Saturday, May 7, 2016

Artistic Anatomy - Observation Drawings

Artistic Anatomy - Front View - 04-30-16,  9"x12", Ink on Paper

The New York Academy of Art offered an Artistic Anatomy class over the weekend. The class included drawing from actual cadavers at a medical school. There was a brief lecture by David Klass (His sculptures are amazing BTW.)

At the onset, I had these romantic ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci sneaking around the streets of Florence, risking imprisonment and punishment to dissect corpses in a Aristotelian pursuit of understanding human anatomy. Those notions were dramatically crushed by the brutal reality of the flayed lifeless body in front of me.

I managed to get a few really great drawings done.  A number of them were done from this corpse that was suspended so that is was standing. There were a number of other corpses that were open around the room.

On this post I have the more observational drawings. I also did a series of drawings that were more diagrams of the muscles structures.

Artistic Anatomy - Back View - 04-30-16,  9"x12", Ink on Paper

This was the first of the drawings I did at the lecture. There is not a lot of information from the back view. David explained that because the bodies are stored laying down, the backs of the body are severely damaged just by the storage.

Artistic Anatomy - Interior Arm - 04-30-16,  9"x 12", Ink on Paper

 I did a pair of drawings just exploring specific views of the bodies. There was some really fascinating things happening in the limbs.

This drawing is after another student moved the arm to reveal the intricate network of veins under the arm of the body.

Artistic Anatomy - Leg Interior - 04-30-16,  9"x 12", Ink on Paper

The transition from muscle to tendon was really neat to actually see. The body's tendons are often buried under other muscles and fat. To see them on display was really fascinating. The texture and color of the muscle visibly changes as it transforms into tendon.

I was kind of overwhelmed after this class. The chemical smell, the coldness of the room and the general brutality of it all eventually got to me. While this was an invaluable experience, it was also difficult and emotionally draining.

Tomorrow I will have the more diagram like drawings.