TUTORIALS - The Book of Bones - by Doctor Bone


Thanks Mark here are a few more…


Thank you so much doctor bone … b4 this…im having lotsa problems …with figure drawing…but with ur method … it helps me alot!..thanks again! again and again!!


This is the system that I have developed and use to invent figures without using models or reference.

The first page basically refers to the flaws in using the head as a unit of measurement.
The number one problem with systems based on the head is that the head is an ovoid and changes shape and dimension as it is rotated in space the second problem is that the landmarks fall on flesh i.e. nipples and navels which of course vary depending on sex, age, weight and position.

The system I have developed is based on a sphere which does not change shape or dimension when rotated in space and thus becomes much more useful to the artist as a system of creating the human form in space.

This page is one I did recently from memory.

This is a first page of a complete tutorial on the Cranial Index and the Cranial Grid.

As you can see the torso from the top of the head to the pubic bone is 5.5 units and the legs from the top of the great trocantor to the floor measures 6 units.

I am starting here with the spine and out from there.


This is the first installment on how to diagram the pelvis based on the CRANIAL GRID SYSTEM from THE BOOK OF BONES.

Next installent in a couple of hours.



I totally agree with your sphere theory…works like a charm, when creating forshortened figures
in the Z BRUSH program,…using the Z SPHERE’S that they have in there.
I’m doing some forshortened figures of boxers, for a boxing series that I’m working on in my skechbook thread, they are a few pages back from the last page…using sphere’s as my starting points…seems to work fine…just letting you know that your theory is being put into practice, and is working great…:thumbsup: :slight_smile:
As always,…a real pleasure seeing your drawings, and reading your thoughts behind them.
Really looking forward to seeing more…:slight_smile:


Glenn, I really appreciate your feedback. I think most people fail to realize how far superior the sphere is, as a unit of measurement, to a head system.

The head system becomes pretty much useless when you are working with anything but a straight on pose. And as far as I am concerned is even less useful in inventing the figure from memory.

Once you understand this system you can create any pose from imagination.


Here is the second installment of the pelvis diagram from the front view.
Remember that the squares of these grids represent cubes and everything you see here can be projected in space using the same system.

Third installment later today.

It is later… side view tomorrow


Mini-Tutorial continued <> Cranial Grid used to block-in pelvis from side view.

One thing I would like to point out here is that I do all of these exercises freehand to increase my ability to measure and draw things visually rather than using measuring devices.

This is the kind of knowledge one has to have to draw the figure convincingly without reference.


On with the show.

I don’t stress often enough that the diagrams and schematics that I have developed are based on solid forms. They are orthographic parts of a plan to be able to visualize and project the forms in space. So use them to simplify complex structures but remember a square is always a cube and circle is always a sphere.

Here are a few very quick thumbnails using the information from the diagrams to visualize the pelvis in space.


your stuff’s always so extremely helpful! [the only thing is the writing LOL - it’s taking me forever to figure stuff out :D]


Intervain <> thanks much <> need feedback <> lets me know someone is watching LOL

[B][I]Thanks all for your support in 06 and look forward to hearing from you in 07.
BTW lets me hear from all of you from time to time so that I know someone is following this thread.

Much more could be done with the pelvis and we will do more when I get to the muscle structure.

Here is the first installment of the rib-cage discussion.

The rib-cage of a large framed adult male fits nicely into a Cranial Grid of 4 units.

Please note the reference to the 5 eyed line which I have borrowed from Hale and continue to use because it is very helpful.

As most of you know the skull is approx. 5 eyes wide from the front view.
The sternum also divides into 5 equal units not including the arrow shaped ensiform cartilage which falls at the bottom.

Also note that the first five ribs attach at the top of each segment with the exception of the first rib which falls in the middle of the first segment of the sternum (manubrium)

It is important to know the position of the first rib and the fifth rib and of course the tenth rib. This as you can see greatly simplifies the rib-cage and makes everything fall into place.

Note the plane break that I have indicated, where the cartilage attached to the bone and the angle changes from a downward angle to an upward one.

This is a start <> more to come <>[/I][/B]


Heya DoctorB,

Would love to see you run a Workshop here on the Anat Forum if you are interested in 07 - would be a great learning experience for us all. :slight_smile:

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Sounds like a plan <> lets talk!


The best way to work out the details for a Workshop is by email - feel free to contact me anytime at rebeccak4@gmail.com

Happy New Year! :slight_smile:


A replacement for the head measurement system in figurative anatomy? I’m all for that!

I have a bit of catching up to do, I’d just like to let you know that I most certainly will be following this thread from this moment on! Your drawings are absolutely stunning, I can’t wait to read more of your thoughts on the figure and drawing. :thumbsup:


Adam, thanks <> This system of measurement has been use by Archiolgist and Anthropologists for decades. Robert Beverly Hale developed it’s use for artist’s when he taught at the Art Students League. I merely am taken a step or two farther.
It will become obivious to anyone that works with this system that it is far more accurate than head measurements because it is based on the constant shape or the sphere and the constand position of bony landmarks.

First, let me again say thanks for your support in 06 and I will try to keep them coming in 07. As most of you know I am working on several projects including DVD’s and books. I am also planning to do some streaming videos step-by-step tutorials as well.

I know this looks like a great deal of measuring but in reality I stress during everything visually and freehand without the use of mechanical aides.

The purpose is to train the eye to see visual relationships and proportions.

These are all based on the “Cranial Index” (sometimes called the Sternal Index) which is used by the scientific community in human studies.

I would like to stress that drawing is really a matter of connecting the dots.
It is about knowing where a line starts and where it ends. In anatomy we calls those insertion points. Getting from one insertion point to the other is what line does the way that the makes that journey is what makes the difference.

One must have some concept of proportion and that proportion needs landmarks to make it functional.

The following plan diagrams and thumbnail projections are based on a grid system which I have developed based on the “Cranial Index”

I could give many acknowledgments here but will save that for the books.

These are just beginning sketches and roughs for book folios.

I know they are hard to read and I apologize for that as well.

I have heard many times in forums like these that, I hate school or I am not good in school and all I want to do is art.

Let me tell you that it is all very important. Learn as much as you can about math, (especially geometry) physics, biology, history, literature, English, music, dance, architecture, botany etc. etc. etc.

The more you know the better your art will be.

In dealing with the rib-cage remember that the important thing is its over-all form and as far as the details such as individual ribs note the insertion points the angles and fine the first, fifth and tenth ribs is probably enough for a starting point.

The rendering of detail is not as important as understanding that function creates form.

Most medical skeletons have spinal columns that do not have as much curvature as in a live person (look at x-rays if you can) most anatomical text drawings are done from these inaccurate skeletons.

So try to make sure you understand the correct curvature/vitality of the spinal column because that vitality will put more life into your drawings.


I review this stuff before every lecture. I work from memory to see what I may have forgotten. I find I learn more every time…


thank you for making the tutorial!i ve always had problem drawing human movemetns and everything!this has been a great help
and glad i replied…XD…cuz i found the bone infos on the back pages…
thx alot!ill be studying it very hard


Loving your work Doctor, it’s a great concept that I’m looking forward to experimenting with. I hope your book and DVDs are progressing well, I’d definitely be interested in a Book of Bones.


I think this book is up to about 10,000 pages now. LOL

I will start keying all of this text in the SoFA soon!


wow 10,000 pages O_o

but anyway helpfull as always!!