PENCIL: Muscle and Anatomy Study

How is everybody doing? I’d like to share my pencil sketches of the human muscle system with you today. Last week I shared my skeleton study and now it’s time to add some flesh to those bones!


The point of this exercise was to practice drawing the muscle system so I cheated a bit by taping some A4 paper to my TV and traced the contour lines of this guy running.


If you’d like to do the same, you can print out this contour drawing, tape some paper to your TV and trace over my tracing, or sketch the contour lines of some other person.


I did a Google image search for “side view of arm muscles”, “inside view of leg muscles”, and “inside view of arm muscles” for reference. Leonardo Da Vinci had dissected over 30 dead bodies to gain his understanding of human anatomy. Thank God we don’t have to do the same. Only doctors will get every muscle exactly right so don’t worry about getting everything 100% perfect. You just want to practice thinking about the human figure under the skin.


I remember trying to get all fit and ripped at the gym when I was young, but the skin really hides a lot of the muscles. I didn’t realize until doing this sketch that the ab muscles need to be separated a bit.


If you don’t want to be a cheating tracer like me, but still need some help getting your contour lines correct, you can draw a grid over your subject and then the same grid for your drawing.


Thanks for reading about my muscle sketches today. I hope that you found this useful or entertaining. Have a great day and never quit drawing!

DRAWING: One-Point and Two-Point Perspective

One of the first skills you will want to practice if you want to make realistic-looking sketches is perspective drawing. Making accurate 3D illusions on a 2D surface was first done by Filippo Brunelleschi in the early 1400s. His technique, which we will practice here, was an important step in adding depth to Renaissance paintings.

last supper.jpgLast Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

One-Point Perspectiveone point eye.jpg

Draw a line that represents eye level and choose a vanishing point. You don’t have to put it at the center of the paper, but it’s easier if you are just getting started. Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper has the eye level and vanishing point where Jesus is.

one point square.jpg
Now draw a square or rectangle.

one point first box.jpg
Lightly draw the lines of perspective from the four corners of your square or rectangle to the vanishing point then decide how far into the distance your now 3D shape will go. Remember to keep the lines parallel to the original square or rectangle shape.

one point lines.jpg

Add a one-inch border and a bunch of shapes. Try adding Tetris-like shapes such as L or T shapes. You can show the hidden edges by drawing dashed lines.

one point erase.jpg

Remember to sketch lightly because you will want to erase all of the lines of perspective and the eye-level line later.

one point final.jpg

When you’re done you should have something that looks something or hopefully better than this.

Two-Point Perspective


This time you will have two vanishing points on the eye-level line which should be out of the border at the very edges of your paper.


Draw a random verticle line then extend the edges to the two vanishing points. Drawing in two-point perspective is actually easier than in one-point perspective because you only need to draw one line then let the edges extend to the vanishing points.


You will know your 3D shape is accurate if your hidden edges all lineup. The back hidden verticle edge should be parallel to the original line you originally drew in the front.


Add a bunch of shapes. You can add the hidden edges or dashed lines to some of the shapes or erase them in the end. Try to have different shapes and some overlapping to add depth.


And that is how you draw rectangular shapes in one-point and two-point perspectives. Thank you for reading. Have a nice day. Now get drawing!


DRAWING: Getting Started with Contour Lines

Are you a new artist just getting started or want to try something new? If so, then I recommend doing a still-life sketch of something focusing on just the contour lines. This means that you ignore the shading and draw like we did when we were kids.


For this sketch, all you really need is a pencil or pen, some paper, and a subject. I used some 3M painter’s tape to secure the A4 paper to my clipboard so I could focus on my drawing and not worry about the paper, but it isn’t necessary. I also enjoyed some strawberry-flavored Korean rice wine, Soju, and a bottle of Pepsi. Why does Pepsi taste so much better from a glass bottle?

Blind Contour Sketch


For my first sketch, I focused on the plant 100% and only looked a the paper once to place the pencil. It is important you only look at the subject and feel the surface of the paper while you slowly draw the lines. It’s not going to look great. In fact, it will look like something you drew in grade school, but it’s good practice.

Semi Blind Contour Sketch

semi blind.JPG

For the next sketch try to focus on the subject 95% of the time only glancing at your drawing for a bit. The only times I briefly looked at my paper and pencil was when I was making sure the lines were right.

Look All You Want Sketch


You still don’t want to spend too much time on this sketch, but you can look at your paper and pencil all you want. See how much better the third drawing is? I was able to focus on the pointy parts and details of the plastic this time.

The only thing I had to take these pictures was a crappy old iPhone 5, but I lit up my room as best I could. I then used the auto-enhance and auto-crop feature in Google Photos. Still not happy with the results, I adjusted the levels, brightness, and hue in Adobe Photoshop to tweak the pictures a bit more. I constantly make grammar mistakes and typos in my blog, so I always highlight the words and have the AI extension, Readme, read the words back to me. Listening to my post always shows mistakes I’ve made that proofreading doesn’t.

Finishing an old sketch from middle school…

I think this was from iMage comics from around 1995. It must have been a failed comic. I couldn’t find anything from Google. Do you remember this? It’s been such a long time that I sketched this, so I can’t remember anything about it. It looked like the perfect job to finish in ProCreate.


It kinda looks better half finished. I just used the black and white technical pen and a bit of the erase tool to finish this old abandoned drawing. I’m glad I did a good scan of it back in the day because it felt good to finally see it done after all this time.

It took me all day to do this, but I enjoyed it. Thanks for checking out my sketch today. Hopefully I’ll be reminded of the source in the comments.