Free Art Lesson: How to Study Human Anatomy for the Artist

Most people go day to day without giving a single thought to human anatomy, which means that artists who understand it share a relatively rare knowledge. As artist Maggie Price once said, “Once you begin seeing with the eye of an artist, you never see the world the same way again.” (Click here to Tweet this quote.) This is true for many subjects that artists portray. When it comes to drawing the human body, it’s easy to take for granted how your shoulder moves your elbow, which moves your wrist–something that’s demonstrated every time you pour a cup of coffee. Study of human anatomy for artists sheds new light on how you look at the body, as well as how you can portray it in your figure drawings.

It’s ironic: so many people go through life oblivious to the intricacies of anatomy; figure artists, however, must have an understanding, a deep knowledge in order to draw humans in a realistic style. That’s why we’re pleased to share with you this free download: Human Anatomy Drawing for Artists by Dan Gheno. We all have our opinions on the importance of studying anatomy, but Gheno’s article takes it a step further and offers advice on how to study this timeless subject.

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How to draw anatomy for beginners

Free Human Anatomy Drawing Lessons

Human Anatomy Drawing for Artists is full of expert advice on body drawing from Gheno:


How to draw anatomy for beginners

The Purpose of Artistic Anatomy

Knowledge of the human body can be an invaluable tool for artists – as long as they study of anatomy is approached in the right way. Many artists debate the question, “Why should you study anatomy?” But it’s less often that you hear an equally important question: “How do you study anatomy?” For Dan Gheno, answering the question “why” is easy. Learn more about his take on the purpose of artistic anatomy in this free download.

Learning about drawing anatomy with this site, especially how to draw human heads.

The Right Resources

As we shall see, there are many resources available to help you pursue your studies, including books, videos, lectures, and sculptural approaches. And of course, there’s also the way many Old Masters learned anatomy—through dissections.


Drawing Anatomy: How to draw the Throat and Leg

A Methodical Approach to Anatomy

No matter what source of information you choose to work with when drawing anatomy, you should follow a systematic approach by always starting with the bones. Information about the muscles is much more meaningful and memorable when you understand the boney structures on which they sit. When you move on to musculature, always ask yourself what a muscle’s origin, insertion, and functions are. Since form follows function, learning the functions of each muscle group along with their origins and insertions on the bones will allow you to comprehend their visual forms on a live human model.

There’s no reason not to get started as soon as you can.

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