Imagination Station: Anatomy

I really enjoy teaching artistic anatomy and one reason I'm such a big fan is because of invention. Anatomy is a rich source for ideas and it's quite fun to sit down with a pencil and let your imagination run free.

Anatomy forms, especially structural ones, inspire me to invent new ones based on existing ones. And that builds my drawings or creative process in an organic way.

Artistic anatomy is not only a great vehicle for learning artistic principles, it improves your drawing ability. It also develops 3-D visualization skills and working from memory. All three factors: strong drawing, visualization and memory greatly aid invention.

And because we're designed for movement one can't help but appreciate how the forms come together in a beautiful rhythmic way.  A good artistic anatomy instructor will help you see how these forces come together as one form flows into another. There are a number of great books to aid in our study of human anatomy and design.  One of my favorites is Human Anatomy: Design and Invention by Mark Hampton. Another is Complete Guide to Life Drawing by Gottfried Bammes ( what a cool name ). Other Artistic Anatomy classics include books by Burne Hogarth, George Bridgeman, Eliott Goldfinger and Robert Beverly Hale. They each provide their own perspectives and are worth looking into.

For me artistic anatomy is about learning to see in new ways so we can draw with more insight and expression. Below are some quick snaps taken with my iphone of a few imaginary friends. Note the anatomy take-offs in some of the drawings, just having fun with a pencil!

If you're interested in learning artistic anatomy or taking my other drawing and painting workshops this summer please go to the new section on my website News & Updates for more info. Thanks for stopping by and I welcome your comments on my blog!