Artistic Anatomy Lecture: Bones in the Back Torso

This video explains the bone structure on the back torso of the human figure, and how that anatomical information can be used to enhance your figure drawing skills.

Bones explained in this video include the scapulae, acromion process, manubrium, seventh cervical vertebrae, the ilium, the iliac crest, posterior superior iliac spine, the sacrum, and the sacral triangle.

Lecture by Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Figure Drawing: Torsos

Video Walkthrough

  • Reviewing the major masses: rib cage, pelvis, thighs.
  • People often complain that there is “nothing to draw” on the back because the forms are more subtle and simple than on the front.
  • 7th cervical vertebrae can be found if you connect your chin to your pit of the neck; touch the back of your neck and you will feel it sticking out.
  • The 7th cervical vertebrae is not always obvious, but on some figures it can be very clear.
  • “process” in anatomy usually refers to a bone that is sticking out.
  • Posterior Superior Iliac Spine (PSIS) are the “dimples” that you can see in the lower part of the back.
  • The Sacral triangle is literally connect the dots: connect the PSIS with the top of the crease of the backside.
  • The Sacrum is the bone right underneath the Sacral triangle.
  • “Subcutaneous” refers to parts of the body where the bone is directly under the surface of the skin.
  • Subcutaneous areas are helpful because they are bony landmarks that appear on everyone, regardless of their size and weight.
  • The scapulae can be really confusing, some parts are subcutaneous, while other parts of it are under many layers of muscle.
  • From the side view, the scapulae can be tough to spot, it’s very minimal.
Draw a Skeleton Inside a Figure
Drawing a Skeleton Inside a Figure
Anatomy Resources Page gif

Bones mentioned

  • Scapulae
  • Acromion process
  • Manubrium
  • seventh cervical vertebrae
  • Ilium
  • Iliac crest
  • Poster superior iliac spine
  • Sacrum
  • Rib Cage

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