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Drawing Lesson 16, Part 1 – Skeleton Bones

Skeleton Bones – Human Anatomy for Fine Artists

Video Lesson Description

In this video lesson, you will discover Skeleton Bones and the most essential elements of the human anatomy every fine artist must know.

This video lesson consists of 6 parts including human Skeleton Bones, spine and ribcage, shoulder and arm, bones of the forearm and hand, lower limbs bones, and foot bones.

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Skeleton Bones – Anatomy for Artists

The Skeleton Bones or skeletal system is the internal framework for the human body, to which muscles and other tissues are attached. Knowing the bones of the human body, their shapes and movements will allow you to draw figurative artworks more realistically.


Skeleton Bones
The ability to recognize the Skeleton Bones within the body, as if you have x-ray vision, is a great talent to have as an artist. The human body’s form very much depends on its internal skeleton.

Although we do not see the bones under the skin and flesh, there are many various clues how those bones shape the body’s appearance.

For example, the round shape of the head is dictated by the round shape of the skull. Hands, legs, and fingers bend as they do in places where joints are. The form of the fingers’ knuckles, the elbows, and the knees depends on their corresponding joints. The width of the ribcage will result in the chest being wide or narrow, and so on.


Skeleton Bones - Drawing Academy Video Lesson
The number of Skeleton Bones in a human body changes as one ages. An infant has more than 300 bones, while an adult skeleton contains about 206. Many bones are fused together during the period from birth to adolescence.

Before we begin with the Skeleton Bones, I have to say that in order to draw realistic figurative artworks, you don’t have to learn and remember every single bone in the human body. You are an artist, not a doctor. However, having a good understanding of the skeletal system is vital for a proficient figurative artist.

So let’s begin with the Skeleton Bones.

There are two major groups of the skeleton:

– The axial skeleton

– The appendicular skeleton

The main purpose of the axial skeleton group is to support and protect the internal organs in the body. This group of bones act as the central axis, that’s where its name comes from.

The axial skeleton contains the following bone groups of the Skeleton Bones:

– Cranium – The group of cranium bones consists of the 22 bones of the skull (not counting the teeth), plus the jaw, and the ear bones.

– Vertebral column – This group includes the 24 vertebrae, the sacrum, and the tailbone.

– Ribcage, also known as thorax – This group includes the 24 ribs and the sternum.

There is also the hyoid bone, which is located below the jaw and belongs to the axial skeleton, but its shape has no influence on the external appearance of the body, which could also be said about the inner ear bones – ossicles.

The second major group of Skeleton Bones is the appendicular skeleton, which takes its name from the nature of the upper and lower limbs or the appendages of the body. The main purpose of this group is to provide movement of the limbs and mobility to the body.

There are two regions of the appendicular skeleton:

– The upper region – which consists of the shoulder girdle and the bones attached to it.

– The lower region – which consists of the pelvic girdle and the bones of the lower limbs.

The bones of the upper region of the appendicular skeleton are as follows:

– Two clavicles or collar bones

– Two scapulas or shoulder blades

– Two humerus – the bone of the upper arm

– Two sets of radius and ulna – the bones of the forearm

– The bones of the hand – including the wrist bones, the metacarpals and the phalanges

The lower region of the appendicular skeleton has the following Skeleton Bones:

– Two pelvic or hip bones

– Two femurs – the bone in the upper legs

– Two patellas or knee bones

– Two sets of fibula and tibia bones in the lower legs

– The bones of the feet – including the tarsal bones, the metatarsals and the phalanges.

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