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
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.thegnomonworkshop.com
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.