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Art Lessons: The Neck

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So, when talking about the neck.
[SIGH] How are you doing?
[LAUGH] It's dark.
So talking about the neck,
it's really important to know that the
neck comes through the ribcage.
See that?
See how the spine comes through the
Really important to see that.
The other thing that you always have to
remember is that it is at an arch.
It is an arch.
It is a C curve.
It is moving up into the base of the skull
down through the ribcage.
See that?
So, those two principles can not be
Number 1, that it comes up through the
ribcage, and number 2,
that it is C curving.
That's really, really, really paramount
when you're drawing a figure.
Really important.
So, let's review that.
So, if you have a ribcage like this,
just know that the neck is not only coming
through the ribcage,
the spine is coming through the ribcage,
but it is also
moving that direction.
That's really, really important no matter
where you are.
So, even if, you know,
the figure is this way,
it's coming through like that.
[SOUND] And then you could build on top of
So what I like to do as you can see,
is I like to kind of break the neck down
into a simple tube.
It's just a simple tube.
It's like a little penne pasta tube.
And that allows us to really
draw it with movement, make it dynamic,
make it interesting, make it move.
So even if you have a head, ball and
mask, and you're looking at it straight
When you look at the head straight on, you
can see that A,
it's got a movement and an energy to it,
and B,
it's coming out of the rib cage like that.
So, those are two very, very, very
important things.
Let's break down a little bit of the
anatomy so
we can really understand what's going on
with that neck.
Let's look at it from a profile view.
So, if you have a profile, maybe you're
looking a little up at the figure,
and the ear is here, there is a part
here called the mastoid process.
Right here, that's the mastoid process.
And this is where what's called the
sternocleidomastoid process connects to.
It connects all the way down here to the
pit of the neck.
The clavicle, near the pit of the neck.
So, to the sternocleidomastoid process.
So clavicle, sternum, mastoid process.
All those words fitting in together for
those things.
So, there the muscles on the side of the
neck that start behind the ears and
wrap around the voice box to meet in the
clavicle on top of the sternum.
They pull the head forward.
They rotate and they depress the head.
The neck is always bending and should
always be drawn as a C curve.
So even if I'm doing this anatomy,
I'm still thinking about it as a C curve
like this.
Now incidentally, another thing I want to
show is, as the neck rolls this way.
As it rolls this way, I want to show that
it also rolls this way, like that.
So that connection of the jaw to the neck
often times is not really thought about.
When people draw the neck, I see a lot of
this, I see, okay, well they've got
the curve and maybe they even have it, you
know, coming out of the spine.
But a lot of the times, there's no
So, there's a neck and it just kinda like
connects as one piece and
or does this or something.
But in reality, you know, if you look at
you're trying to roll that back into space
like that.
So that's really, really, really, really
It's really important.
So just remember that the spine curves
into the base of the skull.
Into that base of the skull.
So when drawing the neck on some people,
you'll be able to see the seventh
vertebrae right around here, extending
underneath the skin.
So there's all these different little
landmarks to where that neck is,
but let's get into the sternocleidomastic
So, as I said before, it attaches here and
it goes all the way down like that, all
the way down
And there's actually like a ton of muscles
under there, but
I just want to talk about the major muscle
So, the sternocleido here, and then, of
course, there's the trapezius here.
That's kinda running back like that.
And actually this is kinda too far in,
the neck is often times a lot thicker than
we think it is.
Like that, so.
Right here.
You wanna kinda get that, that width.
Because it does have kind of a certain
amount of width to it.
Like that.
So it's pulling down and back.
For the same, for the front.
When you have the neck, it's about jaw
distance apart like that.
The trapezius is in the back.
You think about this kind of a little bit
like a penne or a cone.
And then you think about
the sternocleido coming down.
Coming down, and down.
And the Adam's apple, obviously, more
pronounce on the man.
Here, where the voice box is,
the larynx, some simple anatomy that
kind of figure out the neck like that,
and obviously, the pit of the neck.
So, that's a super, super,
super fast neck.
But it's really important to have that
basic information.
Now from the back, from the base of the
you really wanna see how that trapezius
goes all the way up here.
The trapezius goes all way to the base of
your skull.
So you can see it here, the trapezius goes
all the way up.
Like that.
And that's part of the neck.
So if you have the back of the skull,
and you have a sternocleidomastoid coming
down like that, you have the trapezius
like this, you've got your seventh
Your trapezius runs alongside the
to the deltoid, and down like that.
So just this part right here, it's
important to know that
it does attach to the base of that skull
like that.
So key points.
Penne shape coming out of the rib cage.
Another key point, always C curving,
always having a rhythm to it.
Another key point, sternocleidomastoid
wraps around and around and around.
It's like a cable.
A figure.
Pit of the neck.
Adams apple.
And finally, the trapezius which fits in
to the base of that skull.
Just like this.
So if you have those very fundamental
understandings of the neck,
you will be able to go far.
And obviously, the rest you can take from
Because you have that basic information.
You can draw, even if you don't see it
because maybe the hairs covering it, but
then you can investigate further from life
and say,
maybe there's some interesting light going
And it's hitting the voice box in a very
interesting way.
Or it's doing something really different,
maybe the skin is pulling in
an interesting way, and you want to
investigate that.
That's great.
But, know and understand these basic
principles and
you could take this to, you know, another
You can create figures out of your head.
And certainly, when you're painting and
drawing from life,
you'll have much more understanding to go
into that, you know,
a greater source of knowledge.
It's wealth.
Knowledge is wealth.
So, take that to heart and have the best
day ever.