Explore a clear and intuitive method for seeing form and understanding the structure of the human body as a foundation of artistic expression, allowing for more accurate drawing and composition. Discussions include anatomical detail as to the working of bones and musculature as well as overall shapes and general principles of construction and action as exhibited on the model. Anatomy for the Artist (winter) is followed by Drawing the Features of the Head (spring).

Each fast paced 1.5 hour lecture takes up the salient points of the subjects below in an artistic as opposed to medical vein. The series provides a flyover level of detail appropriate for the avid beginner and the intermediate student, with an emphasis on the identification and description of a few hundred muscles and bones, their joints and movements, and their common shapes and functional and aesthetic relationships. Though each lecture stands on its own, the student new to anatomical study is encouraged to take the entire series.

By necessity we deal in generalizations common to all members of our species, with special call-outs to generally accepted differences between men and women, youth and age, and occasionally as between folks of different ancestral backgrounds as warranted. Lectures proceed with whiteboard drawings, projected images and the life (nude) model. Please bring a notebook for sketching and note taking. Unfortunately there will not be time for drawing from the model outside of lecture time.

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Gage Capitol Hill

$15 at Door
$135 for Series

Full Series Pass

January 18 | Bio-Mechanics and the Canons of Proportion

Human anatomy is part engineering, part poetry. We are machines of pulleys and levers that carry within them intimations of the divine. Proportion is both a proper relationship of parts to whole, as well as a history of judgements and culturally weighted generalizations about “ideal” form.


January 25 | Pelvis and Trunk

The fundamental form where life begins, the pelvis is the foundation of the figure, recognizing its orientation and how it attaches and relates to the major forms above is the key to understanding gesture.

February 1 | Ribs and Spine

The Spine is a complex spring hinging together the fundamental forms of the axial skeleton. The Ribs are a complex bellows hidden below but anchoring the shoulders and the upper limbs. Learning to truly see the ribs changes how you see the entire body.


February 8 | Reach 1: Shoulder Girdle

The structures that anchors the upper limbs to the ribs can be even more complex than the pelvis. Seeing how it moves, and how to recognize the forms of the clavicle and scapula, with their attendant internal and external musculature will help you render the complexity of the upper body with greater confidence.


February 15 | Reach 2: the Forelimbs

The upper and lower arms are a chain of interconnecting bones, joints and muscles that transition from strength to increasing dexterity and complexity as they move towards the fingers. Break down the complex shapes into more fundamental forms that help you see the order within the complex web.


February 22 | Locomotion: the Buttocks and Lower Limbs

The legs, analogous to but stronger than the arms because of their role in support and locomotion. Come to recognize the largest masses and muscle groups of the body, as well as characteristic forms of the thigh, knee and calf.


March 1 | Support and Manipulation: Feet and Hands

Analogous structures adapted to different functions. Under their surface complexities lie a series of relatively simple constructions that determine form. Learn to recognize landmarks and common proportional relations.


March 8 | Head: Neck and Skull

The culmination of all that came below. The structures that support and contain the major sensory and processing systems. Recognize basic musculature and key skeletal features and proportions, and learn how to identity and render the symmetry and balance of the whole.


March 15 | Face. Features and Musculature of Expression

The common morphologies of the organs of sense and the muscles of expression. Recognize the architecture of the 4 major features and the muscles that control them. Basics of expression.


March 22 | Gender Dimorphism, Hair, Skin and Fat

Primary and secondary sexual characteristics and the growth and morphology of the reproductive systems. The function and form of the largest sensory organ that covers all that lies below including pigmentation, energy storage and conservation. Common age, gender, and family of origin related differences in the appearances of the skin.