Anatomy Study: Drawing The Arms

In this anatomy video series tutorial, we are taking an in depth look at the human arms. We first lay out the bone and muscle structure to build the foundations. Then we use that to lay basic skin rendering over it.

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26 Responses to “Anatomy Study: Drawing The Arms”
  1. Posts: 70
    Daniel Wentzell Jr. says:


    Thanks, these are the types of tutorials that are such a big help to a newbe artist want to be like me.


    • Posts: 640

      That’s good to hear, these are enjoyable for me to create because of how much I learn in the process as well!

  2. Posts: 21

    nice might upload my arm drawing which ive done in my art class of Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomy drawings of the arm but good tut 😀

    • Posts: 640

      Thanks! I would love to see this Da Vinci arm study posting you mentioned if you could!

      • Posts: 21

        i have some images up now an i still have like 1 or 2 in class and ill try and get them up

  3. Posts: 1
    ieddi says:

    Incredible at what pace you keep posting new stuff.
    This is a grate resource. Thanks a ton.

    • Posts: 640

      You are most welcome and it’s a blast creating tutorials at such a face pace. It’s like as soon as one’s done I already have an idea for the next i want to record.

  4. Posts: 139

    I haven’t watched this one yet, but watched the legs one a few days ago. Definitely a big help. Looking forward to the other Anatomy Studies!

  5. Posts: 5

    Nice study. Is there any specific reason why you use multiple skin tones for the basic shading work instead of using one medium tone and setting the brush blend mode to Multiply or Screen? Or is it just preference?

    • Posts: 640

      Definitely a comfort zone for me, while I was still figuring out coloring in photoshop I had seven different skin tones I worked with but now I try to keep it to three skin colors: highlights, mid-tone, shadows. But I’ve seen every one of my friends do it differently. Some only use grayscale and then lay one skin color with overlay, or use a two tone system, where it is just the base skin color and then a mulitply layer for the shadows. So yes, it is just a preference :)

      • Posts: 5

        OK, thanks for the reply. I figured out the multiply/screen method for the brush blend mode is very comfortable so that’s what I prefer. It’s not as complex as working with several multiply/screen layers and more straight forward than working with multiple skin tones. :-)
        However, different colors are great to bring in some more vibrant variation later on.

  6. Posts: 1

    I am sorry to say it, but most of the anatomical forms here are way off. In life, the scapula is much larger: it reaches halfway down the humerus. And the acromion process of the scapula, which forms the origin for the medial head of the deltoid and the articulation point with the clavicle, hangs over the humerus where it articulates with the scapula. Also, the deltoid inserts on the outside of the humerus about halfway down, rather than at the top. The triceps actually has only two big visible heads in the back view: the lateral and long heads. The medial head lies underneath them and sticks out on the sides.

    There are a number of other issues, especially in the forearm. I would recommend studying books like Human Anatomy for Artists by Goldfinger and Artistic Anatomy by Richer. Otherwise you can look at Gray’s Anatomy plates for free online. There is more detail there than is necessary for an artist, but it’s accurate.

    • Posts: 640

      You are correct about the scapula being too small and about the tricep but you have to remember that this is a live tutorial not a timelapse or me just looking at an already done picture and explaining it, so not everything is going to be perfect. I give the best shot that i can in one take and if there are a few areas that could be touched upon, i just have to accept that. I thank you for pointing this out however because it is only when an artist thinks that he or she believes they fully grasp everything on how to create something that they stop growing as an artist. I will try and be more precise next time :)

  7. Posts: 139

    As much as I dislike ads I clicked on one in the sidebar. It was for Muscle&Motion. It is interesting because it shows the muscles animated. I may pay for it to get the full version. Would definitely help my study. I’m not associated with them at all, but I know the ad was shown because it is related to the tutorial. Just shows how helpful your tutorials are!

    • Posts: 19
      Wes Burke says:

      Thanks Jeff – Definitely a necessary evil and glad to hear it was helpful and relavant. :)

      • Posts: 18

        Sweet these have helped me a ton I now know where to shade things, and basically where to bulg and suck in things!

  8. Posts: 13

    I really like this tutorial. I know this is in photoshop and I am using GIMP, but is there a particular tool you use to make your drawing easier? For me it seems like the mouse can never make the lines natural the way I want it to, and using the straight tool is not natural at all. The way you drew the scapula seems like you are using a tablet with a pen or something, not the mouse? Is that true, or are you just so good that it seems natural?

    • Posts: 18

      It’s a tablet you pretty much have to use a tablet if your going to do drawings such as these. It would take to long to get the curves you want. Wacoms are the way to go I have an Intouse 4 small ( pretty sure I spelled it wrong) and it is amazing only tablet I’ll need for a long time!

  9. Posts: 2
    Flipflops says:

    Hi, unfortunately [Anatomy Study: Drawing The Arms], Vimeo say private video…

    Do I have to log in?

    Awesome site! Thanks! :)

      • Posts: 1

        Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to make these and sharing with us. It is people like you who inspire knowledge and understanding. In short, you rock! 😀

  10. Posts: 8
    halivar says:

    hey this is a wicked awesome tutorial i was just going to do a study on the arms and legs and i stumbled on this site from conceptartworld and found just what i needed thanks so much

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