Monday, December 15, 2008

Short, Fat and Proud of That

In honor of today being our last day of Artistic Anatomy, I have some very special things to record here in my blogger.

1) Appreciate the masters of Anatomy. The REAL masters: Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Leon Joseph Florentin Bonnat, John Singer Sargent, Pierre Auguste-Cot, James Tissot to name a very very few. But seriously - anyone who understands anatomy had to work freaking hard to get there. I spent a countless hours trying to copy this from books and a skeleton model. They can just pull it out of their heads! No shortcuts, but it's worth it.
(^I wish I could do that. This is John Singer Sargent's)

2) We're China-doll fragile. Anything can kill us. Changes in our environment, position in the solar system, atmosphere etc = death and destruction. How on Earth are we still alive? And how did we get to be the top of the food chain?? (Aethieism makes me laugh.)

3) Females are much more...cushioned males. That's not new, but I never realized how drastic the difference was. The comparative picture in my anatomy bookis almost comical. Males have a total of seven fat pads (not counting feet, hands or cheeks). Seven TINY ones - a couple around the knee, under the gluteus maximus, one over the pubis, and two on the trunk. Females have thirteen HUGE ones. Since they're colored in pink they look kind of like globual aliens trying to take over the body. Ergo - why the female form has gentler curves and more dynamic proportions.

And why it is phenomenally more impressive when a girl gets a six pack. They have to work through a whole extra layer of fat before they make it visible!
(^also ergo - why James Tissot painted only women. Although the fun dresses may have had something to do with it too...)

4) The ingenious mechanics of the shoulder girdle (i.e. clavicle, scapula, and maubrium) are what allow such great arm flexibility. Fun experiment: raise your arm until its straight out and your scapula won't move. Beyond those 90 degrees, though, your scapula takes over control of the movement.

5) The knee is pretty complex. The patella on top is encased in tendons and makes sure we don't pinch all the leg muscles that converge there when we bend/straighten our leg. There are a couple fat pads in that area to allow smoother functioning too. The combination - all the muscles, fat pads and bone is what makes the complex form of folds and furrows. All of it is necessary, though. It's a very important joint.

6) The last two ribs are just floating...apparently without purpose. heh.

7) The last bones of our cocyx are also completely useless. (Tail remnants maybe?)

8) The Pelvis is really just a basket of organs with the rectus abdominas holding them all in.

9) The swim suits models wear at BYU have become ten times more annoying. I never recognized how intrusive they were. An aside: The swimsuits is not a church thing. First Presidency is okay with it. It's a rule instituted because someone a while back thought that nude models were pornographic. Stupid person.

10) Overall - the Human Figure is just amazing. And the more I study it, the more amazing it gets. They really are divine designs.


Jake Wyatt said...

THIS was a fun post.

I just got a big fat Sargent book for Christmas, so I'll be sure to gape at his mastery of anatomy.

If you say on your blog that comic artist have a fantastic grasp of anatomy and proportion, I'll let you borrow it...

Michael Mercer said...

Here here on swimsuitless models! I wrote a paper on the subject. Will post it someday.

The Rabidmilkman said...

Wow, I wish I learned 10 things from each class I took. Looks like a great course! Your name will be on that list of masters soon enough.

J said...

Holy post!

Quick trying to make me learn stuff, you demon of...of learning!

Seriously, awesome stuff. And the swimsuit issue is interesting. I didn't really know anything about that. Now I can lord it over people with my knew knowledge. So thanks for that.

action007 said...

Wow I was reading this and I thought... holy crap she stole all of this from MY anatomy drawings! (I did them back in the Illusion of Life class). But then it hit me... oh yeah there is only one body huh... guess that's why they look the same!

I think I need to go lie down...

Rob Allen said...

Cool post Laura

kwistin said...

Now, it's MY turn as a fellow artist to salute YOU. This was a fantastic post and perfectly captures the essence of our class. I'm going to link to this when I get around to writing my synopsis of Niki's class.

Wanna study anatomy in Italy? Cuz I do.

manfred.kooistra said...

Hey Laura, I'm just doing some research on proportion and trying to come up with my own system, and looking for systems based on the cranium (instead of the whole height of the head) brought me to your blog and the illustration posted under (10).

Fist of all, thanks for posting it, I find it helpful.

What I notice is that the women I find beautiful usually have longer necks than the eight head / 11 cranium systems allow for. Usually the neck is between 1/5 and 1/4 head longer.

If you are interested, here is someone who incorporated this into his system of proportion: -- though I like to have the legs longer than the real person he depicts.

Anyway, have fun, and keep learning German! Und dann komm mich mal besuchen :-)