Necks in Line


So, from now until I start posting finish sketches, it’s fair to assume that most of my techniques are a combination of Proko’s YouTube series on figure drawing and Akihito’s deconstruction of figure and musculature. To say that both sources have helped tremendously when it comes to figuring out what goes where on the body without ceaseless memorization of individual muscles, tendons, and all that would be an understatement.

Though, I wouldn’t consider any construction to be a substitute for anatomical study, I will say definitively that I finally get how a trapezius works after days of staring at it wondering how the heck to go about working it around the neck!

Neck and Shoulder Practice

The heads might be place holders, but the focus I had here was on the neck itself as I mentioned yesterday that I sort of…underestimated its importance, unjustly relegating it as ‘just a tube’. As you can see above, I’m trying to get into the habit of breaking down the neck and shoulders into three main components similar in form to the three masses you might be familiar with when it comes to figure drawing over all.

1. The head silhouette. Seems rather basic, but drawing necks without it skews the proportions a bit too much, especially since the next component relies heavily on the jawline.

2. The neck triangle with cylinder. Instead of drawing the entire musculature, Akihito simplifies the sternocleidmastoid muscle down to a triangle that moves in 3D space between the jawline and the beginning of the sternum. The resulting cylinder between the base and tip of the triangle then warps as needed, either straight up and down or a slightly bend macaroni.

3. The neck hill and shoulder circles. In keeping with the reducing of muscle and bone complexity, the trapezius, clavicle, sternum, and deltoid are all brought down to a skewed rhombus style shape that tips in two areas – in the middle of the neck triangle and at the beginning of the sternum. The deltoids also begin with the shoulder ellipses.

Put very simply, I can see why I should have been working on this prior to torso studies! I’m looking forward to seeing how else I can apply this and what adjustments I can make to this model to better suit the style I’m trying to achieve!

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