00 – Introduction (The Anatomical Shape)

Free Preview

Shapes can be placed on a flat surface in two ways; by lines or by spots, by drawing or by painting. When drawing, lines serve to delineate the contours of a surface, when painting that surface is immediately placed as a spot, the edges of the spot are immediately the contours.

In the past, fierce discussions have taken place as to which method was the right one: when Michelangelo looked at Titian’s paintings, he grumbled: “It is beautiful in color, but it lacks the beautiful drawing of us Florentines.” In Florence they were based on the drawing, in Venice on the colorful spot.
A century later, the same discussion raged between Poussinists and Rubenists: should the artist base himself on the contour and the careful elaboration within it, à la Poussin, or on the combination of colorful spots as Rubens did?
So you can do both, one is more inclined to draw, the other to paint.

But in both cases form is created and to learn to master it a lot of practice is needed and the most difficult form is the human figure, because it is impossible to smuggle with.
Anyone who makes mistakes in this makes them publicly visible, because consciously or unconsciously, everyone knows what people look like. Anyone who can draw the shape of people adequately has no trouble with other shapes of animals, trees, bushes, mountains, houses, and objects.

The first condition for drawing is learning to look. In reality, people only look partly with the eye, for the rest from memory, i.e. recognition. When drawing, it comes down to the fact that a lot of form is represented from supposition, not from observation. Clinical looking is something you have to learn.
Tools such as proportization and anatomical knowledge serve in this respect.
Because in order to understand man’s form properly, it is important to know how it is structured.
Anatomy for artists is more than just knowledge of bones and muscles, it is also about proportions, about movement, about aspects of form, about differences between men and women…
Movement has a lot to do with the skeleton: bones move in relation to each other through joints and are set in motion by muscles.  Knowledge of the skeleton is a prerequisite for understanding movement.

The skeleton takes care of the actual ‘internal’ movement.
Over it lies the external shape, determined by the muscles

Knowledge of the mechanism is therefore decisive for the representation of movement.The following lessons will provide all necessary knowledge

But there is another point of interest.
Many anatomy books are atlases of the man’s bones and muscles. Although women have the same parts, anyway according bones and muscles, but there are large differences in body composition, starting with the skeleton.
The last studyblock examines these differences.

Most important differences are the structure and shape of the chest and the pelvis, the former is much smaller and rounder in women than in men, the pelvis on the other hand is larger and wider in women.
Because of this, women have relatively narrow upper bodies and large lower bodies, in men it’s the other way around.

Admission test

Visual art can be practiced free of any obligation and for one’s own pleasure, but the purpose of this programme goes beyond that.
Here we focus on a development on a (semi) professional level: either to make it your profession, or to be able to work at that level.
In order to check whether this programme is useful to you, we ask you to carry out an assignment as a test beforehand.
If this gives you promising prospects, we welcome you warmly.


Make a drawing of your own left hand (or – for left people – the right one)
And send the image of it.

Submission Form

    Depending on the response to this assignment, you can register for this course (see: purchase this course).

    Back to: The Anatomical Shape > The Anatomical Shape