In Creating a Human Figure an excellent composition is half the success
When you start working on a figure, the first thing you need to understand is what the composition will resemble. Composition in figurative sculpting is mostly movement. It is the relationship between the movable and static elements.
There are three groups of moving elements:
- Group A - Thorax, Pelvis, and Head. These elements create the basis for the pose;
- Group B - Upper limb and Lower limb. Supports the movement and balances the posture;
- Group C - Eyes, Mouth, Hand, Fingers, Foot, Toes. These little elements complete the composition.
In Understanding the Human Figure, you will find tips and examples on how to position these elements in the right way, how to design them, and how to build a better overall composition.
The very first thing the human eye sees is a silhouette. If you set it right, then the composition of the figure can be considered successful.
What makes the right silhouette?
A good profile is one where all the elements do not overlap when viewed from all sides. And even in the case of overlapping, the figure still doesn't lose any readability and is understandable. To evaluate the silhouette set, the light from behind the character can take a photo of an unfinished work outline of an object, fill in with some solid color.
When you get the composition right, the next step would be to take care of the form. Before analyzing anatomy, it is necessary to understand what the general form is of each element. You have to do it in the same order as groups A, B, C. Starting with group A, sorting the basic shapes of the Thorax, Pelvis, and Head. Moving on to group B and then finally finishing with the primary form of group C elements.
When the composition and basic shape is structured, it is time for anatomy. The anatomy covered in this book is called Surface Anatomy. The main difference between Surface Anatomy and anatomy for physicians is that it includes the part of the anatomy that affects the form of the surface. The main elements here are Muscles, Tendons, Bones, and Fat.
Main Age and Gender (male and female anatomy) differences
Most importantly, unlike medical anatomy, in anatomy for artists, it is much more important to understand the forms and also the changes in dynamics. The individual morphology and, additionally, the age and gender (female and male anatomy) of the figure is taken into consideration. In this book, the author explains the main differences between these groups and in the appendix, also charts the different age and gender ratios that will help you work faster in your daily work — taking out the need to look for primary references elsewhere.
Why do I need to know anatomy?
Creating a figure or portrait does not mean copying nature. Nowadays, there are technologies like photography in the case of 2d and photogrammetry in the case of 3d, which would cope with this task better. The artist's responsibility is not to copy, but to interpret, add part of one's understanding and view. To enrich our perspective, we are augmenting it with the knowledge of plastic esthetics and anatomy.
What is Surface Anatomy for artists?
It studies the visual and external parts of the anatomy of bodies. Surface anatomy is the knowledge of the construction: elements, a form of the human and animal body, and the dynamic relationship between these elements. Especially useful for artists who want to gain an understanding of human body forms and how to create them.
What's the difference between digital and traditional art?
There isn't much of a difference. Creating digital art sometimes requires more knowledge. For example, to create a game character, it has to look realistic. Historically, artists did not set such goals for themselves. Realism is a relatively new concept in the art scene. It is just one direction of modernism and was born only in the late 19th century. At that time, there was not enough knowledge to create a genuinely realistic artworks. Indeed, this knowledge only became sought after recently with the advancement of technologies such as 3D modeling, CGI, and VFX.
Books on Anatomy For Artists
The book's author is a sculptor with over 25 years of experience and knows what is essential and what is not so crucial in anatomy for artists. So in his book, he drops all that is unnecessary and covers only the most critical things a visual artist needs to know about anatomy. He uses a lot of pictures and color-coding to make the perception faster and views many of the elements from multiple angles, thus giving a more spatial view of the object.
This anatomy book is for visual artists, created by a sculptor who understands the practical side of art. We are a team of artists and medical experts working together to create precise and correct anatomy books for artists.
It's a sculpting book, but in a more broad sense, "Sculpting" as in creating a realistic human using any artistic platform that you use. CGI arts and 3d modeling, digital sculpting, or traditional sculpting are the most frequent users of our books. However, many animators, painters, illustrators, designers, even anatomy and medical experts, etc., have expressed how useful are these books are for them.
This and more is all available in the book - Understanding the Human Figure. Available now Digital Form (PDF) and Printed versions of Paperback and Hardcover. If you're interested in more in-depth anatomy of facial expressions. For the creation of realistic expression. You can find more information - here.