How to better draw anatomy

I. The division of the body into 7 different areas and the spine

There are many different ways to structure the body. I find the division into seven zones very suitable in connection with the yoga exercises and also with the drawing. Each zone basically has different qualities:

Example: An anatomical view of the rotated triangle from BKS Iyengar

1. The head


description: The head sits lightly and freely on the last vertebral body, the atlas. It is carried by the spine and ideally appears free, light and sublime. The look often gives the head a very clear direction.


Expression: The head and above all the eyes give a head that which is alive in a drawing. If you have the impression that the head is consciously looking, that the eyes are awake, and the head is held, a drawing appears much more lively and authentic. To do this, you don't have to draw the head precisely, but rather imagine this look very well. The posture of the head is related to the neck and thoracic spine and the whole body. For example, when a person looks at something with their head, the chest is usually slightly raised and directed forward.

2. The neck

description: The neck carries the head and holds it. The cervical spine runs in it and connects the head with the lower spine area. The neck rises slightly and ideally looks elegant and long. It separates the rest of the body from the head. The neck can also be overemphasized and firm, statically aligned to the front, then it is no longer arranged in the elegant line of the spine.


Expression: The neck is often less emphasized when drawing. If you imagine how the neck carries the head elegantly and how it rises very freely above the chest area and is elegantly connected at the same time, you can give your drawing a graceful, livelier expression.

3. The shoulder girdle with the arms


description: The arms are in connection with the shoulder girdle. It is interesting that the entire shoulder girdle lies very lightly and smoothly over the chest, very loosely. With their joints, the arms can form a very wide circular or ball movement around the whole body. Shoulders, upper arms, forearms and hands divide the arms into four parts. The span of our arms, the stretched stretch from one hand to the other, is the same length as our height. The sternum, the upper chest area or the cleavage form the center.


Expression: If, when drawing, one thinks of the ease with which the shoulder girdle more or less just rests on the chest and at the same time is connected to it via the muscles, then it is easier to draw the arms easily and freely. It is a region that is neglected in drawing.

4. The rib cage


description: The chest is a large, three-dimensional, egg-shaped space in the upper body made up of 12 pairs of ribs. The thoracic spine is in this area and in it you can find support, stability and dynamism at the same time. It is interesting that the arm or Shoulder muscles extend up to the rib cage and are connected to it.


Expression: The rib cage gives volume and space and presence to a posture. If you forget it and draw a person, then the upper body appears unformed and less lively and orderly.

5. The abdomen

description: The rib cage ends below the lowest ribs. However, the pelvis does not come immediately, but between the lower abdomen and intestinal area lies. There are no bones here, just the back spine. The abdomen is an unprotected space between the chest and pelvis. If the chest presses down, this area often looks a bit compressed.


Expression: If you draw quickly, you shouldn't forget this space. You don't necessarily have to draw it precisely, but you should still perceive it as a conscious region, regardless of whether it is only thought or drawn in the drawing.

6. The pelvis

description: The pelvis, with its large bones, forms a large, bowl-shaped interior. The lumbar spine is gripped and held by the pelvis on the left and right, it sits correctly in the pelvis.


Expression: The whole hip zone can easily be written in a square shape. The pelvis is often slightly rotated. Seeing the axis of rotation and inscribing it in a rotated square gives this region a clear shape in the drawing.

7. The legs

description: The step, the point where the spine ends, forms approximately the middle of our body. The lower part, the legs are about as long as the upper body and head. The legs are not connected directly to the spine but rather via the pelvis, which is connected to the lumbar spine in the sacrum or sacrum. The hips, thighs, lower legs and feet also roughly divide the legs into four parts.


Expression: When the legs are standing, they look elegant when they show a slight dynamic upwards. The legs sit relatively high in the pelvis and do not start too far below. One often draws the legs without the idea that they start further up in the pelvis, and then the upper body looks as if it has been separated from the legs.

II. The spine


description: The spine as an inner "pillar" forms the inner axis, the backbone. It runs from the tailbone to the atlas and is externally only visible on the back. It can give an uprightness to an attitude but also a movement. It is divided into three areas, the cervical spine with seven vertebrae, the thoracic spine with 12 and the lumbar spine with seven vertebrae.

Expression: If you want to draw the feeling of standing, to draw a standing figure, then you should above all be aware of the upright spine in its clear posture. It gives a figure inner support as well as the expression of personality and dignity. On the spine, the head, arms, chest and pelvis are connected to his legs. In a drawing, the posture of the spine can also represent the dynamic line of motion / main expression of the posture. In principle, it always gives an attitude its essential and characteristic expression very strongly.

III. Learn to draw - the stick figure drawing with seven areas

The stick figure drawing with a few extensions is very suitable for all beginners. You get to know a body position better and develop a feeling for the individual body zones.

Each zone is a line or a space deliberately left empty (e.g. neck, abdomen).

These line drawings are drawn with a brush. The spine as the central axis is intended but not drawn.

IV. The value of a conscious conception of the body


For everyone who practices yoga, but actually for everyone, I find it very important to develop a conscious image of the human body. By developing an idea of ​​the anatomy with a feeling for the different parts of the body, you can experience your own body more consciously and improve the anatomy while drawing.


When you practice yoga, you actually shape your own body with your image of the position. And you do that more or less consciously. But where do you get the inner picture from? How accurate and clear is it? How exactly has you already consciously looked at a position? Have you already studied a picture? How are the proportions in a position? Depending on which image you already have of a yoga exercise, you will also shape the position. And depending on which part of the body you are more or less aware of, you will deal with it differently. Everyone already has access and a feeling for other areas of the body and not for others.

Therefore, if you consciously look at and draw a picture of a yoga posture, you look at it more intensely and more closely. Inwardly, you develop an image of the posture, of the body parts, of their shape, tension, direction, and their interaction, etc. In principle, every person can form an image of the body and develop his awareness and sensitivity for the body areas. Often you even tense up in places where it doesn't make sense, or you are less conscious of your body. Through conscious ideas one can develop a freer and greater capacity with the body. For this, the most important role is played by which picture and which model you look at. The best way to train your image is to look at different images from a yoga position and examine it for similarities and differences.

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Categories General, anatomy, yoga • Tags learn anatomy, anatomy yoga, learn to draw anatomy, featured, outline of the body, draw yoga, learn to draw