Techniques and Tips

Under Your Skin

Under Your Skin

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I have skeletons in my closet. Ever since I saw Jason and his fellow heroes battle an army of skeletons in the movie Jason and the Argonauts, I’’ve been fascinated by the human skeleton. And I certainly don’’t find them as scary as Halloween movies portray them.

After all, we all have a skeleton, and it helps us move gracefully into many different poses and positions. You’ve probably noticed how a ballet dancer moves elegantly across the stage, how a bodybuilder is able to lift incredible weights or even how the average person walks. Muscles have a bit to do with all these feats, sure, but none of them would be possible without the bones to give our bodies support.

When it comes to drawing the human figure, I feel it’s very important to know and understand the shapes and functions of our bony, muscular frames. So I bought some skeletons online and put one to work to help teach myself as much as I could about each of the bones. (The other skeletons hang patiently in the closet waiting to do their job at Halloween time.)

You’’ll find it’s well worth your time to observe this incredible, graceful interior framework we all have. Get a life-size plastic skeleton and apply what it has to offer to your figure studies. Maybe you, too, could be comfortable and honest enough to say that you have skeletons in your closet.

Kenneth Cadwallader accumulated a well-rounded education in fine arts through the Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Royal College of Arts in London; the Palette and Chisel Academy in Chicago; and the Loveland Academy of Fine Art in Colorado. His work, which he describes as representational impressionism, can be found in galleries across the country, and has garnered awards in such prestigious shows as Arts for the Parks and Oil Painters of America. He lives in Fennville, Michigan.

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