Internal Skeletion: Dancing Bones

“Corps de Ballet Dancer.”

One of the best ways to learn human anatomy is to study the skeleton. The human form should make sense and move according to their inner skeleton and thus if you understand the skeleton’s limitations then you understand the body’s limitations. By taking a figure or drawing of a human and trying to place a skeleton within you can more blatantly see how the body reacts and shapes around the bones.

What I have done here is taken an image of a ballerina and displayed the skeleton and its mannerisms within this pose. However I did not want to make it look as if I simply slapped the skeleton over the figure like a cut out. To make it look as if the skeleton was truly part of the figure, I focused on the shading within the dress for the bits where the bones lay underneath cloth. While the presence of the bones are clearly there, emphasized by the thicker and darker lines around them, they still fade and appear to be affected or screened by the clothing. I also kept half of the skin on the face to help demonstrate how the skeleton was to be viewed as if it was still internal.

Looking at that values in shading, while i wanted the skeleton to stay part of the figure, my goal was to keep them separate enough that things would not get muddled, especially in the clothing area. To do this, I did all of the shading on the figure with graphite and a thinner line art. However when it came the skeleton I used a dark colored pencil to emphasize the differences in shadows. Using the colored pencil I also thickened and darkened the lines of the skeleton so their form would stay present amongst all of the shadows.

Finally, in terms of background, I wanted to keep it at a minimal in terms of detail. With a mainly white background, there is a contrast between the figure and the nothingness behind her. This allows the focus to stay on her without any “outside” distractions. I did put shadows at her feet to show the light source more clearly.

All in all this project has helped me come to understand the human form and its skeletal limitations more. This is a good help for future projects and it is core knowledge that is needed for animating human figures. It is also just a good project for any artist wanting to learn more in general.

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