Hands and Arms – Anatomy

Before drawing hand poses we are going to apply anatomic knowledge of skeleton and muscles first.
(“Again!?“)

When you know more about anatomy, it starts feeling like you know what you’re drawing. And drawing makes you observe your environment better. To be honest distinguishing muscles of forearm burns my eyes; but at least I can do that more or less and it helps me what I’m doing or if I have a reference photo the result is just far better, because of knowing what to see.

hand skeleton drawing

There are 8 small bones called carpal bones which connect to 5 other bones(metacarpals) on the palm of the hand.
Now pay attention that from wrist to the end, how every bone after each other gets shorter. This information you’re going to use a lot. My old drawing can be an example for this info:

hand drawings

This is an old drawing, from february 2015. The greatest tip for me for this time was that yellow guidelines for keeping knuckles on line ans setting distances between them. Drawing contours of hands were hard, too; but it gets easier as you screw up a lot of hands, later you see it is getting better 😀
So, following guidelines to place knuckle/joints, all of those curves of fingers etc. were great and enough of guides to me for a long time, until I started looking for more details and reality, more effectiveness, or satisfaction for myself.

hand and arm skeleton 3.jpg

Humerus, ulna and radius are major words you are going to hear a lot.
Without considering the move of the arm I was many times confused about how the ulna and radius are twirling. Pay attention to the bone of forearm in the drawing –ulna&radius– they are , and the brown arrow on the right side is the direction of move; this is what I mean.

Now muscles; they are all convex.

muscles of hand and arm

P.S.1:OMG, surely no need to learn those names!” is wrong. The more you learn them, the perception of the form of muscles and where they are located is clearer.
P.S.2: The drawing above is from ulnar side (radius is at the thumb side -to remember)
P.S.3: I divided into two titles as arm and forearm, seemed a bit easier.

ARM MUSCLES (superficials)
Biceps (upper forearm, 2 heads like a heart, from scapula[shoulder blade] to radius)
Triceps (large, 3 headed, covered by detoid partly, attached to ulna)
Brachialis (seen partly under biceps and makes it look bigger, from middle[shaft/body] of humerus to ulna)
Coracobrachialis (from middle of humerus to scapula)
Teres major (from scapula to humerus)
Anconeus (near elbow, on humerus and connected to ulna, small and triangle, supports the joint there, you can palpate it when you extend your forearm)
+
Deltoid (shoulder muscle, in three pieces, a part on collarbone, a part on scapula, one in the middle)

FOREARM MUSCLES (superficials)
Pronator teres (from end of humerus to the mid. of radius[head] and ulna[head2, deep], pronation)
Flexor carpi radialis (from end of humerus[epicondyle of humerus] to 2nd&3rd metacarpal bones, flexion)
Palmaris longus (from end of humerus to straight down in the middle, wrist flexion)
Flexor carpi ulnaris (from end of humerus to straight down to carpal on ulnar side)
Flexor digitorium superficialis (semisuperficial, flextion of fingers)
Brachioradialis
(from humerus to radius, flextion of elbow)
Extensor carpi ulnaris (dorsal side of forearm, ulnar side)
Extensor carpi radiallis longus (dorsal side of forearm, from humerus to the 2nd[index finger] metacarpal bone)
Extensor carpi radiallis brevis (dorsal side of forearm, radial side)

P.S.:Carpus‘ means wrist, so take a look at those names again and realize it is easier to remember than you tought. E.g. flexor carpi ulnaris is an ulnar side of muscle for flexion of wrist.

muscles of hand

Here you see the dorsal surface of hand and (in order) partly brachioradialis, extensor carpi radalis longus(index), extensor carpi radialis brevis(middle), extensor digitorium(ring, intermediate), extensor digiti minimi(pinky, intermediate).
The white part you see on the wrist is dorsal carpal ligament. White stripes are tendons, extensor muscles. You don’t have to draw and color it so detailed I think, just sketch it simply and understand the form; maybe you can work on the dimensional look of muscles.

I know how it looks all of those ‘blablaus, blalis, bla bla bla’s. But it makes things easier later. The more you study anatomy the more it takes you in and you feel like you gotta dig deeper. When you start learning, it is fun though.

Well, this is all for this week, this topic is complex enough for not to skip hand poses today. Next week here is going to be hand poses, already drawing them and really trying my best for a good tutorial 🙂
Keep in touch. Have a nice day!

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