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Art Lessons: Sternocleidomastoid

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now we're gonna talk about the
That is right here, the
sternocleidomastoid process it,
they are like cables running alongside
your neck.
And they're really, really, really
Because they, they allow your neck to pull
forward and
allow your neck to go back and forth
So, really an important muscle
particularly for sports like football,
boxing, mixed martial arts, because the
stronger your
sternocleidomastoid process muscles are,
the more impact you can take.
That's why you see boxers, they, put the
weights on their head and they do this,
they're trying to build it up.
So it's a very important functional
strength muscle, and
it's obviously a, very important
functional muscle.
But a lot of people draw with stiffness,
it's really important to think about it
with gesture, because it moves,
and it's really important to see it move.
So, let's take a look at some easy ways to
understand, the sternocleidomastoid, and
by the way, that's an amazing word to say.
And it's called the sternocleidomastoid
because right here is,
right here is the mastoid process.
So the sternocleido runs all the way down
to the sternum and to the clavicle right
So, it's a cable, see, that runs all the
way up and
attaches to the back of the mastoid
process, thus the long name.
Okay, so let's take a look at how to
really simplify it.
So the way that I see the
sternocleidomastoid in a very
simple shape is very much like a baseball
So it's kinda just really,
you want to simplify it into a shape that
we can really understand.
And the shape that a lot of teachers.
Myself included simplified into is kind of
a baseball bat shape, like that.
So how does this work?
Let's say we have the neck which
we show like a penne pasta tube.
Always finding the center, always looking
the center and you have the clavicle.
Like, so going
back into space.
You have the baseball bat mastoid process
coming around like that.
And attaching here.
And then the other side.
You have it coming around, as well, so
it's going around the neck like this.
But it has a rhythm to it, it has a
gesture to it.
It kinda moves like that, so.
There's an S curve to it, kind of a
beautiful elegant shape.
You know you could always see the
ballerinas in the New York City Ballet or
the Russian Ballet and you could just see
the sternocleidomastoid.
And the longer the sternocleido, the more
elegant the dancer is.
So, it's really important that we as
artists observe that.
Certainly when you look at Degas, you can
really see that Degas, experienced the,
the beauty of it with all of his paintings
of the ballerinas.
Now, it's also important to see.
If the sternocleido is passive or if it's
Right now you could see it, it's very
It's very engaged and so there's an
elongation to it.
And sometimes you see it and it's passive
like that.
So that tells a whole story.
Is someone tense?
Is someone ready?
Or is someone just, relaxing, mellow.
Because that alone just the tension of the
sternocleido tells a story.
And just as it does when you are relaxed.
Like this.
So, everything you do, every muscle you
draw, there's gonna be a story behind it.
And it has to be consistent.
That's really important.
So let's look at it, from what a head
would be like.
Let's just create a head.
You've the head, the ear.
Like that.
So you the baseball shaped,
sternocleido coming down
this way like this down, and
right next to that is the trapezius right
in here.
So this muscle that you're rolling over
and down is the trapezius.
Here's the sternocleido, right, like that.
Now, this attaches here.
And the reason I showed it from this angle
is because sometimes we have to see.
That shape, this other sternocleido
wrapping around like that.
There's another shape back there wrapping
So we have to show it.
Really important.
[NOISE] And remember there's a thickness
to it.
You have to really draw around that.
There's an absolute thickness to this
muscle and
it gets thicker as it goes on top and
thinner to the bottom, right here.
Also, when you look on it, frontways or
maybe there is a slight axis, remember our
central, central axis, like this.
That energy to the pit of the neck here.
The clavicle, here.
The neck, subtle C curve,
like that, C curve here.
Now the sternocleido is pulling,
pulling down this direction.
It's pulling down.
Now for simplistic purposes, we're saying
it attaches here, but it does split,
into two tiny shapes, into a secondary
shape here, but for
all intents and purposes, just think about
it as one shape,
one shape coming down like that and
attaching to the collar bone here.
So there's always movement, there's a
lyrical quality.
And that should be really enough
information to kinda guide you when you're
doing portraits or you're drawing a cafe,
or you're drawing a friend.
Just look for the sternocleido.
It's there and it's beautiful.
So be aware.
Because it's there.