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Art Lessons: Building Up An Arm

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So, now we're gonna build up an arm.
What we want to start with is, once again
So without gesture, we're just not gonna
get an arm.
Arms are beautiful and they move like
c-curves and s-curves.
And so we have to treat it just like we do
the rest of the figure with respect to
making it alive, making it active, and
making it feel like it's living.
What I like to do is, let's say I'm doing
an arm this direction and
this direction coming out of the torso.
Is, I like to first start off with two
lines like that.
You can see the directions.
That I used for arrows.
So, that would be step one.
Then with step two, I'm gonna make it
three dimensional.
So, I'm gonna make them into cones.
So, I take my first cone like this.
I'm ready.
And I take this cone, like that.
So that's step two.
So, as you can see, the scapula, is
fitting in here.
So that's step two, is making it really
into a three dimensional object like that.
Now step three is, first we have the
armature, then we put on the clay,
now we're gonna form the clay, okay?
So here we're forming the clay, if you
could raise your arm, and
we can see that there's three heads of the
So the scapula is fitting in here.
The trapezius is coming up and out.
And the deltoid is wrapping from the back,
attaching half way down the humerus.
There's three heads to that deltoid.
So, right now we're only seeing, actually,
we're seeing a little bit of the front
head, and
we're seeing the mid-head, and the rear.
Like that.
So, you know, also it's really important
to figure out your curves.
And which way they're going, and
how hard they are, cuz sometimes you have
a little diagonal and that's a bone.
And then you have a curve and that's a
So, we really have to make sure that
that's shown, when we do this.
So, we have the three heads of the deltoid
here, like so.
And then we're seeing to the other side of
that arm,
which is her bicep, right here.
And let's say light was coming down this
direction just to give it dark side and
a light side.
But this is very squared off right here
where her bone is.
And you could feel the difference between
bone and flesh.
And as this is going back in space, we see
that, this, this shape is overlapping.
And this is the bone here, like that.
So, that is basically how I break it down.
And remember step one is simply getting
the c-curve.
Step two is taking that c-curve and
breaking it down into simple shapes.
Like that.
Let's look at the arm from another angle.
And let's try a very practical approach to
the arm.
Maybe from a front view.
So once again getting the gesture of that
Like that.
And then thinking about it volumetrically.
Then, adding a little bit of the
Like that.
Now this
wraps behind
So, you could see in the first couple of
seconds how we can get
basically the rhythm of that pose.
All this is icing on the cake.
If we have a bad gesture, them this
doesn't really matter.
There we go.
a hand.
So that's it.
I mean that's really a basic break down.
Of back side of the arm, front side of the
all based on very, very simple gesture
followed by form indicators followed by
muscle indicators.
So, it's really a three step process.
Get the gesture and the action, of the
Get the breakdown of the arm into simple
In this case, a cone.
And then put the icing on the cake.
Get the bells and whistles on there.
Get a couple of the muscles on there, and
it'll look pretty good.
Good enough to where you don't have to
know every single brachialis this and
muscle that, you know, to where you have
enough information to go, okay,
I see the gesture very clearly,
I see that simple shape broken down into a
cone, and I see
a couple of the muscles like the deltoid
and the bicep and the shape of the arm.
Cuz you're really looking at all of the
shapes, too.
You could do that and you could be the
next Michelangelo.