Anatomy of the Torso

BODY TALK Pain­ter and il­lus­tra­tor Pa­trick J Jones con­tin­ues his solid se­ries on anatomy with an in-depth look at the bit in the mid­dle

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Pain­ter and il­lus­tra­tor Pa­trick J Jones con­tin­ues his solid se­ries on anatomy with an in-depth look at the bit in the mid­dle.

Tak­ing his cue from great teach­ing artists like An­drew Loomis, Pa­trick J Jones is cap­tur­ing his knowl­edge in a se­ries of videos about the hu­man body. Anatomy of the Torso is the latest, fol­low­ing on from Pa­trick’s Anatomy of the Head two-parter (which we re­viewed in is­sue 122). Each video works fine on its own, but col­lect the set and you’ve got a lot of wis­dom at your dis­posal.

Pa­trick fol­lows the same struc­ture he used for his Head videos, draw­ing a torso from the front, then the back, then the side. There’s some ba­sic mea­sur­ing to es­tab­lish pro­por­tions, and you’ll see how to lo­cate land­marks around the body – cer­tain bones or mus­cles that are eas­ier to spot – as you build up the body struc­ture. But Pa­trick’s em­pha­sis is on help­ing you un­der­stand the body’s forms and shapes as you draw them, so that your fig­ures feel like they’re liv­ing crea­tures rather than man­nequins.

Pa­trick chooses to go with a woman’s torso, which should make this video ex­tra-handy for cer­tain male artists who don’t ap­pear able to grasp how breasts and bot­toms should look! The curves of the fe­male body make it one of the most ar­tis­ti­cally pleas­ing things you can draw; Pa­trick shows how to show the best of women’s bod­ies with­out re­sort­ing to un­be­liev­able shapes.

As Pa­trick moves from the back view to the side view, he also of­fers an en­light­en­ing dis­cus­sion of how the body bal­ances it­self as it moves, and how to re­flect that in your draw­ings. As with pre­vi­ous in­stal­ments, the beauty of Anatomy of the Torso is the way it shows draw­ings de­vel­op­ing over time, so you can see how com­plex im­ages have the sim­plest of foun­da­tions.

We look for­ward to fu­ture chap­ters, with the body’s limbs be­ing next on Pa­trick’s list. But it would be good if he could sort out the au­dio record­ing, which suf­fers from hiss.

Pa­trick uses his fin­ished paint­ings to show the prin­ci­ple he talks about. You’ll see how body parts seen from dif­fer­ent an­gles re­late to each other, giv­ing you the con­fi­dence to try your own poses. From the ear­li­est stages, you’ll see how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the fe­male form from the male with­out re­sort­ing to over-ex­ag­ger­a­tion.

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