TUTORIALS - The Book of Bones - by Doctor Bone


RK has been so kind to let me post an additional thread which I shall try to keep interesting and educational at the same time, which of course is not always easy.

First let me apologize to those who have seen this post before.

Let me first state that I do not believe there is a right of wrong way to draw <> I do believe in being armed with a much knowledge and as many approaches as possible <> I know the masters worked in many ways depending to the best way to solve the problem at hand.

With that said, I will put forth concepts here from time to time that hopefully will be of some help on your creative journey

There is in my opinion no substitute for working from life but the ability to create the human form without a model is a skill that I find indispensable. It allows one the freedom to finish drawings after the model is not longer available <> to alter a pose or part of a pose to make the drawing/painting more interesting <> add a figure to a composition when needed <> or to draw totally without a model when that model exist only in your imagination.

This not how I normally draw from memory or imagination, it is just something I do occasionally to give me another way of getting into some new challenging poses.

Here are a few non-reference figures <> this is a little game I sometimes play with myself to get more variety of poses from my imagination.

I start with several cubes that represent the pelvis at random angles then add egg shapes representing the rib cage again randomly some overlapping and some not.

This is where I ended up.

And this was the process.

(1) I start with some blocks representing the trunk or pelvis. I try the make sure the these have 3 dimensions (height, width, and depth) and 3 sides.

This gives me some concept of position and aspect <> in other words how the block is positioned in space.

(2) Next, without giving it to much thought, I draw ovoids the represent the rib cage at position that have some sort of relationship to the pelvic blocks.

I try to make sure some of them overlap so that I know I will have some foreshortened figures in the mix.

(3) The next step is to establish a core or center to connect the two elements <> I this point I make some front views and some side and back views <> by drawing the line from the pit of the neck to the pubic bone or from the seventh cervical vertebrae to the sacrum.

I try to make sure that there is some twists and turns involved <> i.e. the rib cage and the pelvis have opposing positions in space.

(4) Next I like to indicate the connection between the two elements using the abdominal strip in front from the bottom or the sternum to the insertion point at the pubic bone and the strong cords in the back that run along side the spine and attach at the top of the sacrum.

(5) At this point I try to establish the weight baring leg from the side of the pelvic block to the ground BTW in a standing figure I know this is usually the high side of the pelvic block.
This is put the other leg in and try to start thinking about the ground plane relationship of the feet.


(6) I deal to knee joints at this point again using a block as my mass conception because it gives me the best orientation in space. At the same time I start to flesh out the torso and the legs.

(7) Now that my support mechanism is fairly well established I start to think about how the head is balanced on top <> the angle of the neck is my first consideration here then the cranio sphere.

(8) The process starts to overlap here because the arms and the heads relate to each other in terms of position and aspect in space. They relate in terms of action and attitude.

(9) At this point I continue to flesh out the figures and starting laying in washes to further define the planes <> adding first the darks then the lights and lastly a couple of highlights

Hope this walk thru was helpful <> remember to leave the head and arms till last <> this is something I stress a great deal and think it to be of critical import to the vitality of the figure.

Thanks all for your support and feedback <> I will visit all of your threads and give feedback in return.



Great! I’ve linked your Tutorial Thread here:

[[b]Tutorials, Workshops, Anatomy Reviews & More ... [links within][/b]](http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=3199510#post3199510)

(See last post).

Looking forward to more greatTutorials! :thumbsup:

EDIT: I’ve also advertised your Thread on the other forums. This thread definitely deserves attention! :slight_smile:

Cheers, :slight_smile:




That was quick…This forum just keeps getting better by the minute…
Heavy hitters coming out of the woodwork…should be interesting to say the least.
Can’t wait for more thoughs on drawing ect. from you, should be very interesting, and
a great learning experience for all…:thumbsup: :wink:



And here it is!! Looking forward to get tutorials, and improved drawing skills for all who follow it. :bowdown:



Doctor Bone,

thank you very much for the addition, I’m sure it will help so many out.



Hi Mentler
I’am glad to see this … I have already learnt a lot (and I mean it) from your thoughts and demos at CA and TSOFA … I have hardly read a fraction of it becasue there is so many interesting informations … information overload hahaha :slight_smile:
Thanks for your afford and time I’am really glad there is so many talented guys sharing their knowledge

  • Slux


:bowdown: Thanks alot for your walktrough, it will be one of my top priorities this week!! :bowdown:


The other day I was wondering how you draw these figures, and today I got this gift.

Thanks a lot, now I can practise a lot more on paper.


thanks so much for this tut mr. mentler! :slight_smile:


Great! Thank you for posting this Dr.Bone! :smiley:


wow another great tutorial! thanks a lot! :thumbsup:


Thats some groovy stuff dude, well done :bounce:



Great Tut Doc.


Good to see you here at CGtalk sir, really good to see you speading the love, thank you so very much sir.



this is my very first attempt at your method and it worked so well, it was so much fun and it helped me produce gestural sketches which are much better than my usual stuff that I am bound to call it the Method:scream:

I hope you don’t mind my posting this in your thread. I figured it might be a useful additional information that even someone as untrained as me can produce believable gestural sketches this way.

In case you think it does not fit here, just tell me and I’ll remove it, as I will post it in my anatomy thread also.

Time for another thank you.

Oh, I have a question, now, also:

  • I saw you started construction of the legs with simple cylinders. When exactly do you use opposing curves (they are all over the place in your wonderful drawings, aren’t they?)… or is that rather a fluent process?

Thanks again!


Mr. Mu <> Glad you found the last post useful and had some fun with it. Here is another one.

Thanks all <> Hope these little exercises are helpful to some of you <> I do them to help me focus and look at things from different perspectives.

This is not the way I start a drawing, but thought it would be interesting to give it a try.

Here is another little exercise where I just start with a line representing the Linea Alba or center line of the front of the torso.

I than place my core landmarks: I call this process mapping I really only use it to construct figures from my imagination <> when I work from life I only use it if something does not look the way I think it should <> working from life is always best but with this knowledge you can finish up 30 second poses or create ones from scratch.

pit of the neck
bottom of the sternum
bottoms of the tenth ribs
front pelvic points

I know it needs more explaination and I will do that Monday as well


Thanks DoctorBone, these are really helpful. I sure will study some of these. :smiley:


rubs hands


I realize you can’t read my writing, because I can’t read my writing LOL

Copyright mentler 2006

This is all about my system of visual measurement based on the Cranio Index, Skeletal Landmarks, Mapping Angles and Negative Formations.

This page points out the importance of the core landmarks < those related directly to the spine > also a bit about the torso trapezium which tells you about the aspect and relationship of the rib-cage ovoid and pelvic block.

Next I am mapping the extended landmarks > leg baring the most weight always first < then arms treated as one unit across the clavicles.

Next I put is the junctions and try to have a change of direction when possible.

Note: The skeletal landmarks are also where major muscles groups attach so when you connect the dots you have really started to flesh out the figure.

Hope this helps you understand my approach.

Here is more of this Treatise oh the SoFA Forums which you might find interesting



Great stuff, Doctor B! :slight_smile:

I’m still not sure how this is copyrighted though ~ landmarks are well~known. Can you elaborate on how your method differs from known landmarking systems? (Not trying to be pesky, I’m just honestly curious). :slight_smile: