View Full Version : Muscles Defined (image heavy)

04-23-2005, 12:27 PM
Hey guys.

It can be frustrating when an artist can't get the muscles of a character right, or lay them down in such a way that a great pose just becomes mediocre. I've been here, and in many ways, am still here.

I've taken some science-based anatomy courses at college, so I hope to share some of the 'insight' I have with you.

In this tutorial, I'll be using University-level textbooks as the basis for laying out muscle groups for you. Getting the muscle placement right is one of the bases for a really good picture.

First, I'll try to show you where the muscles are tethered on the bones. Second, I'll show you where the muscles go. I'll try to do this in zones, just to be simple.

Many of these pictures will be from the Fourth Edition of Marieb, Mallatt and Wilhelm's Human Anatomy Textbook. I strongly urge all of those artists interested in improving their knowledge of muscles to take a science-based anatomy class, preferably with a lab, so you'll be able to see these things in person and actually be able to get a 'feel' for them on cadavers.


Heres the basic layout of the muscles on the body.

We'll be going through these in zones (neck, arm, shoulder, leg, etc.)


Note here that some of the muscles on the left side of the abdomen have been cut away to reveal the muscles underneath. Note that the white are tendinous connections both between muscles and between muscles and bones. Theres probably more detail here than you'd ever really need to know.

Heres the back:


From here, we will proceed in zones of the body. I will attempt to show you only the ones you can see, though there are a numerous amount of muscles under all the others. Heres the basic plan:

Main Trunk:
1. The neck
2. The abdomen
3. The back

1. The shoulder.
2. The arm.
3. the thighs.
4. the legs.

1. Neck.

There are 3 main superficial neck muscles.
- The sternocleidomastoid
- The Trapezius
- The platysma - this one you really can't see. Its a thin sheet of muscle on the front of your neck.

Heres where they are:

From the front:


Note that the left hand side has had the platysma removed from the top to show whats underneath/

Note that only TWO really define the neck. This is where people get mixed up on the neck.

The platysma, or the shaving muscle, is a thin layer of muscle covering the front of the neck. its also known as the 'Hulk muscle' cause the Hulk always got it tensed up a lot. it doesnt really add anything to the definition of the neck, so we won't talk about it much.

Theres the Sternocleidomastoid muscles, which has two arms running from near the back of the head (from mastoid process of the occipital lobe. called that cause some nasty guy thought it looked like a breast) (-mastoid). One arm wraps around the front to attach to the top of the Sternum (sterno-). The other arm wraps around to the front, but attaches to the middle of the clavicle (collar bone) [-cleido-].

The trapezius defines the line from the base of the neck to the shoulder blade. One can really see it from the back.


The Sternocleidomastoid muscles defines the front of the neck. The Trapezius defines the back of the neck. Now heres the place where most beginners get tripped up:


Here, the muscles defining the neck looks like one giant mass. It is not one giant mass, there are three general bodies defining the shape:

1. The sternal arm of the sternocleidomastoid muscle nearest to the middle of the neck. it runs diagonally inward.
2. the clavicular part of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. It runs more or less straight down.
3. the trapezius, running diagonally away from the neck from about the top third of the neck to the ourside of the clavicle and acromion process of the shoulder blade.


So if you're really intent on drawing a muscular character, the neck should really look something more like this:


See, theres definition between the groups of the neck. There is NO sweeping line defining the muscles from the top of the neck to the shoulders. theres a bit of definition between the two heads of the sternocleidomastoid.

EDIT -==- Some artists also do the same thing for hte back of the neck. Even if the trapezius covers most of the neck from the back, you can still see the sternocleidomastoid, so draw them too. See, look here:


So, when you draw a character, the back of the neck should look more somein like this:


04-23-2005, 01:25 PM
thats a helpful tut

04-23-2005, 02:32 PM
2. The Abdomen.

Theres a whole lot of stuff here, so lets get to it.

Heres what we basically looking at:


Note that the left half of his body has had the superficial muscles taken off so you can see whats underneath. There are a lot of groups here, but again, we can only see a few of them with our eyes. So heres a list of muscles we CAN see:

1. Pectoralis major (In some instances of largish body builders, one can see the pectoralis minor, but usually its covered by the major muscle group, and it inserts at basically the same place on the humerus, so you dont really need to worry about it)

2. Serratus Anterior.
3. Rectus Abdominis.
4. External oblique.

The intercostals are between the ribs and help in forced breathing, but you can't see them through the other muscles.

The internal oblique and transversus abdominus are muscles that sort of support posture and keep the internal organs from 'sloshing' around and act as a sort of impact absorber to protect organs. THese are kinda like 'corset' muscles, the more in shape they are, the more compressed the trunk will be. This is why you see a lot of martial artists with small abdomens, cause they work these muscles out so they form a sort of shield protecting the organs. These cant be seen through the rectus abdominus or the external oblique though, so they won't really be talked about.

OK, lets get to discussing the muscles:

Pectoralis Major -

These are the pecs. Note that there are kind of two subgroups within the pecs. on normal people you may not be able to see these, but on body builders or martial artists they will be a bit more apparent. Note that they will be only minor definition, and should probably only show up in coloring, if only slightly:


People get confused about where the pec attaches on the chest. It attaches on the end of the clavicle (collarbone) closest to the sternum (this is one of the 'subgroups' on the picture), the ribs, and a part of the tendonous connection between the external obligue muscles shown in the picture above (bottom right part of hte picture)

The shoulder attachment of the pectoralis is very confusing, so I'll keep that for the shoulder discussion.

Cerratus Anterior -

Next up is the cerratus anterior. This is a very important group that a lot of people miss. This is the 'boxers muscle.' It helps alot in the horizontal arm movements (as in pushing or punching) and so should be pretty well defined in charcters who focus on martial arts, yet a lot of artists leave these muscles out because either its too complicated to draw or the artist doesnt know the importance of the muscles.

Actually, these are a group of muscles attaching to the outside of the ribs and running back to attach to the scapula nearest to the vertebral column.

Here they are on the main body plan:


As you can tell, with the pecs and the external obliques on them, you can't see much of them, but they aren't completely covered. Heres what you can see:


It looks really complicated, but its really not all that hard. Here they are with all the rest of the abdominal muscles in with them.


To draw the cerratus muscles adds a bit of definition and tone to the character, so if he's a brawler, prolly a good idea to add them.

Rectus abdominus -

You all know this muscle. THe six pack. Back in the day when you started out, all you used to put on your tough guy was a brick wall for the abs, and you thought it looked cool. The thing is, thats not how they are. Heres what they really look like, from the body plan:


Note that the Rectus abdominus is NOT A 'SIX-PACK'. There are six box-like muscle subgroups, but another TWO triangular subroups extending to the groin area. People leave these out of pictures, when they attempt a toned character, their picture turns out looking wierd. When you DO do a picture with a toned, martial artist-type character, don't forget these lower two subgroups, because they add a lot to the character.

This muscle group runs all the way from the ribs and the sternum to the pelvis and the pubic symphysis (the point of connection at the front of the pelvic bone. This symphysis loosens to widen the birth canal when a woman gives birth)

NOTE please that the Rectus muscle is COVERED by the tendonous connections of the external oblique, so to draw the rectus muscles as popping out of a persons budy like a chest burster from Aliens is not accurate. In large, body-builder types, there are deep valleys between the abs, but in most characters there are gentle folds between them, so resist the temptation to draw 'a brick wall.'

External Oblique -

The external oblique is a simple muscle to draw, cause, well, it doesnt have that much of a structure. It is a muscle that starts from the vertebral column forward to attach at the front to a tendonous ligament on top of the rectus abdominus.

It attaches superiorly from the outer surfaces of the lower 8 ribs, downward, and attach to the pubic crest, bascially forming a curtain, attaching all around the bowl of the pelvic region. it doesn't do much for the artist, except to add that little bit of muscle on the side of the lower trunk.


on 'non-musclish' characters, the oblique won't really show up like above, it would just be a smooth line from the rib cage to the pelvic region.

04-23-2005, 02:33 PM
Thanks mofo, more to come.

04-23-2005, 02:37 PM
oh it gets better

04-23-2005, 02:42 PM
hey tnx for the tips mofo

04-23-2005, 02:47 PM
This is great. I wish I thought to scan my medical books before I turned them in for the year. >< But at the time, I wasn't interested in drawing anway so I never would have thought of it. Great idea though, and great job teaching on top of it. A lot of people just fling the picture out there with labels on it and no talking. ;p

04-23-2005, 04:12 PM
3. The Back.

Ahhh, the back. I don know bout you, but hte shoulder blades always threw me off. I'll try to keep this simple.

The Top part of the back is a lot more difficult to follow than the bottom part is, simply because there's less going on. Heres the basic body plan:


Theres a lot of nuances going on as to where a lot of the back muscles are running. Most of them, as you can see, go to the shoulder joint, but a lot of them wrap around and go crazy places.

So we'll do this one at a time, starting from the easiest muscles. Ima combine this a little bit with the shoulder section, cause they so intertwined. Heres what we got:

1. Trapezius - it came back!
2. Infraspinatus.
3. Teres major.
4. Latissimus Dorsi.

Since its gonna be really hard to draw these muscles individually, I'll draw them together on a character. First, I'll explain them, and you can referr to the picture above for location, origin, and insertion as i explain.

Trapezius -

Yup, the trapezius is back. It does a whole lot more than just lift up the shoulders. It brings the shoulders together, closer to the vertebral column.

In people with well developed muscles, the Trapezius muscle looks like totally different muscles, separated by the edge of the shoulder blade into a top and bottom. Indeed, both 'parts' of the trapezius attach to the edge of the shoulder blade, but they're the same muscle.

The trapezius attaches all along the vertebral column, from the base of the skull to the end of the thoracic vertebrae (thats a span of 19 vertebrae, of 23). It then runs along the shoulder blade and also attaches to the acromion process of hte shoulder blade, a protusion you can feel if you follow the trapezius to the point closest to the shoulder. It forms a Trapezoid. (duh)

Infraspinatus -

The infraspinatus is a difficult muscle to understand artistically. If you try to draw it well, it looks like a growth on a characters back. If you dont draw it, then the picture looks like there's something missing.

It attaches to the outside side of the shoulder blade, and goes to the humerus.

It's a 'rotator cuff muscle', one of four such muscles that help to stabilize and support the shoulder joint, keeping the ball of hte humerus in the joint. If you dislocated your shoulder, you may have also ripped some of your rotator cuff muscles. You prolly heard of torn rotator cuffs.

Teres Major -

The Teres Major muscle is not a rotator cuff muscle, so do not confuse it with the Teres Minor, a rotator cuff muscle.

The Teres Major may look insignificant, and it will be nearly that when you do draw it, but to do a picture of a hulking brute without it would be a grave error.

This will also come back for the shoulder section, since it does alot for the shoulder area aristically.

The Teres Major attaches to the bottom point of the shoulder blade, goes to the front of the humerus by wrapping in front of the Triceps Brachii. It kind of defines the bottom of the back armpit.

Latissimus Dorsi -

The Latissimus dorsi is the main superficial muscle. It dominates the lower back.

The Lats attach to the vertebral column and the lower ribs, as well as the posterior part of the pelvis, and, if that wasnt enough, also from the shoulder blades lowest tip.

From there, it spirals (yes, spirals) around the teres major to insert on the humerus. Confusing? Yes it is. But, drawing it aint really that bad.

Heres a picture that has all of them in it:


note where all the muscles run, because this will be very important.

This is a pretty bad drawing, but it shows the basic layout of the groups:


Here you can see how i kinda separated the muscles. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which:


EDIT -==- Ohhh i forgot to add a word about that 'knubben' on the back of the neck.

Its called the vertebra promenens, I believe. Its just a lengthening of the spinous processes of the cervical vertebrae. Dont forget to put it in, because its one of those things thats always missing on back pictures.

04-23-2005, 05:42 PM
Shite, this is taking longer than expected. Ah, well.

now to the

1. The shoulder.

ahh the shoulder. One of the many things i suck at. But so long as you know where the muscles are and where they're running, you should have no problem. Since most of the complicated stuff is in the 'pit', so to speak, we'll start with a drawing of that.



As you can see theres a whole lotta stuff going on. Craziness? Indeed. Impossible? Not at all.

THe shoulder is all about layering. THeres a whole lot of stuff on the bottom, and a lot of stuff piled up on top of it. If you can understand that, then you set.

Heres where we at with the body plan:



Lucky for us, a lot of the muscles are covered by the other ones. Heres the main muscles of the shoulder that you will see:

- trapezius - back again
- deltoid
- pectoralis major
- pectorialis minor
- infraspinatus
- teres major
- latissimus dorsi
- biceps brachii
- triceps brachii

Quite a few? I hear ya.

Trapezius -

You know where the trapezius is, and where it attaches, i won't go over it.

Deltoid -


The deltoid is the 'shoulder muscle' muscle. its hte one you think about when some one says shoulder muscle.

The Deltoid attaches to the outside part of the humerus, about a third of the way down the body of the humerus. from there, it runs up the arm, and over the shoulder. It attaches to the lateral third of the clavicle, and the acromion process and spine of the scapula. It kinda forms two 'heads', one wraps in front, attaching to the clavicle, and the other runs back to attach to the scapula. Note here that if the arm is lifted, the deltoid muscle has the potential to shadow the trapezius muscle.

Pectoralis Major-

You know where the pectoralis muscle is. Just note here that it inserts on the humerus under the Deltoid muscle.

Coracobrachialis - (yea, I know i said that this was the Pectoralis Minor, but I was wrong. Sorry. =D)

The coracobrachialis is a difficult muscle to visualize, most of us dont even know its there, but it is. heres where its at in the drawings:


seems insignificant? Still should be there. When the shoulder lifts up you can see more of it:


You think its a waste of time, but it aint.

Here it is with all the stuff on it:


It doesnt seem like much, but if you're missing it in a picture, then the picture really suffers.

In order to really understand what this muscle is, you need to see a picture of it with all the stuff on top of it taken off. Here are a couple:



As you can see in these pictures, the coracobrachialis muscle runs kinda the same way tha the biceps brachii muscle does.

The coracobrachialis muscle is a synergist or 'helper' for the pectoralis major, assisting it in its job to move the arm. the Coracobrachialis goes from the middle of the humerus, to up inside the armpit, attaching to the coracoid process of hte shoulder blade, near the inside of the shoulder. You can kinda feel it if you flex your pecs and stick your thumb between your biceps and your triceps. its small and what you really feeling is mostly tendon, but its there. Its behind the tendon of the biceps brachii's short head (we'll get to this).

The majority of the coracobrachialis muscle is hidden under the biceps brachii and triceps brachii, but you can see it as it passes from the middle of the humerus and wraps around to the coracoid process of the shoulder blade, near the shoulder.

You see where it is? You feel it? Get to know the layout of muscles in your body, because your body is your greatest tool in this industry. It's your 'cheatsheet'. At the anatomy final, you look around, and you see half the people feeling themselves up, because if you know your body, you can ace any anatomy class.

Teres Major -

Remember how i said that you can see the teres major from the front? i wasn't lying.


The Teres Major muscle defines the back side of the arm pit. don't forget it. When the arm is down, you can't really see it.

I don't really have any pictures of the armpit open in any of my textbook, but it would look like the picture above.

Latissimus Dorsi -

THe Lats are back. They are visible as they wrap around the trunk to insert on the inside side of the humerus.


Note that its insertion is behind the Coracobrachialis, but in front of the Teres Major. Got it?

Biceps Brachii -

You all know the biceps. But can you draw it? look at it here in this picture:


Here in the picture, the Biceps are the most prominent muscle groups on the front of the arm.

BUT, do refrain from drawing a balloon for a bicep. Note the intricacies of its shape.

The biceps start from the radial tuberosity on the RADIUS (in the forearm). Please note this when you are drawing a flexed bicep. REFRAIN from drawing the tendon going to the end of the humerus because that is NOT where its going. Its going to the forearm, to a place closest to the elbow. see it here:


See? The tendons actually go to the forearm. This makes sense, because this is the only way that it could ever do work. If both ends of hte muscle were attached to the same bone, it couldn't do shit.

Note that the biceps does have two heads, each inserting on different places. you wont be able to see this distinction on a person because the divergence is covered by the Pectoralis Major and the Deltoid muscles.

Just to know, one of the heads of the biceps brachii originates from the coracoid process (this is the 'short head'). this is the same process the coracobrachialis is attached. The other head of the biceps brachii originates from a 'bump' above the actual joint where the humerus and the scapula articulate (articulation - point at which two bones meet).

But, again, you wont see this divergence, just the main 'belly' of the biceps brachii.

So note two things:

- Where the biceps start and end.
- the curve created by the biceps curving under the pecs and deltoids to attach to its origin.

Triceps Brachii - (BTW, if you're wondering why i'm always saying biceps brachii or triceps brachii instead of biceps or triceps, thats because i'm referring specifically to the biceps and triceps in the ARM, theres the Biceps Femoris and Triceps Femoris, in the thigh)

The triceps Brachii are rather confusing, mainly because there are three heads heading in three different directions. get to know them though, because they dominate the shape of the back of the arm.

Heres where they are on the front of the arm:


As you can see, the three heads (Lateral, Long and Medial) of the triceps kind of define both the outside and inside of the arm. Take note of this.

Heres what we looking at from the back:


Note it dominates the back of the arm. You can't really see anything else. It is hte ONLY muscle of the posterior compartment of the arm.

The Lateral Head, the part you see that dominates the back of the arm, attaches to the back of hte humerus up high, next to the shoulder joint.


The lateral head in this picture is the head on the right hand side.

The head on the left hand side is the long head, and it attaches close to the actual joint of shoulder.

The medial head of the triceps brachii attach to the back part of the humerus, about halfway up.

All of these heads connect together and connect to the pointy part of the elbow, on the ulna. Again, NOT the humerus.

This all seems very complicated, but you can simplify. Theres no real definition between the medial head and the long head, for instance. So you can just draw them together, which makes your like a lot easier.

The lateral head dominates the outside of the arm at the shoulder. PLEASE note here that this is not true throughout the length of the arm. The brachialis starts to dominate about halfway down the arm.

Here is the transition from the back:


Note this, because there is often definition here.

From the front, it is less noticable, but still there:


The tag for the brachialis is below the biceps brachii. Note that there is a thin section of the brachialis that does dominate the outside of the arm until about halfway up the arm. This does constitute a change in the conformation of the arm, so note it.


04-23-2005, 05:47 PM
I'll finish this beast up tomorrow or somein. Later.

04-24-2005, 01:29 PM
2. The arm.

Well, I did a LOT of the arm in the shoulder section, but Ima run through it. We will also go over the forearm in this section. (in anatomical speak, arm actually refers to upper arm, while the lower arm is called the forearm).

Shall we see what we're looking at at the body plan level?


And from the back:


As you can see, there are a hell of a lot more muscles in the forearm than in the arm itself. No worries though, most of these muscles won't really show up in a drawing. Let's see the list of the muscle's we'll be dealing with:

- Biceps Brachii
- Triceps Brachii
- Coracobrachialis
- Brachialis
- Brachioradialis
- Pronator Teres
- Flexor Carpi Radialis and Palmaris Longus
- Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
- Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Extensor Digitorum

Whole buncha names. Don worry about it though, in most characters that arent bruisers or the kind that eat cars for breakfast, you won't see much definition in the forearm groups. Even with big characters, you can group these thangs together.

I'll do a few drawings and show you what i mean.


As you can see, as tone increases, certain groups take more shape. Note the valley between the two groups on the inside and the outside of the forearm, with the tendon of the biceps going between it.

These two groups are made up of the Brachioradialis on the outside, and the Flexor Carpi Radialis and Palmaris Longus on the other.

Before we look at any more of this drawing, lets examine the individual groups of muscles.

For now, I'll skip the muscles ive discussed in detail in the shoulder section.

Brachialis -

The brachialis is another one of those over looked muscles, primarily because its mostly covered up. But, it actually gives volume under the bicep. Ever finish drawing an arm and the bicep looks wierd near the elbow? its prolly cause you forgot about this muscle.

Artistically, this muscle fills out the end of the arm near the elbow, where the bicep is coming to a point where the elbow is.

You can feel it if you flex your elbow. Feel for the tendon of the bicep and then go under it. The Brachialis will be the muscles below the tendon.


The brachialis connects on the ulna and the actual capsule of the elbow joint. It goes from there up the humerus and lands right next to where the deltoid muscle is anchored, at the front.

You can't see it all that well, but it:
1. defines the bottom half of the outside edge of the arm.
2. adds volume under the biceps as it comes into its tendonous connection to the radius.

Remember it, because its the difference between a good picture and a great one.

Brachioradialis -

This is one of the defining muscle groups of the fore arm, so know it.

It is visible from both the back and front of the forearm, and it dominates the outside edge of the forearm, with the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus.

The Brachioradialis muscle runs from the outside edge of the humerus near the elbow, and it goes all the way to the end of the radius, attaching to the outer aspect of the end.

Its a synergist in forearm flexion, which means that it helps associated muscles moving the forearm towards the arm. Flex your arm and move it around, you'll notice that this muscle is most tensed up when the elbow is slightly bent and the forearm slightly twisted. keep this in mind when drawing.

Here's a picture of the front view of the forearm:


Note that the Brachioradialis dominates the front-outside part of the forearm. Under it is the Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus, which dominates the back-outside part of the forearm, partially covered by the Extensor Digitorum.

Pronator Teres -

The Pronator Teres is one of those teeny-tiny muscles that doesnt really show up in pictures. In real life, it is really important, because it is the muscle really solely responsible for you being able to twist your forearm.

That being said, the only time you'd see it in a picture is if your character had his or her forearm twisted and flexed. Even then, artistically, it would only act to open up the gap between the two sides of the forearm.

The Pronator Teres attaches to the inside end of the humerus and runs to the middle of the outside side of the radius, the bone on the outside of the forearm. When it flexes, if you can imagine, it acts to rotate the forearm so that the palm faces inward.

I can't draw this all that well, perhaps I can enlist some help from one of the professionals here. You can see that the gap between the two groups is a bit larger, and there is a smallish contour running from the inside of the forearm out to the outside side of the forearm.


You can't really tell, but it's there. (or supposed to be >(. )

Flexor Carpi Radialis and Palmaris Longus -

These muscles make up the inside group on the forearm. Don't worry about differentiating between them, cause they don't really show up differently in any pictures.

These muscles run from the inside end of the humerus, from the same place the Pronator Teres does.

The Flexor Carpi Radialis attaches to the base of the second and third metacarpals, its the big tendon in your wrist near where you can feel your pulse.

The Palmaris Longus connects to a tendonous sheet on the palm. Both of these act to flex the wrist.

Flexor Carpi Ulnaris -

The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris dominates the inside/back of the forearm.

It runs from the inside end of the humerus and the pointy part of the elbow to the base of the fifth metacarpal (bone inside palm below pinky) You can feel the tendon there. It acts to flex the wrist.

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Extensor Digitorum -

These two muscles are in the middle on the backside of the forearm. People often skip over them, and they are left with forearms that look hollow, looking like they lack something.

The extensor digitorum goes from the outside end of the humerus to the base of the second metacarpal on the back of the wrist.

The extensor carpi ulnaris runs from the outside end of the humerus to the base of the fifth metacarpal, on the back of the wrist. You can see them all here:


Since I can't draw the forearm worth anything, Ima just post some stuff from the 'Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy', by Christopher Hart. People argue that its a horrible book. I won't argue, it is, but at least his forearm drawings are better than mine.


BTW -=- Above, in all of Chris Hartish glory, he has mislabeled the brachialis muscle as the coracobrachialis. Please make a note.

And someone tell Chris Hart.

Also note, however, he did a rather good job in showing hte pronator teres in action. Good job Chris Hart.


Thats it for the arm folks, I'll get to the legs as soon as I can.

Please critique my work, I'm just tryin to help. Any professional artists with a good game in anatomy, I need your help on this too.

Thanks All.

04-24-2005, 07:08 PM
Is this worth finishing? Just making sure its of actual use to people. If so, I'll finish it.

04-24-2005, 07:17 PM
yes! please finish it. this is a really good tutorial.

i wasn't sure how to approach anatomy, but this has really helped me. (great ref pics btw)

04-24-2005, 07:25 PM
its awesome i say continue ;)

04-24-2005, 07:57 PM
Then I shall continue. Thanks.

04-24-2005, 08:55 PM
some one has been a busy bee, nice tutorial Djinn iv only have a had a skim read at it so far and its awesome, cant wait to see it finished should help me alot.:thumbsup2

04-26-2005, 02:17 PM
this has got to be the most in depth tutorial that I've ever read, and most likely the most helpful. I beg of you, PLEASE, finish this wonderful piece of work!

04-26-2005, 05:13 PM
go ahead! finish it man...your helping a lot of karbonites here esp me who still su*k at dealing with anatoimes. pweeaaase! FINISH IT! i'm countin on it! ^^

04-26-2005, 06:16 PM
I'm glad to know this is helping people. I'll be editing and revising the tutorial as I find my most numerous mistakes. I'll prolly italicize them so you can tell whats changed.

Alright, now onto the last, and longest =( section.

3. The Leg.

Here we are in the last section of the tutorial. Don't think that this is going to be a walk in the park, however, because its prolly going to be one of the more difficult sections. Theres a whole bunch of nuances here, especially considering differences in the sexes. Human females have the secondary sexual characteristic of having fat pads (sorry ladies, I mean no offense) in the lower body, which act to change the overall shape into something that looks kinda different.

I see quite a few artists drawing guys legs on womens bodies, and I've done that myself. I can tell you that it looks ....... ODD.

Ait. lets get down to it.

Here we are in the body plan. Take note of the muscles. In this section, I shall be more dexcriptive of each muscles actions because they tend to show up more than other muscles in the body.



Heres the list of muscles we will examine here. Like before, a lot of these won't be seen artistically, and we can group some of the rest together as well.

- Tensor Fasciae Latae
- Vastus Lateralis
- Rectus Femoris
- Vastus Medius
- Sartorius
- Gastrocnemius
- Soleus
- Peroneus Longus
- Gluteus Maximus
- Biceps Femoris
- Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, and Gracilis
- Adductor Longus and Magnus

Here, I would like to define some terms:

1. Abduction - Process of moving a limb away from the midline of the body.
2. Adduction - Process of moving a limb toward the midline of the body.

These are important because, well, think about the legs like joysticks. To move the entire thing one way, the easiest thing to do is to apply pressure in one way. Your legs do this by sort of zoning these jobs.

The muscles that are responsible for abduction are located on the outside of your leg, the ones responsible for adduction are located on the inside of your leg, etc.

knowing this gives you insight on the conformation of the legs in a certain posture. Paying attention to this adds depth and professionalism to the picture. This is exemplified below.


Know that your legs aren't rods, they have nuances. I know how it is, I used to draw the face of a character and I was like "WHEEEE!!!!!" and by the time i got to the legs i was like "..meh...." Looking back on those pictures, I was like "What the.."


Lets start with abduction.

Tensor Fasciae Latae -

If you put your hand on your hip and raise one of your legs, the muscle group you feel tensing up is this, the Tensor Fasciae Latae.

04-27-2005, 12:43 AM
here's a small self tut i did on anatomy study....don't know if it'll help anyone, but it really helped me when i drew it...


only did upper body....was thinking about doing the lower body maybe sometime this week...

04-27-2005, 02:23 PM
it's look'n good, can't wait until your next update!

edit: I like this tutorial alot, so I thought I'd add a RL pic of myself in here to give everyone a picture of how the abdominals look on a somewhat average person, you know one that's not a steroid pump'n body builder. [Sorry cropped the head off. Don't want to show who I am yet ... maybe later if y'all are lucky!] You see like Djin said, the abdominals don't 'sit' or 'pop' off the stomach, it's all one piece with slight vallies inbetween each underlying muscle.


... and now colored over ...

sorry if anyone is offended by this picture. I've been told on more than one occasion that I have a 'toned' body, so I thought I'd help out a little. Perhaps I could supply this thread with a few additional pictures unless these pictures offend anyone... :confused:

04-28-2005, 08:06 PM
I think someone just wanted to take off their shirt... jk

04-28-2005, 10:40 PM
actually, i've had that picture for a while now. :P just thought i'd post it to help. I'll take em out if you want me to. ?

04-29-2005, 09:29 AM
Hah, I'm just playin man. Its cool. I appreciate the help.

05-02-2005, 03:22 PM
Sorry about posting this needlessly. Just wanted to say that I prolly can't finish this tutorial until the end of the Spring semester, which ends around the 20th for me, so don't expect much on the rest of this tutorial till then.

05-07-2005, 05:43 AM
awww...*leaves in disappointment*

05-23-2005, 10:44 AM
So you will finish the tutorial soon mate?
Im just letting you know that someone still is interested.

05-26-2005, 10:14 PM
yeah I hope this tutorial is gonna be finished. It totally rocks. Please please please finish it

06-09-2005, 08:47 AM
well I'm back after being out of school for a while and decided to check this tut. too bad it's not yet finished.. :(

07-27-2005, 10:36 PM
i printed this out........all 57 pages....had togive my printer more paper 3 times....but i got it in hand...

07-31-2005, 12:56 PM
Hey guys,

Sorry, I know I promised to have this done before now, but I had certain things I needed to take care of.

I'm taking summer school and am working on my take home final. (Who the hell gives a take home final for biology anyways, much less Human Genetics?)

I'll try to update soon.

batang sira ulo
08-03-2005, 12:56 PM
ulol. i'll look forward to see this tutorial done..if you only know how much this would come helpful and i'm also thinking of pritning this but maybe later when it's completely DONE!!

08-03-2005, 01:00 PM
yay finish it! I love this tut

08-03-2005, 01:03 PM
nice job on the tutorial....
i will use it from now on....lol tnx

08-12-2005, 08:36 AM
I've tried to print out the first post of this thread by selecting the text and pics and printing the selection, but for some reason the pictures won't print. Instead there's just blank spaces where they're supposed to be. Can someone help me with this?

08-23-2005, 08:55 AM
I LOVE YOU!! I've been looking for something like this for ages and this tutorial is better than I could have hoped for. I'm practically crying with joy now, you are a life saver.

Heh sorry if I've scared you, I'm just happy.

08-23-2005, 05:08 PM
I copied all the tutorial to word so that I could print it all out with the page numberings. The pics won't copy when you select it for some reason so you have to go back and select them individually and past them in where there suppose to go. Also, once you do this they won't show up unless your connected to the internet for some reason.

10-10-2005, 08:14 AM
Wow truly amazing, now I could read all this... or I could train like crazy to get those muscles and study myself ;P

10-29-2005, 05:38 PM
dsanders are you doing fitness ? because you did a great work whit your abs you see i am working muscles since one year and my abs or not as developed and i think it is because of fat . do you think if I stop doing muscles for like 1 month and eating a lot of meath 2.2 g per kg of my body and like 1h of cardio do you think i might see my abs ?

djin your tutorial is really great i was using the htdm book for anatomie and this one is better maybe in one year do you think if i keep on practicing I might be able to get an old of anatomie

10-31-2005, 08:54 AM
this is such a great tut... So far all I've been doing is drawing muscles, and this is really going to help me out!! I want to get to finishing up some characters!!!

10-31-2005, 08:59 AM
[Sorry cropped the head off. Don't want to show who I am yet ... maybe later if y'all are lucky!]I must be lucky because i see your(Probebly) head in your avatar.

Great way to show off and educate at the same time.

11-14-2005, 04:24 PM
Eh..how do you delete a post? Anyway, look below, sorry for this by the way...can't figure out how to delete this post.

11-15-2005, 02:41 PM
Heya, I'm just saying thanks a lot for this tutorial, it helped turn my male characters with stick featrues(literally, they were almost exact straight lines), into realistic(eh...as realistic as you can get with anime) looking characters. I havea request to, can you post female muscle anatomy pics? It'd help me a lot knowing how everything connects, looks, and moves, I've googled it, and all I find are charts and things.

Once agian, thx a lot man.

PeAcE | Ja Ne | BeEn

11-16-2005, 08:22 AM
This tutorial is really helping my out. I'm now at a stage were i need some knowledge about how all the muscles are layd down in the body. So this tutorial is exactly what I need. Thnx very much Djinn:p

11-16-2005, 09:14 PM
awesome tut dude DN should make this a sticky this is so in depth man damn djin u know your shit

11-17-2005, 09:38 AM
Is there a printer friend version of this somewhere?

11-17-2005, 01:03 PM
well its a very very nice tutorial, but anatomy is only a fraction of a great composition...meaning you don't always need it perfect...

That needs a quote. :ugh: Anyone? Anyone?!:squint:

12-10-2005, 08:30 PM
Holy mother god of f***** aah what a great tutorial! I guess this one is one of the best in PKBBS, did you all wrote that by yourself? Holy fu...

01-08-2006, 08:34 AM
You should all correct this and put it on a website man this is a big tutorial I will thank you if i become a great artist one day because you biggined my truth anatomie study ^^. If you could have put more stuffs for the legs it would be perfect but still it is excellent

01-22-2006, 11:18 AM
Hey i'm new here and i gotta tell you, this tutorial is awesome! I'm really looking forward for the last part of the tutorial.thnx

01-22-2006, 03:14 PM
Need........ More.......... Tutorial!!!!!!

01-22-2006, 03:15 PM
Hey i'm new here and i gotta tell you, this tutorial is awesome! I'm really looking forward for the last part of the tutorial.thnx

yep me too. Oh and welcome to the forum zador.

02-12-2006, 04:18 PM
Considering i'm all new and stuff.... how do you put spoiler warnings...

02-13-2006, 06:43 AM

Just type the above. Before proceeding or state it in a thread topic.

03-01-2006, 04:12 AM
Excellent stuff!

Here's an image i discovered on google images ages ago and haven't found since. Figured you might be able to use it Djinn! *edit*as well as everyone else lol*/edit* ^_^

Anyone happen to know where it's from?

03-29-2006, 04:50 PM
My first post.
This is sum very helpful stuff ive been drawing for years but i need to take that next step this site differently is gonna help me do this

03-30-2006, 11:56 AM
Maybe if u made a Tutorial Video...