What is the course about?
To anatomize is to take something apart. This course aims to give you a basic grounding in how anatomical structures affect surface forms of the body and how to work this knowledge into your drawing practice.
This course focuses on both portrait and life drawing. However, the issues that effect portraiture and those that effect life drawing are somewhat different. The structure of the human head, and in particular, the face, is a broad subject in its own right. Therefore, we will spend roughly the same amount of time focusing on the head and neck, as we will on the figure as a whole.
The unifying theme will be to understand how superficial anatomical structures (i.e. bone and muscle) influence form, rotation, proportion and likeness. Emphasis will be on working from observation.
What will we cover?
• Weight & balance
• Uniquely human anatomical characteristics
• How form is dictated by underlying bony structures
• How form is dictated by underlying muscle and fat
• Musculature in terms of its role in gesture and motion
• Investigate what makes a figure appear masculine or feminine or young or old.
• Individual characteristics that denote likeness.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Differentiate between artistic and medical anatomy
• Better understand proportion, rotation and balance
• Draw a portrait from a variety of angles taking into account the basic anatomical structures of the head and neck
• Grasp how the superficial structures expand and contract depending on their position and force exerted upon them
• An improved understanding of what is going on beneath the surface of the skin that will inform the way you approach drawing form
• Begin to produce life drawings with a more informed eye for human anatomy that will become more evidential as the course and your practice progresses.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Experience of drawing from the life model would be extremely useful, although you are not expected to have any previous experience of studying anatomy.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions and also be able to take short written notes to support demonstrations and hand-outs. You will be invited to take part in group discussions, mainly in the form of “show and tell”.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Talks, practical work, demonstrations, individual tutoring and group discussion. You will be encouraged to visit medical collections to draw from their specimens. The emphasis will be on observational drawing.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All basic materials are provided.
An A4 (or similar) sketchbook would be useful if you wish to take written or visual notes during demonstrations.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Further life drawing and painting courses such as VM476 Drawing and Painting from life:extended study VH753 Build Year of the Figure and Portrait.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details