Goal Setting and Reasons to Study Anatomy
This first lesson in the figure drawing course is all about setting your goals with drawing: knowing exactly where you’re going and why, and also understanding why we as artists need to understand bone structure and muscles to be able to draw the human body. Be clear on your goals. What is your endgame? What do you want to achieve? Why is it important for you to achieve it?
- Figure studies – be a fancy art student, maybe even draw from a live model on day
- Capture real life – would you like to sit in a coffee shop and reminisce and just capture real life as it passes you by
- Painting – do you want to be able to draw figures so that you can eventually paint figures and do more complicated paintings
- Storytelling – do you maybe have a story that you need to tell, do you need to learn how to draw the figure for a graphic novel, digital art, or for manga
Learning to draw the human body can be quite a daunting task and overwhelming. The human anatomy can get really, really complicated and you might start feeling overwhelmed at some point. In times like those it’s really important to remember why you started and what your goal is.
Exercise 1: Make an Inspiration folder on your computer or on Pinterest
A helpful hint to keep your eye on the goal is to create a Pinterest board, or maybe a folder on your computer where you collect a lot of drawings and paintings that inspire you, artists that inspire you, and drawings that you would like to be able to do one day. And whenever you feel overwhelmed or disheartened you visit this folder and remember what you would like to achieve. Exercise one is going to be to create a folder on your PC or on Pinterest with all your inspiration.
These are some of the artists that I follow for the respective goals:
Figure Study Artist to Follow:
Character Designers to follow:
- Wouter Tulp
- Gerardo Sandoval
- Loopy Dave
- Rene Cordova
- Randy Bishop
- Tom Bancroft
- Ivan Laliashvili
- Dale Keown
Why you should understand anatomy
Once you have a clear, defined goal and you know why you’re doing this. Why is it important to actually understand anatomy and the rules of figures, figure-drawing and how the skeleton works? Why do we need to know all of that if you just want to be able to draw a person or figure?
- Fluency allows you to be free – Design anybody, figure or character. First of all when you really understand anatomy and the human figure you are fluent in it and you can draw a human in any position that you like or change it up, and you’re no longer a slave to your reference. If you are drawing a human with an arm down you can now move the arm up or extend it into any other position you like, because you really understand how the muscles and the arm works.
- Accurate anatomy makes a figure look natural and believable.
- Bones are important – The skeleton is really important because it is the foundation of the body. The skeleton helps us and shows us where the muscles are exactly, because the muscles are attached to the skeleton. It gives the body shape and allows movement.
- The Skeleton is consistent from person to person – we can rely on the skeleton to lead us. The skeleton is usually consistent for lots of body types: a couch potato and a gym bunny can have exactly the same skeleton.
I hope that you are feeling inspired, dedicated, goal orientated and resolute to not give up during this figure drawing course!