Écorché Drawing: The Male Figure
This is an in depth online course in the study of artistic anatomy focused on the idea of the écorché figure, which means to visualise the figure in dynamic poses as if without skin, so as to reveal the musculoskeletal construction. The course is made up of around 10 hours of video lectures and demonstrations alongside a comprehensive pdf ebook and 3D models for you to refer to.
There are such a vast number of ways to approach the complex topic of anatomy – it can be difficult for the beginner to know where to begin, and it can also be hard for the experienced artist to find the time to develop the structure and focus needed to take their work to the next level.
This course aims to address both problems. The goal is to teach you how to study anatomy by seeking out reference material and exploring anatomical construction through drawing. Écorché drawing is a fast and effective way of internalising the rhythms and structures of anatomy by drawing over the top of an existing image. In this course we are using examples of figure drawings by masters of the past. Doing this shows us how artists deploy anatomy as part of a larger aesthetic whole and to broader purpose, providing us with good guidance in that respect. The difficulties you encounter when doing this are important because they provide the questions that we take to the next occasion when we do study from the live model.
Once you have worked through this course you will have a way of approaching your own independent practice and study that you can apply to reference material you find yourself. You will gain a framework for making sense of the vast amount of anatomical information out there, and doing the important work of turning information into knowledge, and so making it your own.
I have tried to pack as much into the lectures as possible. The lectures are long form, but I have aimed to keep them targeted and focussed: there is no padding! The pace is intentionally slow and gentle rather than rapid fire, since these are topics that require deep attention. The course is intended to be worked through, so I hope you can find time to complete the exercises, and that you find the course enjoyable and informative!
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