The Anatomical Shape

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Jean Dominique Ingres, le bain Turc

The course in anatomy is about the appearance of the human being and how this is determined by the underlying anatomy.
We start with a general overview of proportions and construction, after that we go into the anatomy of the portrait: the characteristics of the head and neck (including the entire spine). The third module deals with the trunk in all parts of the skeleton and muscles. The fourth covers the limbs, hands and feet. The fifth module deals with the anatomical differences between men and women, to end with the different ideals of beauty that have emerged over the centuries.
Attached to each part is a practical assignment intended to imprint the subject matter well. The executed assignment gives access to the next lesson.
In addition, an exercise program is offered, focused on looking and thinking in basic forms and various drawing techniques in charcoal and chalk, layered charcoal according to the ‘course Bargue’ and various pen and ink techniques.


The course Form & Anatomy is divided into 5 modules of 5 lessons each, 25 in total.
They are two programs in one: a theory program and a practical program related to different methods, materials and techniques; both programs are completed with assignments.
After each fifth lesson a reflection takes place in a video conference.

Assignments and exercises
Each lesson deals with a different aspect of knowledge, to which an assignment is linked.
The practical exercises deal in more detail with methods, materials and techniques, also here explanations are connected with assignments.
The assignments (texts and/or photo’s of created work) are uploaded on the site and provided with comments within 4 days (in case of an unexpected delay consultation will follow within 4 days).
After receiving the comment on the submitted assignments, the next lesson can be opened.

In addition to commenting on results, the focus is on the development process. This will be further discussed during the reflection.
This takes place after each module of 5 lessons: student and teacher meet in a digital meeting and discuss progress together.

Free work periods
Five times a year, free work periods are scheduled in which no comments or reflections are made. These coincide with the (Dutch) holiday periods and last for a fortnight (in summer eight weeks).
It concerns the following weeks:
1: Week 7-8; 2: Week 17-18; 3: Week 27-34; 4: Week 42-43; 5: Week 52-53
Participants can use these periods to catch up on any arrears, or to expand training.
During one of these free work periods, an annual Practicum is organised in which participants can take physical lessons from international guest lecturers, possibly combined with a conference.
For this purpose, a separate entry should be made.

Programme overview

Module 1:
Theory: Overview
About proportions, skeleton and movement: the human being as a device and the mechanism that makes it move
Practical exercises: looking in basic forms
Simplifying observation and display. Distinguishing between the principal and secondary tasks in perception and disabling memory functions such as recognition and assumption as much as possible.

Module II:
Theory: Portrait
Anatomy of the skull, face, neck and spine. How the skull determines the shape, how expressions are created and how components are constructed.
Practical exercises: Introduction to crayon techniques
Various drawing techniques with crayons, with an accent on light-dark, shadow effect, suggesting space.

Module III:
Theory: The Torso
Anatomy of the torso, movements in the torso and shoulder area.
Practical exercises: introduction layered drawing
Drawing after examples according to the ‘Course Bargue
The classical build-up of the human form in tones with successive layers of charcoal.

Module IV:
Theory: Dynamics
Limbs, hands and feet. The special complex of forearm and hand, hip and leg.
Practical exercises: Introduction to drawing with ink
Pen and ink techniques and shading. Displaying moving figures based on knowledge of the skeleton.

Module V:
Theory: Expressions
Differences between men and women, in proportions, skeleton and fat layers. The relativity of beauty ideals.
Practical exercises: washed ink drawings.
Drawing with reed pen, combined with grey tones: direct techniques for typification and characterisation, with spaciousness and all.

If you are interested in this course you can first open the free trial lesson : Click here
Registration then will be done by completing the assignment and uploading the result.