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Anatomy Lesson 14, Part 2 – Female Anatomy

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Female Anatomy Video

In this video lesson, you will discover the female anatomy.

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Female Anatomy for Figurative Artists

The model used in this lesson will be the marble statue of Eve made by English sculptor Thomas Brock in 1900.  This marble was presented to Sir Henry Tate and is currently displayed in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

Female Anatomy – Proportions and Skeletal Structure

An average female figure has slightly shorter legs than an average male. This is why in a female body, the pubic bone is located a bit lower than the geometrical middle point of the body.

The projection of the body’s center of gravity to the ground coincides with the engaged leg’s footprint. 

Since the figure is standing in the contrapposto position, the spine line is not straight, but curved. In contrapposto, the axis of the shoulders is tilted in the opposite direction than the axis of the pelvis. This happens because the spinal column is curved. Both, the axis of the shoulders and the axis of the pelvis, are perpendicular to the spinal column line. 

In such a position, the body weight is unevenly distributed to the supporting leg while another leg is bent at the knee joint. This is the reason that the axis of the pelvis is no longer horizontal, but is tilted downward.

Female Anatomy

Female Anatomy

Female Anatomy

Female Anatomy

The height of the ear is equal to the length of the nose, from the eyebrows to its base. 

The same distance is between the base of the nose and the chin as well as from the eyebrows to the hair roots. 

So, as a measuring unit, the ear fits three times into the height of the face. 

The eye line divides the height of the head in half. 

The distance between the eyes is equal to the length of one eye. 

According to classical proportions, the same distance is equal to the nose width. 

In a well-proportionate face, the width of the mouth is equal to the distance from the line between the lips to the bottom edge of the chin. 

The distance between the bridge of the nose and the bottom edge of the lower lip is equal to the distance between the outer corners of the eyes. 

An average female ribcage is slightly narrower than a male one. Both in male and female, the width of the ribcage is marginally smaller than the width of the pelvis.

The length of the hand is equal to the height of the face. 

When drawing the lower arm, always be sure to mark the location of the elbow bone. You can feel this bone, from the elbow to the wrist, under your fingers when you touch the lower arm. 

In the supination position, the radius bone will be located parallel to the elbow bone. 

The pelvis shape resembles a basin.  The pubic bone location coincides with the axis of the hip joints. These joints are indicated as small circles, which are the round heads of the upper leg bones. 

The width of the foot is equal to the width of the knee. 

The axis of the supporting lower limb is tilted from the vertical position so the center of gravity of the model’s body is located just above the engaged footprint. 

The shinbone of the lower leg gives a characteristic contour on the surface. 

The inner ankle bone is higher than the outer one. 

Another leg is bent at the knee and helps maintain the body’s balance. 

Female Anatomy – Muscles

The neck muscle can help put proportions of the head in place.  The frontal portion of this muscle goes from the pit of the neck (the top edge of the breastbone) to the base of the skull just behind the ear; and the ear is located next to its top end. 

We can meaure on the model the ear’s height and use it to mark two levels – the base of the nose (which coincides with the lower edge of the ear) and the line of the eyebrows (which is on the same level as the top edge of the ear). 

The contour of the model’s left upper arm is defined by three muscles- the deltoid, biceps brachii, and triceps bachii. 

When drawing the lower limbs, remember the volumes of the muscles that define the shape of the upper and lower legs. 

For example, the contour of the lower half of the inner part of the upper leg follows the direction of the tailor’s muscle. 

The tailor’s muscle defines the inner lower outline of the upper leg. The tailor’s muscle originates from the pelvis and inserts into the inner upper part of the shinbone just below the knee. 

The calf muscles form the upper half of the lower leg…

To learn more about the female anatomy, enrol in the Anatomy Master Class.

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