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A Complete Guide for Artists

Joseph Sheppard

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  1. 224 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
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eBook - ePub


A Complete Guide for Artists

Joseph Sheppard

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About This Book

In this superb guidebook, a skilled practitioner of figure drawing demonstrates how to achieve mastery of anatomy through careful, knowledgeable articulation of the muscles and bones lying beneath the skin. Joseph Sheppard's concise instructions have been carefully integrated with over 250 halftone illustrations and over 180 line drawings to lead artists one step at a time through the techniques required in rendering human anatomy convincingly.
The opening chapter of the book presents the special techniques involved in mastering human proportion.The chapters that follow each deal with a separate part of the body: the arm, hand, leg, foot, torso, head, and neck (with special coverage of facial features and expressions) and the complete figure.
Each of these chapters follows a basic format that combines drawings of the featured body portion from many different angles, coverage of the specific bones and muscles involved, a table of muscle origins and insertions, and coverage of surface anatomy and depictions of the body part in a variety of positions.
Joseph Sheppard taught drawing, anatomy, and painting for many years at the Maryland Institute of Art. He is the author of several books of art instruction, and the recipient of a number of distinguished prizes and awards for his sculptures and other works of art, many of which are in the collections of art museums across America.

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Proportion varies as much as people do. However, the classical figure, Greek and Renaissance, was an eight-heads-length figure, the head being used as the unit of measure. Mannerist artists created an elongated figure, using nine, ten, or more head lengths. In nature, the average figure height is between seven and eight heads.
The eight-heads-length figure seems by far the best; it gives dignity to the figure and also seems to be the most convenient.


Certain bones project on the surface of the body, becoming important landmarks for the artist. These bones are always next to the skin. On a thin person they protrude and on a heavy person they show as dimples.
  • A. Sternal notch
  • B. End of clavicle and scapula
  • C. Bottom end of sternum
  • D. Inside of elbow (humerus)
  • E. Ridge of pelvis
  • F. Pubis bone
  • G. Thumb side of wrist (radius)
  • H. Little finger side of wrist (ulna)
  • I. Inside of upper part of knee (femur)
  • J. Inside of lower part of knee (tibia)
  • K. Kneecap (patella)
  • L. Head of fibula
  • M. Outside of ankle (fibula)
  • N. Inside of ankle (tibia)
  • O. Shinbone (tibia)
  • P. Nipples
  • Q. Navel
  • R. Hipbone (femur)
  • S. Seventh cervical vertebra
  • T. Bottom of scapula
  • U. Dimples caused by end of iliac spine
  • V. Back of elbow (ulna head)
  • W. Head of radius
Front view, male figure, eight heads high.
Front view, female figure, eight heads high.
For key to figures see page 12.
Proportions at various ages.
Convenient measurements.



Front View of Arm, Palm Out (Supination)

The shoulder socket is made up of two bones: the clavicle (collarbone) in front and the scapula (shoulder bone) in back. The upper arm has one bone: the humerus. Half its dual head is shaped like a rectangle and half like a ball, fitting into the shoulder socket. At the elbow, the humerus is divided into three equal sections: the first section is shaped like a ball; the second section is shaped like a spool and forms an angle downward toward the torso; the third section protrudes and can be seen and felt on the inside of the elbow. The forearm has two bones: the radius and the ulna. The radius is on the outside of the elbow and on the thumb side of the wrist. It is smaller at the elbow and larger at the wrist. The head of the radius is round and flat and rotates on the small ball of the humerus. The head of the ulna...

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