Art Anatomy

The Order of This Book

The organization of this book is designed to match the priorities of figure drawing. The common system in books on this topic is to start at the head and work down, although one book begins with the arm and another, the eye.

After some initial thoughts on the art of figure drawing, this book begins with the lower torso. The pelvis and the forms attached to it from above are the controlling masses of the body, an idea common to figure drawing, martial arts, and certain spiritual traditions. Here lies the center of gravity, which the rest of the body is obliged to maintain, and the root of the spine, which is the origin of most movement in the body (as anyone with a bad back can attest).

From here the book proceeds to the shoulder girdle, which is the origin of movement for the arms and head. Next comes the thigh and lower leg, the upper and lower arm, and the neck and throat. Last is the foot, hand, and head.

This center-outward approach is not as obvious as the top-down approach, but it corresponds to the needs of figure drawing, which requires the establishment of large central masses before locating limbs and extremities. As a result, the information will be more immediately applicable to one's figure drawing than if the head-to-toe order had been used.

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