How do I study for human anatomy?

I’m currently trying to improve my human drawing skills, and I decided to study human anatomy for better human drawing. I got some books like "Anatomy for artists" and "Figure Drawing for all its worth." I don’t know if I should just copy and draw pictures in those books or not. I saw some terms for body parts and realized they are in Latin, and I don’t know if it’s necessary to memorize those words, too.

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4 comments

  • It’s not really necessary, just as long as you know what’s what, e.g. a leg muscle is shaped a certain way, chest muscles are a certain way. I wonder if you took a poll of artists who understood anatomy, how many could name each of the muscles… I wouldn’t like to speculate either way.

    Anyway, yes, copying is a good way to start off with. Once you feel a little more confident, find an image of someone and try to draw the figure using your knowledge gained. Drawing from life is much better than copying an image, but not everyone has the opportunity, etc. After so long, try drawing an anatomically correct human figure without referring to any books/ tutorials, etc and see how you fare!

  • If you want I can pose nude for you and you can draw me. What do you say? 😉

  • it depends on your goal , if you just want to improve your drawing skills you shouldn’t have to memorize muscles names , just study their shapes and their projection and impression on the skin , what most concern you is the superficial muscles , which can be seen especially in athletes . although , knowing some muscles names could help . like the biceps , it’s names refers to the fact that it has two heads , the quadraceps in the thighs , have four heads .
    somes capillaries and nerves also are superficial and are palpated through skin , so studying them would help .
    good luck

  • It’s good that you have some books for help.
    I find copying an image and learning to measure proportion using the tip of a pencil to be very helpful. I started to learn anatomy by copying sculptures, like Venus de Milo (for female figures), The Wrestlers (helps in learning human anatomy in motion), and the statue of David.

    Good luck, I know you can do a great job! Keep on practicing. 🙂

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