Anatomy Academy: Form & Anatomy Foundation

Drawing New York is thrilled to partner with Anatomy Academy and Stuart Elliot to present online drawing classes to our members. We are confident this 6 lecture video course (including a 40 page pdf of notes) will help both beginner and intermediate members improve their work.

  • Lecture 1: Introduction to Form

    This lecture introduces you to the fundamental concepts of form that underpin everything from Renaissance figure drawing to hand-drawn animation. We will look at the foundational forms of the cube, cylinder, sphere, and cone; and you will learn how these can be combined to create the highly complex organic forms of the body.

  • Lecture 2: Form and Pictorial Space

    This lecture takes us into more sophisticated territory. Understanding the fundamental forms is one thing, but how are we to relate them to one another so that they look like they are all in the same space? To really get control of this we need to understand perspective and how it works with freehand drawing. This lecture will take you through the basic theory of perspective, and relate it to various ways of organizing space and form from the history of painting.

  • Lecture 3: Visualisation, Orientation, Deformation

    Now we have some major concepts in space we can start to build. A first step is to gain an understanding of how to visualize and draw our forms in the position we want them to be. How do you handle the rotation and tilt of the head when making a portrait? Or in a figure drawing, the tilt and thrust of the pelvis in contrast to that of the ribcage? This lecture will give you the tools to do that effectively and efficiently. We will also look at the idea of deformation – the body is not a rigid geometric structure but a pliable organic form. So we will also explore how to bend, stretch and squash our basic forms.

  • Lecture 4: Visualizing the Figure in Perspective

    Now we have the tools we need to approach the figure. If you have been working on the assignments you will be starting to develop some very powerful tools and techniques with which to organize the complex forms of the body into broad, simple masses. This is the beginning of your journey towards being able to digest and process what is for the beginner the overwhelming amount of information presented by the live model, or the task of drawing a figure from imagination.

  • Lecture 5: Sculpting Anatomical Form

    This lecture moves us toward a new landmark, namely the goal of being able to draw or sculpt complex surfaces. The body is full of subtle and complex planes, and while these can be grouped and contained within larger, simpler volumes; at some point, we have to be able to express these surfaces with precision. However, our simple forms can still help us. By combining them together, or using only a part of their volume, we can start to more clearly understand the undulating surface created by human anatomy.

  • Lecture 6: Refining Anatomical Form

    In this lecture, we will recap many of the key concepts we have covered so far. We will also start to consider the effect of light upon form visualized in perspectival space. This is where it all starts to come together, and you will be shown how through a variety of demonstrations and examples of applying what we have covered to specific parts of figure structure.

Form & Anatomy Foundation – This is the course I wish I could have taken when I first began studying anatomy. It will give you some of the most important and powerful concepts in representational drawing. When you are familiar with these you can make anatomical knowledge your own. I have tried to pack as much into the lectures as possible, but also to keep them targeted and focussed so they don’t go on forever! There are also course notes as PDF documents for you to refer to while you are practicing. The course is intended to be worked through, so I hope you can find time to complete the assignments each week. I hope you find the course enjoyable and informative.

Stuart John Elliot

Stuart has been working as a professional artist for almost twenty years. During that time he has exhibited his work internationally and taught at several world-renowned art schools. He is a full-time senior lecturer in Fine Art at Central St Martins in London, teaching the critical history and theory of post-war and contemporary art. Throughout this time, alongside his own painting practice, he has maintained an active research interest in nineteenth-century academic painting, and in particular the teaching of artistic anatomy, which he has done himself for more than a decade. He has taught anatomy in many independent workshops, online, and is a regular teacher at the London Atelier of Representational Art. He is the author of one book on the subject, ‘Drawing the Nude: Structure, Anatomy & Observation’, published by Crowood Press.

Drawing New York AdministratorKeymaster
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This vibrant group of over 7000 members helps people make “real and tangible progress” with their work whether they are absolute beginners, intermediate sketchers or professional artists.
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Drawing New York AdministratorKeymaster
Drawing New York
This vibrant group of over 7000 members helps people make “real and tangible progress” with their work whether they are absolute beginners, intermediate sketchers or professional artists.
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