Drawing torso – Anatomy

It is pretty easy drawing contours of a torso, but what about muscles under the skin, where to place what shape of muscle?

The torso is the center part of many animal bodies, human included. In a human torso we can talk about two major masses; rib cage and pelvis; there is spine to connect them, plus abdomen.
So this week we are going to study torso anatomy; the importance of understanding anatomy is about being able to apply this knowledge of skeleton into your drawings where to bend the torso from; muscle knowledge will help you -as the name implies itself, to draw muscles; on body where to shade, where to light; giving effect of a fit or fat body etc. Otherwise you’re always going to need a reference photo or person. I call this knowledge a relief. After this tutorial next week when we jump into drawing torso figures and apply that information from today into our further drawings, you will see better what it is for.
It is a really big and hard topic to be honest; you are going to need to practice it over and over again. But practice makes it easier I can say, and the satisfaction is big. You are going to love it -I hope 😀
So let’s get started!


Here is the sketch I prepared for today, let’s examine them one by one with parts’ names, they are going to be useful.
P.S.: The names you should better remember are colored and italic.

torso skeleton 3

We are starting with skeleton with a simple technical sketching as you see above.
There is a spine, from front view we percept it straight, when the figure rotates we start seeing its curvy form. That spine connects the skull, rib cage and pelvis. In the drawing you can see views from back, front, 2/3 side and some other angles of sides.
As we know skull supports the face structure and protects the brain, ribcage does protect for lungs and heart.
And about pelvis I can say that its form reminds me of a butterfly, then it is easier to draw it for me.

torso skeleton drawing 2
There is sternum-chestbone in the middle of the ribcage. Ribs, 10 of them goes up backwards toward the spine on the back, check the arrow above to see; plus the angle I drew on the right-up side of the drawing.
Ribs, the one on the top –like a necklace– and four more after the ‘necklace’; and the fourth one divides into six sections. It looks quite chaotic and I almost hear you saying “Do I have to memorize the exact numbers of ribs and all?“. I think you should get the point of its shape and of course how any they are; because they can be important while drawing someone super skinny for example, where we can actually count bones, you will know how many bones there are and they go from chest line to back with an angle.
On the back side, there are 2 ribs left which don’t meet the front side.

When we look at it from front scapula -a triangle form- is partly covered by ribs; on the back we can see it clearly. It moves as we move our arms up and down.

Collarbone, scapula and upper arm bone (humerus) meet at a point. I think this is also important and helpful.

torso muscle drawing 2

We can talk about major muscle groups which are pectoral, abdominal, lateral and epaxial muscles.

Below chest, there are abdominal muscles abs-, three of them at a side, in total six on both sides and one big below them in the shape of ‘V’.
Serratus muscles on the sides over rib cage, four of them from front to the back on the sides, and oblique muscles joins them in a shape of interlock, like a zip.

While drawing a figure from 2/3 side or let’s say with an angle, you can draw pectoraloverlapping, but while drawing from front you are going to see they are not connected; there is that part between them called ‘sternum‘ or breastbone.

Before next week’s topic, I suggest you draw skeleton and muscles of the torso, I will mention their names -so better try to learn the names as well, then sketch them all from your memory; this is the best way to see whether you learned it or there are missing parts in your knowledge.

Hope it was helpful. Until next week, so long!

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s