Draw Upper Back Muscles
The structure is simple, but the anatomy is complex. Chris Legaspi a systematic approach to drawing realistic upper back muscles
To me, the upper back is both a beautiful and interesting subject to draw. The structures are simple, but the anatomy is quite complex, because the muscles are arranged in multiple layers. So to help me draw upper back muscles accurately, I’ve come up with a layering system for their construction.
Because of the layering, the muscles will often look distorted and unrecognisable. To make sense of the anatomy, first I look for the major landmarks, the clues to what the back is doing. Next up, I visualise the major bones, and this guides me in constructing the muscles. The first layer of muscles are the “deep” muscles and next I focus on them. Then I move on to the second layer of muscles – the superficial or surface muscles – which are more easily seen. Finally, I refine my drawing by adding smaller muscle shapes and other anatomical details.
I’ll continue to refine the muscle shapes and shadow shapes until I reach what looks like a good balance of detail with the more generic anatomical shapes.
One of the tools I often use to refine the drawing, and certainly here, is shadow shapes. I’ll also use a combination of soft and hard edges to help model and round the muscles off.