Artistic Anatomy: Male vs. Female Hips (Article Excerpt)

The spring issue of Drawing is on newsstands now (order or download your copy here), and I want to share an excerpt from of one of the articles, a fascinating look at the anatomical differences between men and women.

Author Larry Withers points out that there are numerous ways that men’s and women’s bodies differ, beyond the obvious, and he identifies 12 subtle differences artists should look for when drawing from life. Of course, every person is unique, so these principles aren’t strict rules that apply to everyone on earth. But they fit most people, and keeping these ideas in mind while we draw can lead us to more informed figure drawings.

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12 Anatomical Differences Between Men and Women, by Larry Withers

Difference 1: Hip Dimensions

The general profiles of men and women are different—often strikingly so. Male bodies tend to be broad at the shoulders (A) and taper as they descend to the hips. With women, it’s the opposite (B). In fact, male and female pelvises are different in all dimensions. A woman’s hips are wider, not as high, and shallower from front to back.

 The configuration of the hips affects many surface forms of the torso. Take Poupart’s ligament, for example. This important long fibrous tissue is attached to the pelvis and marks the point where the torso ends and the thigh begins. Since the female hips are lower and wider, the slope of this ligament is flatter on a female body than on a male.

Adam and Eve
by Jan Gossaert, 1507–1508, oil on panel, 22. x 14. Collection Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain.

Interesting, no? To learn the other 11 anatomical differences between man and woman, get your copy of the new issue of Drawing. Enjoy!

 

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