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1. Introduction Video to the Concept of Invention
It is usually easy for a person to draw something that they have created because they have also formulated all of the rules that it follows. Riven calls this process "invention". We can do the same thing with the human body (i.e.: reduce it to a set of rules about proportion and form that are easy to keep in mind while we do figure drawing). It is important to note that all of the proportions that Riven gives throughout this course are approximate! We will continually refine them as we go through the course and as we learn more about human anatomy through independent study; we will also naturally use fewer guidelines as the structure becomes more familiar. The course can be a little repetitive, but every time that a topic is covered again, he adds a little more detail or looks at the same things in different ways.
Invention of the Human Body [Front View]:
• A vertical line represents the height of the figure
• Dividing the entire line in half gives us the position of the crotch [more specifically the "pubic bone" or pubis, Latin for "groin"]
• Dividing the bottom half in half gives us the position of the knees, which will be slightly above this point
• Dividing the top half in half gives us the bottom of the pectoralis major or "pec" muscles [from "pectus", Latin for "breast"]
Notice that we have divided the entire line into four parts. Starting from the top:
• Dividing the first fourth in half gives us the bottom of the chin, and thus the height of the head
• Dividing the second fourth in half gives us the location of the navel
Notice that we have divided the entire line into eight parts, all of which are the same height as the head. [This "8-Head Model" is fairly standard, but we could use a different number of "heads" for the height of the figure too (e.g.: to represent a character of a different age or sex).] Again, starting from the top:
• Dividing the second eighth in half gives us the location of the suprasternal notch (i.e.: the indentation at the bottom of our neck between the clavicles [from the French word for "collarbones"]).
[The "breastbone" or sternum (from the Greek word for "chest") + the Latin prefix "supra~" (meaning "above") = "the notch above the sternum"]
Now, we get into finer divisions and constructions:
• Dividing the space between the suprasternal notch and chin in half gives us the top of the chest cavity
[Chest cavity is an egg shape one head in width at pec line. Nipples are slightly inward and above this point. The bottom of the chest cavity ends slighly above the navel point. If you want a specific measure, divide the area between the pec line and the navel in half. Then, divide the bottom half in half again. The bottom of the chest cavity will align with this division.]
• Dividing the space between the crotch and the navel into thirds gives us:
+ aligning with the top-third are the illiac crests [from the Latin "ilium" meaning "flank", or the area between the ribs and the hips]; they come straight down from the nipples and connect in a curve to the crotch
+ aligning with the bottom-third are the "heads" of each femur [from the Latin for "thighbone"]; note that the hip joint is a "ball-and-socket" type
The above divisions give us the legs.
• Drawing a line from the navel through the nipples gives us the top of the clavicles, which align with halfway between top of the chest cavity and the suprasternal notch; wrists end at crotch level and elbows swing up slightly from navel
The above divisions give us the arms (when resting at the sides of the figure). They should not collide with the chest cavity, so make sure the top of the clavicles are out slightly farther.
[The torso is similar to a rectangle because the width of the hips (i.e.: the ball of each femur) are close to the width of the shoulders (i.e.: the top of the clavicles). The hips would be even wider on a "stereotypical female body" making the torso similar to a trapezoid, while a "stereotypical male body" would flip this trapezoid upside-down so that the shoulders are broader than the hips.]