Since we know our bodies so well, the human figure is one of the most unforgiving of subject matters. It is relatively easy to draw a tree or a vase and make it “believable”. Depicting the articulation of a head on the shoulders, the bones of the ankle or a figure foreshortened or in a twisting contraposto is a different matter. Our deep familiarity with how the parts of the body “work” mechanically means it is instantly obvious if something isn’t right with the depiction of the various interlocking shapes that make up a figure drawing. With something so well known to us there’s nowhere to hide!
Anatomical knowledge enables the artist to draw the body with more confidence. Here are my four favourite anatomy books.