Simplified Skeleton

Ed Foychuk
A free video tutorial from Ed Foychuk
Illustrator and Instructor at How To Draw Comics . net
4.7 instructor rating • 16 courses • 12,162 students

Learn more from the full course

How To Draw - Anatomy and Figure Drawing - Ultimate Course

A step by step guide to drawing human anatomy

07:06:58 of on-demand video • Updated November 2021

  • Understand human anatomy
  • Draw human anatomy in dynamic ranges
  • Understand muscle insertions
  • Draw a simplified skeleton
  • Draw figures from a variety of angles
English [Auto] Hey what's up guys. Ed here with another how to draw comics anatomy lesson for you. So what are we doing here. We're going to work on the simplified skeleton. Yeah I know it's not looking all that simplified right. Trust me. I'm gonna make it a lot easier for you. Okay so first thing we're gonna do is start to draw some lines. I'll start from the tip of the head down through to the to the ankle or so. And bisected that way. Right. Okay. And what I'm gonna do is cut it in half. So let's say I've got at the top here I've got you know this line here that's the top and down here around the ankles or so is the bottom right. If I was to cut this roughly in half it would be somewhere around here right now looks about right now what we're doing here is called the rule weight. What that means is we're gonna be bisected in by citing cutting cutting cutting. Okay. So let's say I've already got this one from top to bottom I'm gonna cut it once and this is that middle line. And look what it lines out to here. The crotch and wrist which is about right that I'm gonna cut it again right about the middle and this is gonna be the nipple line. Gotta cut that one again. And there is our chin line right. Okay. So we've got the head the nipple cut this one in half here. That's the bellybutton. You know what I think I went a little bit low on that nipple but that's not so bad. I think we'll be okay with that. And then on the bottom half the body from the crotch down to the ankle. If I was to cut it in half we've got the knee right. Okay. Now you're gonna say Ed that's not eight. You're right. I could cut here and I could cut here. These two cuts don't really measure a lot though. So we don't have to worry about those. But you're right. Let's keep them in there just just to follow my rule of eight. Okay. So what this basically says is that this way we're cutting this character with the skeleton is gonna be eight heads high. And Kim you've got one two three four five six seven eight eight. And I know this one. Okay. This is bugging me now. I'm going to come back and redo this one because I think I could have plotted that one a little bit better in the middle. Right. Much better. Okay. So now we've got eight heads high. Okay. So now what do we do. How do we measure things in right. What I usually do for the head. You know you can just draw an oval for now. We'll get into had details in another lesson and stuff. Right. But this oval That'll work right down below the head right about one third the way to one half the way is where we're gonna have the clavicle line. Okay. And then from that line I come out maybe about let's see if it's a man. I might go one head wide on each side of the head and that's going to come down towards the bellybutton line. Sometimes a little bit below sometimes a little bit above somewhere around there. OK. Now what am I drawing here. This is kind of like a Chevron shape right. Like a shield or something. Right. OK. That works. Done on the outside of it. I'm gonna drawn two circles here and those would be the shoulders. No obviously the joint smaller it inserts right there at the the tip of that Chevron insertion right. But I want to kind of meat it out a little bit here. Now as I come down here I'm gonna draw a circle for the hips for men usually this hip circle is smaller than women you know so for a man. I draw this slide here. Give a ladies example if I'm gonna be drawing the same type of character for you so as a comparison example we'll have some of these same lines here as a comparison example maybe we can have the head the same but the shoulder might be a little narrower for for a lady even if it's a simplified skeleton the structure is just slightly different right. So like I was saying here for the men we're gonna have the hip narrower than the where the scapula inserts inserts out here into the shoulder. Okay. For the women maybe it's going to be able to same. And actually I like to have the hip the circle go a little bit below that crotch line. Okay. Because it's gonna flow a little bit differently right. We can draw the wrist right about this line and have the arm coming down to it. Hand down below like my little hands there. And about halfway at that belly button line is also gonna be the elbow. So if I draw this for a lady I'm still gonna have my risks about this line. All right. So I can bring my arms down here and then have my hands below that and the elbows about halfway. Okay. Not bad when it comes to the the leg and femur insertion here. What I'd like to do is imagine little antennas coming out of here that out of the out of the hip area that come and rest on this crotch line. Right. And then it comes down from there. Then it comes down to the knee. So if I'm drawing it here it sometimes I draw like a little underwear line like a little Superman underwear type of thing. And I come down to that crotch line. And then here's their new line right. I come down to the knee right. Does that make sense. Now depending on everybody's got a different structure sometimes it'll come out even further and then come down for an example might be a little narrower and come down. It's your choice for what type of character you're drawing right. The the nature of that character and skeleton. And then we could drop it down to the ankle drop it down to the ankle. I give a little line there and then for now for now we're just going to have kind of simplified triangle feet. Keep it nice and simple. We'll get into feet in a specific unit for it because well frankly it's going to take a lot of time. Right feeder tough feet and hands really tough. So we'll leave that for another time. This is just our simplified skeleton. Let's see how does it work. If we're looking at it on a real person this is Serge Newbury. He's kind of awesome 1970s bodybuilder and great physique. This is a photo from back then. And because it's a photo there's a slight distortion because the camera's somewhere around here. So it's looking at him from this viewpoint. So his legs are going to be a little bit shorter than they should be. OK. But basically he's he's a pretty perfect package here and it will help us understand or are simplified skeleton. Right. OK so here's his head right. We can kind of just rough it in here. Right. At a head length down here is going to be his nipple line. Or do I want to cut it. Let's cut it in half from here to the ankle. If I cut in half would be somewhere around here. Right then I can cut in half there and this is the nipple line. Now his nipples are hang a little bit lower. They're a little extra developed right. That's ok from here to here about halfway is his belly button line and elbow line right. There's a little belly button from this halfway down to here if I cut it is his knees. OK. Let's see if we could rough some shape in here is that Chevron type. All right. OK. We'll put through the shoulders on either side of it. We'll come in here and a rough in the hip obviously the crotch hangs a little bit below this line right. This is the pelvis insertion here for men. There's some things going on there. We'll throw in a little Superman underwear. We've got this line here we'll bring it out as if we're dealing with that insertion coming down to the knee and then down to the ankle. Now like I said his ankles are a little high here and it's partly because of how the camera's viewing them it's looking down at the ankles right now. And then his feet so his legs look a little little stumpy compared to his upper body. That's really not how he is. Just the camera playing tricks on us down to the wrist down to the wrist and then hands. Right. When we try again. I hope what you're doing is you're following along with me. I hope you've got your worksheet and PD f there as you're listening to me ramble. You know I know I'm I'm an exciting Rambler and stuff I got but I really hope you're kidding something more out of this than just listening to me listening to my wonder his voice. Right. OK. So top to bottom. We want to cut it somewhere around here. I'm hoping. Yeah. You keep practicing this right. That all these rule eight patterns from top to bottom cut it in the middle. Cut this in the middle again. Cut this in the middle of again and this is the head right. Cut this in the middle again. That's the belly button. Cut this here. That's the knee. And then I guess we could cut and cut if we want but it does nothing. We're going to come down maybe one third or half way and start Ha ha. Well this guy is quite tall yeah start ha Chevron there. We're also going to add in the hips here. We can throw on some shoulders. We can throw in the wrists and elbows and then the hands. Right. We can do our little Superman underwear thing and bring these antennas off to the side and you know what I shoot it all the way down usually. You know you can shoot it all the way down down to the ankle. Midway is going to be that knee. And then we can draw a little simplified feet down here and that this you know the hanging chest right. That is a nice simplified skeleton. OK. So I really do hope you're practicing a lot. Off to the side here. Now let's see if we can find. This is a really static view looking straight on with the character and everything. Right. Let's see if we can find it with a little bit of motion here. Here we go. We got some guys doing some activities here. What I'd like to do is you know look at the figure and see where I can find some landmarks. OK. Well obviously I've got the head here right. Actually what I do for the head is I usually draw a circle and then rough it in but I'll explain that in a different lesson. Like I said. Then what I do also is find the flow of the character it's kind of flowing this way. All right. This guy's flowing this way from here. I know that his Chevron goes something like this. If I was to cut the crotch here the head here about halfway is that nipple line. But he's bending over a little bit so it's going to going to sweep lower the hips are back here shoulders are out here. This comes down to the elbow and up to the wrist and this elbow makes sense because if we were to kind of carry this belly button line up here in a sweeping motion it roughly lines in right. Even though it's coming just a little bit forward. This one though was a little bit more confusing comes back to the elbow and down to the wrist in the hand. And it also gets a little confusing when we start to plop things in now down here. Coming all the way down here really what would happen is his leg would be down his ankle would be somewhere down here or down here. Right. But what's happening is his legs bent right. So that's shortens everything up. So instead we got the little Superman underwear here. Let's see. We'll come out to this point come to this point. Bring it down to the knee down to this ankle. And then his foot. All right. This one comes forward to the knee goes back to the ankle and then his foot. Let's see if we can try this again right next to it. OK. Kind of sweeping like this. We're gonna go top to crotch. This is the easiest landmark that we can find on it that isn't too bent up right. We know that is chest is about midway in his head or his nipple line is about midway sorry his head is about here. Right. So if I was to rub this in. Well that's a horrible rough. I know. His belly button somewhere back here. Right. He's leaning forward. So this Chevron becomes more of a shape if that makes sense right. I'm looking down at it. OK. So it kind of comes like this and off to the side here. Got his shoulders off to the side as well. And this pelvis area here. All right. OK. I'm not gonna draw this arm in. We only know what it's going to sweep up from here. This arm his hand is going behind his back comes back to the elbow comes into the wrist. All right okay. Yeah. Center line. Let's see. We're going to do a little alien antenna thing. This one's gonna come to the knee back to the ankle. Out to the foot. Like I said we were plotting it somewhere about here but because it's bent it's going to come here so we can come up to the knee or down to the knee. However we want and then have the foot. There we go. Nice simplified skeleton in motion all right. Let's see if we can find it on this fine fellow. It's bending right. So if it's bending might be just a tad harder to plot out but we know that here would be the middle. Somewhere around there he would be his head. He would be the belly button. Here's the head. Here's the belly button right. We can kind of plotted out roughly that it's gonna still fall this. This cut rule cutting it into fours for the upper body. Right. Okay. So we've got his head plot that in very roughly got the Chevron that is just below the neck or below the chin. Give them a little bit of neck and it comes out this way and he's leaning forward a little bit. So it's just a little bit there. And if we look the actual center line kind of comes like this a little bit. All right. Here's the hip. The hip is back a little bit and his center line on the hip is little bit more straight on to us. We'll put the little underwear thing in right. Actually it's his crotches kind of more here coming to this point. This is going to come forward to this knee back to the ankle and then out to the foot. This one is gonna come down to the knee down to the ankle and then this foot. Okay let's come off to the side here and see if we can do it on this guy off to the side. No we've got to add in his shoulders plot in the hands and see if we can connect him down to the elbow over to the hand down to the elbow over to the hand. Right now now let's see if we could do it off to the side here. It's gotten a little bit more of a bend here maybe. No. Which way do we want to start first plotting the the Chevron. Right. And we know that it's contouring a little bit out this way a little bit more right. Plugged in the head. We know he's looking of this way right. Plot in the shoulders. We can put his hands out here holding onto the bowl. This one's going to come down to this elbow. Gonna come here. Back to this elbow. And over right we can put in the hip. We know it's more straight on to us right. The underwear lines the little antennas up and down to this foot it's firmly placed about halfway is gonna be that knee. But the same length down to this knee back again for this ankle and this foot. All right. Nice and easy. Actually this is probably leaning more forward. Right. Cool. Okay. So now we're getting used to finding this simplified skeleton even in reference photos right. That we could see it in motion in these athletes. Oh but what about when it gets a little bit more bendy. Can we still find it. Like I said I like to kind of search for the spinal column right. It would probably start at the base of the skull here come around and come out to there. OK. So this is our our line of from crotch to tip of the head. OK. So normally we'd say well here's the crotch here's the tip of the hat and then we start dividing in halves. Right. But this has got such a bend to it especially from here to here that it's really hard to do that we. So but let's see if we can try to cut it this somewhere. And no I would even say maybe this and this would be the cuts. All right. That semi gives equal spacing along this this backbone Cam. Now we're going to look at the torso. Here is the Chevron. But if you look that contour line is actually in the front there. The hips are here and we can't see that front contour line that we normally do but we can't see the back one because it's a but we get to see the butt cam and we know that it comes out to the insertions for the legs out on here right the shoulders. This one's hidden but we're gonna draw through the shoulder comes out to the wrist and then the hand about halfway is the elbow. This one comes out to the wrist and then the hand. And we know about halfway is the elbow right. I guess we could draw her face in good enough. Okay. What about for the legs. Let's go down just a little bit. She's got great proportional legs here right. But halfway is the knee. And then the foot looks actually longer because she's on her tiptoes. Right foot is here ankles here about half way would be the knee. So it comes out like that. Sorry to hear. Huh. Now what do you think. Can we recreate this. This is gonna be pretty funky right. Basically from here down is legit. That's the leg right. We know that that's that's leading into the pelvis and stuff. Right. And we know that this foot is up here. That was easy. That's the easy part. One straight one is a little bit bent not too bad to deal with this other part though. It's going to be tough going from the backbone up to where the neck is and then up into the head. Right. So we can plot in the head. We can plot in the collarbone and the Chevron with the big contour in the front right. And we can plot in the two shoulders one here one here. This hand would be when we put it somewhere back here. So it's not on this character put it back like that. And that's the elbow and this hand when we put it a little bit higher put it back here and the elbows there. Actually that wasn't that hard. All right. And we know that the the butt contour is easier to see from the back. Yeah. She looks legit okay. What about this gentleman. He's got a lot of muscle on him. Can't wait to study the muscles later. But for now we're sticking with a simplified skeleton trying to find it. What do you think. Let's go with this backbone first. All right. And we know here is the upper body the lower is all bent up so it's going to be hard to identify but this upper body is pretty easy. All right. But halfway through will be the nipple line halfway through will be that belly button line halfway through that one will be the headline. Right. The the chin and all that. Right. We know that a little bit down from here is where the collarbone starts from the chin. But we also know he's leaning forward here. Right. So our Chevron is going to become a three dimensional shape instead of just this right. It becomes. We get to see a bit of a cone like thing because we're looking at it from the top. OK. This comes down to around the belly button or just below this is the hips the hips are probably set back at just a little bit. Right. He's leaning forward. Actually that's a good lean. He's got going on here. So it's narrowing even more. His shoulders are out here. I guess I could Ruffin his his head here. All right because this is leaning so far back I would actually say the hip line is back here and it's going to come out to here for the the leg placement. It's gonna come off here to this leg. Come here to this leg and down you know this ankle is not too bad this leg's only slightly bent right. But this one's really bent down to this ankle and foot. And then the foot down here because if you look at the length of this arm this arm should not be as long as almost his leg or anything like that. All right it should be quite a bit shorter. Halfway is the elbow than the hand. Here's the hand half way down to the hand so what do you think. Can you recreate this. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna kind of just plot it out for you. Just roughly here's the belt you know here's the actual pick line the head the belly button and then just roughly add this in. So when you're following along with me here there's two sheets to the PDA. Right. You could either be sketching along and tracing over my sketches already there or on the second sheet four for each unit. It's blank tons of room for you to be drawing along right. You could be drawing over the reference material or sketching in the White blank spots off to the side here. Sometimes I'll leave you these little half sketched ones. Just so you know you can kind of have some landmarks to start with and then see where you roll from there. OK. So just as a quick review we started with the rule of eight using bisected line cutting vertically. A person in half right from the ankles to the top of the head and then from there we cut in the middle. Cut that in the middle. Cut in the middle. Cut in the middle. And our top torso will be cut into fours right at the top of the head. The chin line basically the nipple or lower chest line. The belly button line and then the crotch matching with the wrists right. The lower body I think we really only have to cut it once. To follow this rule of eight and that's to find the knee. OK. It's midline in that knee there. Once we did that and we practiced the rule of eight a few times we moved down to recognizing it in motion. Sometimes it's not always easy because the body's you know it bends at certain points right. And so I want you to do this and even find references of your own or in the secondary practice sheet to try to see OK where can I find all these landmarks. Now you might not be able to find the landmark like a full rule weight but maybe you could do just the torso for maybe it's just the lower body right. And you start to divide it up and then see OK. This makes sense. Now I can I can I can find it. All right and we got extreme bendy. That's cool. Nothing wrong with that right. It's good to see everything really bending up and stuff right. Humans are amazing. And so what I want you to do is now that you've got this cool cool little skeleton here you can start to use this skeleton as your mannequin right. This is your little possible mannequin you can use it for almost any poses or references that you want to try to plot out you know the different proportions of what you're looking for. OK guys I hope this simplified skeleton unit was helpful for you and I hope you're still practicing.