Drawing the muscles
Locating muscle groups correctly, in the drawing of the human anatomy, is of key importance. Muscle are responsible for what we perceive as being a figure's volume. It doesn't matter how much muscle you may want to attribute to a figure, what matters is its definition

Relate this project to classical art, comic book art, and possibly post modern art.

Please use the informaztion available to you from this page ANATOMICAL REFERENCES for hints concerning where, how, and what kind of references you need to collect in order to adopt models usefull to your drawings.

To transfer your skeleton on another set of papers, use a soft  material that can leave an imprint on the new paper, use the light of a window, or a light table to trace if that is what you prefer to do. After the transfer is finished fill the outline with a base color, to get stated, do not try to be precise, aim for an overall effect of volume, texture, and solidity.

Do not run off the paper.

Sketch the complete layout of the muscles in color not in black and white, pay attention to proportions. Sketch each muscle group with few line, like 3 or 4, or puddles of color. You can render the form's detail later,much later. Pay some attention to color relationships, such as highlights and shadows in color, not black and white. Later, much later pay attention to the difference in color between muscles, fascias, and ligaments, not to details.



Pay attention to gesture, and balance, your muscle figure must look alive, because it will be used as a stencil for the next drawing: the  complete figure.

Use original expressive colors. you may want to refer to anatomy books to see what kind of colors those artist use.


Why the body builder. I understand why this type of imagery may not appeal to everybody, but you GOT TO GET OVER IT, if you want to study human anatomy. A set of photos depicting body builders is often better than what you may find in books on anatomy or medical illustrations. Body builders are very mush involved with expressiveness when they pose or compete, it part of their training.

Learning how to draw the muscles is important because the muscles are responsible for creating what we know as the shape, volume and form of the human body. At least I would hope that are the muscles to play that role and not fatty tissue. But even if it was, what keeps the skeleton together, are the muscle and different types of connective tissues. Therefore by drawing the muscles eventually you may understand why we look the way they do. What better model than a body builder? Regardless how disgusting they may appear to be, you must admit that you won't have any problems in seeing their muscle groups and determine their location.

No Details Please

You must overlook details and approach the figure's volume with shading. If you want to make the best out of this project. I understand the attraction that details present, the human figure as well as anything else in the natural world is loaded with details. Shading can be structured inside a minimal number of lines, but it MUST come before details, because details may prevent you from shading, as you may be afraid that shading will mess things up for you. Therefore shading must come first at least for now. Please refer to the Puddle Drawing exercise in the Animation page in the Content Menu and in my web site.


There are a number of muscular interpretation that may arise in your figure drawing, too many to mention. I will present you with just one: "bubble shoulders". They are usually the product of figure drawn with round "ball joints" articulations such as those you may see in wooden mannequins. You got to outgrow those and move on to something a bit more realistic.


Life size drawing by the author

A body builder magazine offeres very usefull and valid information about the human musculature. And the grossly exagerate muscles can be scale down without sacrificing definition.