Anatomy Work­shop: Struc­ture and Anatomy of the Arm

Artist and teacher Charles Hu re­vives his se­ries on anatomy ba­sics with an in-depth ex­plo­ration of how to draw arms

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Artist and teacher Charles Hu re­vives his se­ries on anatomy ba­sics with an in-depth ex­plo­ration of how to draw arms.

Pub­lisher The Gnomon Work­shop Price £27 For­mat Down­load Web www.theg­nomon­work­

Any­one who’d been ea­gerly fol­low­ing Charles Hu’s top­notch se­ries on phys­i­cal anatomy for Gnomon would be for­given for think­ing he’d given up on the idea of con­tin­u­ing. It’s been nearly a three-year wait for this sixth vol­ume, fol­low­ing the quin­tet Charles re­leased in 2012 and 2013 – but now your pa­tience has been re­warded with just un­der four hours’ tu­ition around the hu­man arm.

If you’re new to the se­ries, you don’t need to have seen any of the pre­vi­ous five, although they’re worth tak­ing out a Gnomon sub­scrip­tion for if you find this one help­ful. Charles sim­ply guides you through the me­chan­ics of the arm, us­ing a model, photos and real-time draw­ings to show how the mus­cles and un­der­ly­ing skele­ton work.

While the knowl­edge he shares is largely tech­ni­cal, the in­tent be­hind it is al­ways artis­tic: by know­ing how the arm works, you can un­der­stand bet­ter what you’re ob­serv­ing from a model or pho­tog­ra­phy, and cre­ate bet­ter draw­ings. Charles fre­quently stops a main draw­ing to show you how the dif­fer­ent mus­cles es­tab­lish a rhythm you can take ad­van­tage of, to make your fig­ures come alive. There’s al­ways a bal­ance of ten­sions, even in the sim­plest poses, with some mus­cles stretch­ing as other con­tract. Un­der­stand­ing this will go a long way to help­ing pre­vent your fig­ure draw­ings seem­ing static or traced.

Charles pa­tiently and me­thod­i­cally walks you through the en­tire arm struc­ture, be­fore start­ing to show how it changes as the arm as­sumes new poses. As with pre­vi­ous in­stal­ments, the ad­van­tage of see­ing this in a video rather than a book is that you’ll see how Charles builds up the draw­ing from the sim­plest forms, en­abling you to do the same with con­fi­dence.

Let’s hope fur­ther chap­ters are in the pipe­line and we don’t have to wait three years: a video cov­er­ing the leg is no­table by its ab­sence so far.

Teacher and artist Charles Hu knows his anatomy in­side and out, and shares his knowl­edge of the arm in this video. This pose en­ables Charles to show how to use light to de­fine the var­i­ous mus­cle forms on the arm.

A tour of the arm on a hu­man skele­ton leads into the first set of draw­ings, show­ing how the shoul­der and arm con­nect.

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