Artistic Anatomy Lecture: Upper Back Muscles

This explains the most important muscles on the upper back torso of the figure for artists to be able to draw and recognize. Muscles covered include the deltoid, latissimus dorsi, teres major, infraspinatus, and the trapezius.

The relationship of these muscles to the bony landmarks, how they overlap on top of each other is covered as well. Lecture led by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Draw a Skeleton Inside a Figure

Video Walkthrough

  • The simplicity of a back, it often feels like there is “nothing” to draw.
  • Muscles overlap.
  • Forms on the back are subtle.
  • A lot of the scapula is underneath several muscles.
  • Scapula are extremely flexible and have a lot of movement.
  • Scapula often look like indentations.
  • Latissimus Dorsi is very thin and wraps around the lower back.
  • The spine is important, keep an eye on the centerline.
  • The trapezius is a gigantic muscle, it almost covers the whole back.
  • The trapezius appears very small from the front
  • Learn to see which muscle is in front of another
  • Extreme flexibility of the arms.
Charcoal Portrait Drawing, Clara Lieu, banner
Anatomy Resources Page gif

Bones & landmarks mentioned

  • Scapula
  • Spine
  • Aponeurosis
  • Acromion Process

Muscles mentioned

  • Trapezius
  • Deltoid
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Major
  • Serratus

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