Know the Skeleton

Edward Poynter (1836-1919) of the Royal Academy
If you study the skeleton well enough to draw it from any angle, it will give your figure drawing much more authority. The study by Poynter shows him locating the two bony landmarks of the elbow visible here: the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (the bump on the left) and the olecranon process of the ulna (the elbow bump facing us).

In this Russian figure drawing book, the anatomy is well understood from the inside out. It looks dynamic because the artist has enough of a knowledge to simplify to essentials.

I hasten to add that my own knowledge of the skeleton is pretty basic compared to some of my colleagues who have really made a study of it.

When I need answers, here are some of the places I turn:
Books: Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth
Model Skeletons:
33" high model skeleton
I use a Revell plastic model that's only a foot tall, which dangles from my studio wall. A model skeleton should be rigged so that you can hold it in any pose to echo what the model is doing. Every art school should have a model skeleton in the figure drawing room.

Thanks, Rob Nonstop

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