, foot, forearm, index finger, nose, spinal column and so on, but, because no account was taken of the simple, obvious fact that individuals vary very considerably, these systems are really of interest only to the classicist. Ideals vary considerably, too, and the accepted view of what constitutes perfection in bodily proportions changes from one generation to the next. We must therefore in general resort to observation of the wide range of sizes and shapes displayed by the people we see around us.

For our purposes, however, it is useful to study a figure of average proportions, as this gives us a basis upon which to build.

Left-hand column, from top: Leonardo's drawing based on Vitruvius; Albrecht Durer's measured drawing of a stocky man; diagram by John Flax man RA, who remarked in his Lectures (1812) that 'Greek sculpture did not rise to excellence until anatomy, geometry and numbers had enabled the artist to determine the drawing, proportions and motion ...'•, William Rimmer's diagram to show that torso length = thigh length = shin length.

Left: Anonymous scheme depicting the proportions of the body in terms of 31 noses!

Carte Acupuncture


Female Sketch Model


Man Average Built Body

Individuals vary from this average in quite specific ways, which we'll investigate in Chapter 6. Nevertheless, many of the rules set down in this chapter apply to most normal figures, and they provide a useful means of checking the proportions of a drawing when we need to - which is, after all, the only practical purpose they can serve.

The usual method of ensuring that the relative sizes of the various parts of the body are in proportion is to use the vertical length of the head as a unit of measurement. An average figure is about seven heads high, but anything between six and eight heads is well within the normal range. Indeed, the 'ideal' figure of eight heads' height has persisted in books of drawing instruction right up to the present day - largely, I suspect, because then it is possible to divide the body vertically into eight convenient parts at chin, nipples, navel, crotch, mid-thigh, knee, calf and foot, making life simple for the instructor!

To be pedantic about the rule is to miss its point. Much as we may admire the remarkable achievements of Roman architects and Renaissance artist/mathematicians, all they have to offer us practically in this instance is a handy, rule-of-thumb checking device, and it would be foolish to allow ourselves to be restricted by it.


When drawing children you will find that the head contributes a much larger proportion of the height. A newborn baby's head is about a quarter of its total height and the length of the legs very little more. As the child grows, the legs increase in length far more than the other parts in relation to the total height of the body, so that the head becomes proportionately smaller.

Body Fat DistributionBody Fat DistributionBody Fat Distribution

Fat Distribution

Fat Distribution

Fat Distribution

In childhood, male and female body shapes are very similar. The shape of the average adult male body is largely dictated by the size of the muscle masses, while that of the average female depends mainly on the size of the fat masses. When girls attain puberty there is an increase in body fat, which is laid down in very specific places to give the distinctive roundness of breast and hip of the adult woman.

The shaded areas in the drawings at the foot of this page show where excess fat is stored. Both sexes have a storage area high on the back between the shoulderblades, which gives obese people of both sexes that distinctive hunched-shouldered, short-necked appearance. However, other storage sites give rise to sex-specific differences in shape. In overweight men the waist is characteristically larger than the hips, the excess fat being stored above the hip-bone at the back on either side of the spine, and on the upper abdomen. Overweight women, by contrast, are typically bigger at the hips than at the waist, the main sites of fat storage being the lower abdomen, buttocks and thighs, as well as on the breasts, at the back of the upper arms and, as for men, between and above the shoulderblades.

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