Knees, and general anatomical fixation


I’ve never heard of anyone struggling with knees. They drive me nuts. Most anatomy books only focus on the condyles themselves, along with the patella, the fat pad underneath, and the patellar ligament, but looking at reference (live or otherwise), it is clear there is so much more going on. Some anatomical references do include the retinaculum, but it seems that their orientation and insertion is very inconsistent from book to book. Also, I’ve yet to see an anatomy book that really delves into the fascia. Most artists don’t seem to pay much mind to the knee, just putting in a sort of bulge, but I just don’t seem to be able to do that.

I haven’t really been able to do any work for several years because little things like these bug me so much (knees are just the current fixation). It seems that without exception, once I start drawing the figure I become obsessed with trying to figure out the underlying anatomy. I used to be able to just fudge things like everyone else, but I can’t seem to do that anymore. Sure I have anatomy books, hundreds in-fact, but they are all simplified and often contradictory. I used to be able to just accept that the human body was too complicated to accurately represent, and you just had to sort of fudge things, but now I can’t seem to remember how. It’s weird, I can look at someone elses simplified shapes, and replicate their work, but if I look at a reference image and attempt to simplify the anatomy myself, it just seems impossible, like there is some kind of disconnect in the brain that didn’t used to be there. I actually think maybe it could be due to a neurological problem, or maybe studying human anatomy for too long can cause neurological problems (a lot of my older anatomy books warned artists that they shouldn’t look too deeply at human anatomy because of the possibility of neurosis). I also seem to have an odd fixation on making sure my lines all converge in such a way as to make quadrilateral shapes - they don’t have to actually touch, as long as my eye can follow the lines in such a way that, if extended, the figure appears to be entirely composed of quadrilaterals (hard to explain). I’m thinking maybe because used to want to be a 3D artist, and I focused a lot on making sure my meshes were composed entirely of quads for subdivision purposes, that maybe when things got screwed up in my brain the impulse became hardwired. A number of odd tics, speech disturbances, a loss of depth perception, and general muscle weakness seemed to occur around the time I started having these problems as well.

Either some good references, or general advise would be appreciated. Or just let me know if you suffer from the same problem.