Yannis Sayeh

Human anatomy training

After the class of august i've decided to learn human anatomy and train myself to sculpt all i can about it !
In this topic i will show all the skulls, bones, muscles arms, feets, fingers and etherything else i've sculpted.
Feel free to do the same here if you want to, or just let a comment ^^.

I just hope to see a good progression into the future months , the goal here is to progress :)

Here is the first skull that i've sculpted with a little rule to follow to my personnal case:
Whatever i sculpt i have to do it in 30 minutes !
This little rule help me to go fast and not take too much my time :)

  • This is a cool idea, I'm really into anatomy myself. The skull is pretty good for 30mins.   However, do you think is it a good idea to learn anatomy by doing it fast?  I know there is a time and place for speed sculpting but I think if you do it while learning anatomy you may be learning bad habits.  It might be better to take the time to get the anatomy right first before practicing it quickly.  Personally I find thats its only after antagonising on details,  looking at references and being pedantic about it do you truly begin to understand the shapes. 

    Dont get me wrong, I'm no master of anatomy and others may have different opinions to me but just a thought. 

    I think its a great skill to learn and transferable to all mediums of art.  Keep it up.


  • cptken You're right doing it fast can be unproductive to certain persons.
    For my personal case i separate the practice (the 30 minutes challenge) from the theory:
    I study the anatomy through a book (Human anatomy for artist by eliott goldfinger), and i see some videos to see how others are sculpting the parts that i need (even with clay).
    Then after, i challenge myself to practice what i've seen.
    30 minuts are perfect for me because it's a short period of time, it will make me mistakes (at least at the begining) and after this, i'll be able to see my result and say...Okay what i've done wrong? what i need to improve?
    And when i find the answers....
    I gonna do it again and try to not do the same errors...

    This is my personnal way to train: Try, make mistakes, learn from them and re-try until you got it ! :)




  • galledark Fair enough,  it seems like you've thought this through so no point holding back. Good luck. 

    Keen to post some anatomy sculpts too for practise. 

  • I can recommend to start from basic shapes and proportions, not with details. Like this one. Learn not the whole shape, but the shapes it consist of. I can recommend "Anatomy for sculptors" by Zarins and Kondrats for learning.


  • nekronavt yeh I can agree with this,  form before detail.  In my opinion once you get that form down the detail comes relativeley easy 


  • nekronavt cptken 
    Thanks for the recommandations i gonna try this book i guess :)

  • galledark hey what a great idea to post your practise sculpts! Guess you were pretty inspired by the gestural sculpting 😊 Looking forward to follow you're progress here!

  • Having done a month of 30 minute sculpts, I agree..30 minutes isn't a lot of time and as a point of getting things right, Focus on the larger forms and proportions and don't worry about details until the larger forms are correct.. then you can start adding in details.  That's just good workflow in general.
  • I'm still a noob in terms of anatomy, but I can recommend:

    - Rafael Grasetti's anatomy course on Gumroad;

    - The youtube channel Proko is for drawing but has a lot of anatomy theory;

    - The youtube channel Flipped Normals, they don't dive deep into the anatomy but they have awesome sculpting tips.


  • smurfmier1985
    Haha yes the gesturl sculptin definitly pushed me here ^^ Thanks miranda ;)

    gradyp  Thanks for the advices :) I will not take 30 minuts to do the whole body with muscles and everything, it's just a limit for me to keep a bit of pressure and push myself to give the best of me.
    Honestly if i dont have this kind of training i feel like a slowpoke ^^'

    Does anyone have an idea for how to start to sculpt the skull ? nekronavt  maybe?  ^^'.
    I start with this basemesh for now: and after a sculpt it looks like this:I don't know if there is a better method than mine, i'm not very good at hard surface modeling.
    I try to do my best to respect each proportions (even if i still have work to do here ^^)

  • I'm still struggling with the skull... i'm asking myself if i should continue the training of the skeleton or go directly create a bust just like Kent did.

    I mean...should i continue to create skeletons to confirm i know the human anatomy (or at least the bones) ?
    Or should i go through the creation of a human face and use the anatomy more as a guide rather than something i'm suppose to master?


  • galledark In my opinion you should forget about the bones unless you are really into making skeleton's. Knowledge of the bones and muscles is all fine and dandy but at the end of the day all that matters is the top layer (unless making skeleton's). It's good to understand muscles but sculpting them underneath the skin is a bit of a waste of time particularly for the face, at least with body muscles they can stick out quite a bit but on the face the don't so much and they are very complex. 

    So yeh, imo if you're doing it for human anatomy practise I recommend ditching the skull and going straight to the skin level using reference. 

    Below are a few extracts from an artists anatomy guide that I got for drawing a while back. It was a short guide but these two statements have stayed with me ever since. They  seem to apply to sculpting too imo.


  • cptken thanks a lot ken that's what i felt after a few days of training...
    I was like... there must be a qwicker way to go...
    I felt like bones and muscles are good to know WHY the human body looks like that but you dont have to sculpt them to say "Okay i can do characters now ".
    I gonna start with a bust just like kent did during the August class =) 

  • cptken Inserting an apostrophe where there shouldn't be one is the grammatical error that annoys me the most.  "skeleton's" is possessive; "skeletons" is plural.


  • galledark Ye' just start with the bus't. Also dont' be discourage'd if it does'nt turn out how ya' l'ike. Its' not easy and there i's no real quick way of doing it. O' course there are more efficient way's' and going st'raight to the skin is one o' 'em.


  • cptken I personally have to disagree a bit here. While it might not be necessary to know the names for the muscles and bones I think it definetly helps to at least know how they look like. You surely can get a pretty realistic result by just using reference without further knowledge but if you don't know how some muscles act in a specific pose it probably will look odd here and there. I got a book about a month ago that covers Anatomy for 3D Artists/ Sculpting. It doesn't teach you every single bone and muscle (that would be impossible to learn lol) but only the ones that are visible through the surface / skin, sometimes also only muscle groups. It also covers a few ways how to start from scratch when making a character/ body and various body types (skinny, very muscular...). It might be a bit hard to learn but it definetly helped me to understand the human body better. 

  • bbsdwerbeagentur I think you're taking me to the n'th degree here. Yes I'm oversimplifying it but sometimes that's what you need if you are a beginner to anatomy. After reading your post I actually feel we're on a similar page but that's sometimes hard to convey in a forum.

     I'm not saying that learning how individual muscles look and work (form and function) is useless unless you're talking about the face. You're better off learning face functionality a different way. Muscles in the rest of the body are significantly more important to learn their form and function. Though the deeper you go the less value there is in learning it, particularly the bones. If you are a beginner you should be learning what gives most value first and as you get better you can drill down further into more detail.

    In general it's good to look at anatomy and the muscle structure and all that but going out of your way to actually sculpt bones seems pointless to me (unless of course you specifically want to sculpt bones). By pointless I don't mean 100% useless but I mean that its not an efficient way and can be really discouraging which can mean the death of your motivation.

    Again it's just my opinion and everyone is different but I feel many people stumble upon this issue where anatomy is made out to be more complex than it is. There needs to be a clear divide between scientific anatomy and artistic anatomy. 

  • cptken If you want to become a pro level sculpter, then learning the muscles and all visible and some underlying anatomy(not all) are very essential. For the face and other parts of the body, if you don't know what a feature or surface form on the skin is but just going by what you think it is or just by what it looks like leads to many mistakes, and when you try to create something that's not from a reference, you're not going to do good.
    Learning why a surface form looks the way it does will lead to more artistic freedom in the future.
    I learned anatomy from Scott Eaton's expensive but extensive anatomy for artist course. It was boring but afterwards, my sculpting skills increased 1000 fold the next time I tried to sculpt a human body. He even has a section showing off common mistakes artist make, because they 'learned' anatomy just by what they think it looks like.
    Also, knowledge of bones is super duper important. You'll never get the correct form of the eye holes, the jaw line, where the ear holes actually are, proportions of the skull, the elbows, or the wrist, or the hand, or the clavical area, or the shoulder(which the muscles come off the  acromion process which shows major form on the skin), or scapula, or the vertabra, or the superior/posterior anterior illiac spines, or the knee areas, or the rib cage and the chest bone,) There are more but all these bones show major very important form on the human body and if you don't know the shape or their form when they move, you will not make a good human figure unless you are a master artist who can copy 100% from a reference.
    And that's not even getting to muscles. Which you'll have one too many abs, what moves when you have your jaw open or closed, straitions going the wrong way, muscles in wrong places, what muscles flex this or that way mattering in what position you're in, etc.
    So, yes, learning about anatomy is very important, bones and muscles and all.
    Learn the rules first, and then break them based on your need or you'll stay in the uncanny valley.

    Sorry for the passionate post, the not learning bones set me off. Basically for the OP, learn the skull, then the muscles, and then the fat, all those forms make up the human head. Same for the body, skeleton, muscles, and fat is actually less important because it varies more than the face, but still important. Also, you can more ahead in learning anatomy even if you're sculpting skills doesn't keep up. As long as you know about the skull, you can probably move on, mostly because at your level, your more likely to give up after doing something too repetitive. It's a long journey and you're at the beginning.



  • jjalexm Thanks for your feedback :)
    Can you talk a bit more about your experience with Scott Eaton's course ?
    I'm very interessed by it and i think it can help me. =)


  • jjalexm After reading this I am also interested in the course, sadly it costs so much. Too bad there isn't an Anatomy course on this side :(