What's your opinion on anatomy?

As blender became a full operational sculpting app.
What’s your opinion on anatomy?
Is it so important to understand what’s behind we see and feel?
Is this the key to unlock the beauty of classical greek - roman or the renaissance art?
I think it’s the right topic to post it. So many blender artists, so confused… anyway I start posting this hilarious photo

Knowledge of anatomy is mandatory for every character artist in all mediums there are. Even if you stylize anatomy, you still need to know the raw and natural form and components so that the stylized version is believable. Disney Pixar movies always are believable exactly because their style is based on real anatomy.

Anatomy is the most important thing! Without foundation there is no building, that`s just a mud shack.

EDIT: Typos.

OK, but did you read such opinions in quotes of great artists? Can you link to a particular one?

Well if someone doesn’t follow anatomy then they have a monster, not a human.
That is why so many newbies do monsters so well.
That is why making humans well is difficult.

I think the correct word is not anatomy but proportions. For example anatomy will tell you where a muscle bulges but it will do different in a woman, in a child, in a fat guy with chicken wire on him… Proportions give you the answer, you know you can bulge the muscle as your anatomy book shows because you are doing a fat guy so you better use the sculpt tool to sculpt the chicken wire effect there.

But of course proportions are applied when you know anatomy. I don’t mean to memorize muscles or something like that. I mean using references but then find what is right and what is not.

A sculpt when the proportions are “right” is amazing. If not, it is just good.

if you follow some opinions expressed about ‘Art’ in threads around here, you could say no, it’s not important, but of course it is.
And it’s true also for natural world in general, also trees and rocks have their anatomy.

In my humble opinion, the skills of an artist cannot disregard a good observation and knowledge of nature, although his interest is directed towards feelings and sensations.

EDIT: Only a few people are so lucky to be able to overcome the reality without first knowing it, and being appreciated for that, like Picasso.

EDIT 2: michalis, in your work, for instance, we can appreciate not only your knowledge of human anatomy, but also the ‘anatomy of stone’, and of the light.


I think the correct word is not anatomy but proportions

Eh, the question is on anatomy though.
I could use terms like blocking, forms, geometry etc. But I avoided it.
I’m asking about anatomy. Can our feelings, senses, emotions, visions fit there? Is it enough?

A sculpt when the proportions are “right” is amazing. If not, it is just good.

I’m pretty good in the history of art. Can’t remember a quote from a great artist close to the sentence you posted.
Can you link to one?
Please don’t misunderstand me. Knowledge is always good. Anatomy among them.
But haven’t read a sentence coming from masters on this matter.
Even from Da Vinci. He started the whole anatomy concept alright, rather to prove that everything is under the rules of geometry, possibly under the rule of the golden section, Fibonacci etc.
My point is: Is anatomy a key for success or there’s more important knowledge hidden behind it?

Sorry sourvinos, posting the same time

Only a few people are so lucky to be able to overcome the reality without first knowing it, and being appreciated for that, like Picasso.

Picasso… did this? There’s a great and expensive book, the young Picasso.

Look at most of the classical greats, they studied anatomy extensively. Besides that most of the artists I follow endorse studying and whats most important - understanding (!!!) anatomy to make your work believable and good. I dont save any quotes of artists on anatomy nor my memory retains such things. In my head it always had been common knowledge but judging by recent events I guess it`s not and it saddens me to see so much effort put into projects that ultimately fail of lack of basic anatomy knowledge. As human body is my main personal study object I automatically see flaws in it as do most professionals. Your coloring might be great, your composition might be fine but if your anatomy is bad then the work is the same - just plain bad.

I`m not saying everyone now need to learn every bone in a human body there is, we do not study medicine here. But all character artists should know at least basic anatomy - proportions, major bones, major muscles, etc…

@Bao2 Proportions of human body is still anatomy.

The work of the masters may teaches us what anatomy really means. However, you won’t find any quotes on this. Quite interesting, almost weird. There must be a reason.

I do not know about his sentences, but his powers of observation emerges from every drawing he did, obviously it was important for his work. Maybe his attitude was so natural for him to take it for granted.

I know something of young Picasso, can you say he was so good in anatomy, or in drawing in general?


I know something of young Picasso, can you say he was so good in anatomy, or in drawing in general?

What’s the difference? In fact this is my point, I would like to discuss here.

When I speak about knowledge of anatomy, I don’t mean to know all muscles an their names, I mean to be able to catch poses, tensions of the body, consistence of the flesh an so on, this can let somebody to master also feelings.

As for your question, what are you referring to, differences between knowledge of anatomy and drawing? to me no difference.
You can draw only what you know.


Allow me this.
To moderators:
Please don’t move this thread to another topic.
My goal is to talk about the importance of boolean operations, the simplicity of basic forms, of geometry, tension of the body.
Leading to possible solutions, workarounds, needed tools etc. Even for dyntopo vs multires.
Sorry sourvinos, still posting the same time lol.
To me not difference, agreed.

have you mismatched threads, or it was me?


LoL Paolo.

Σφακιανοί 'ναι μωρέ τα κοπέλια;

Nice topic indeed. I think a big part of the question is: Do we approximate real forms with relative size/proportions, and volume decomposition, or knowledge of anatomy? I think anatomy only serves as a guide for the former. On the other hand I am personally not totally convinced that you can decompose an object to basic shapes only. It can only create one specific style of drawing/sculpting but art is vast.

Not a hardcore artist though so I’m leaving the discussion to others.

A good example:
The human face. A portrait. Likeness.
How many variations of noses? Of ears? Of eyes? Mouth? and all between them?
How anatomy can help you? How many muscles there?
We’re talking about the most familiar subject. The human face. No tricks.
How many managed a likeness depending on their anatomy knowledge?
Even the very basic proportions are questionable.

So, I learned how a mouth is, an eye, an ear, a nose. Great. What we missed then?
In most cases we missed that a head is basically a sphere-like volume…

edit: Sorry Antony,
Well, we visited the athens archeological museum together, we had lot of fun… but we also know what fear means, when we try to measure the unbelievable, in front of our eyes. What makes an archaic Kouros so powerful against an hellenistic greco-roman, anatomically perfect statue. Remember the legs of kouros Kroisos?

Knowing muscles and bones and skin work together is I think good if you need to be able to draw something from your imagination.
Proportions are as well important.

Other than that I think you either have a good eye for observation and can memorize that or not.

Most think drawing is art - but it is just a skill. Most cannot draw because they never studied what they want to draw.
We all see eyes everyday but scan objects only.

It is like with reading, we read scan the text for memorized letter combination / word pictures.

People like Picasso I think were gifted with both, visual observational skills as well as passion for translating that into strokes.

Translating into strokes… into forms… even into anatomical details.
You’re right Claas.
It’s a translation. A style?

I find any observational knowledge is helpful, but I always try to avoid becoming a slave to “rules.”

People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and nobody actually has average human proportions you study in anatomy classes. “Breaking” anatomy rules, is what makes different people/characters interesting.


What do we see when we look at human anatomy, are we awed by the power and beauty of the human body expressed through the whole person. We are awed by many things, the beauty of the sunset or the terror of darkness. A painter must know his paints but only to help him as he stands before the glories of the sky. He burst upon the canvas the power of sun, swiftness of cloud, as you view his work, you feel winds, or light striking sand. Sky is connected to earth, sun to world.

Anatomy is more than the sum of the parts, I remember one stature where the toes were gripping the rock, the hole foot staining under the pressure of supporting the body in agony. Yes, the anatomy was correct but the artist captured the whole of the person. the strain and agony of his entire body. His feet (muscles) were not separated from his mind, his soul, his agony…