As mentioned in the previous article (see Julian 2), I realised how important is to know what actually lies underneath the skin. Having a good understanding of the anatomy and the structure below the surface actually helps to make quicker, more accurate and eventually correct decisions when it comes to life drawing.

Read theory about Rib Cage here.

The previous session went relatively ok however, my tutor and I decided that this time I had to spend some time learning “theory”. Instead of rushing to catch up with the rest of the class drawing the models short poses, I had to observe and draw from a skeleton. My task was to draw the rib cage. No detail was needed really, just trying to be proportionally right. Apparently, the width and length of the ribcage were pretty similar so I ended up with a square.


I picked up the middle bone which approximately reaches the middle of the rib cage and then tried to shape the outline of the rib cage. I also tried sketching from different angles and this is why you can see the small boxes in perspective. I tried to outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later. This is an amazing technique if the ribcage (and later the model) does not look directly at you.

…outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later.

Once I got a grasp of what the proportions should be and how the outline of the ribcage roughly is then I tried to understand what the structure of the ribs themselves is. It is fascinating how this slim elements actually form a nice “tube” where all the important organs of a human are protected. It is a very architectural form if you think about it! Once the outlines are in place and you have defined the connection points of the ribs (bottom of the bone in the middle and spine) then the 3D feel of the ribs is not difficult to achieve (my sketch of course is not even close to how the arrangement of the ribs actually is – that wasn’t my intention anyway).


After spending the first half of the class training my eyes and hands to work together by observing and sketching the rib cage of the skeleton we had a brief break. After the tea break the model returned to his previous long pose (see Julian 2). I got a different seat (on purpose – to try a different angle). During the week I had read that it is very important to define where the joints are and this is what I did. I also tried to implement my new knowledge…you can see the rib cage below.


30 mins before the end of the class our tutor had a quick look at my drawing. She acknowledged that the upper body structure is looking better and more structured than previously. We were of course not looking for a perfect drawing showing details or tone. Don’t forget that the aim of this class was to learn about the rib cage! Something she highlighted as a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines. This is not a good method as does not allow you any flexibility to rectify your mistakes.

…a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines.


Enjoy the Bank Holiday!


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!




Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…



Love Sketching & Painting




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