How to Draw Calf Muscles – Leg Anatomy for Artists

How to Draw Calf Muscles - Leg Anatomy for Artists

hey I'm Stan Prokopenko welcome to proko today we're gonna learn how to draw calves calf muscles so the calf has two muscles but only one insertion tendon probably the most famous tendon of all tendons okay the Achilles tendon that's all of this the Achilles tendon attaches the gastrocnemius and soleus to the block of the heel when the calf contracts the Achilles tendon pulls up on the heel to straighten the ankle so soleus and gastrocnemius point your toes which means the strongest calf muscles belong to the ballerinas maybe let's get right to the heart and soul of the matter the soleus soleus soleus comes from latin for a type of black sandal which is a pretty accurate description of this muscles form we've seen mattress muscles like this before Dracula's in the arm vastus intermedius in the quads we kind of blew off vastus intermedius because it's almost completely hidden but the soleus is very much visible on the surface it can be seen independent of gastrocnemius even on thin figures it clearly pokes out from underneath the edge of a gastrocnemius soleus can even be seen in front view here behind the tibia and gastrocnemius is here behind so it's kind of like stair steps soleus exists entirely below the knee originating from the tibia and fibula it's important to notice how slanted soleus is high on the outside low on the inside gastrocnemius has the same slant if we zoom way out this angle fits the pattern of alternating apex ease throughout the leg the zigzag of asymmetry these are rhythms we seek to exaggerate when we want to draw dynamic anatomy roughly 2/3 down the leg cilia's begins to narrow and interlace with the Achilles tendon it leaves a gap as it passes behind the ankle at least one finger in width the gastrocnemius now with a superficial superstar gastrocnemius as important as soleus is mount gastric is more of a focal point it's probably the muscle you think of when you think of the calf the hamstring tendons create this tunnel for the gastrocnemius to squeeze into this top region is normally hidden by a fat pad but it's good to know the origin anyway gastrocnemius originates above the knee on top of the femoral condyles and it has two heads one for each condyle these heads tend to soften together to create a round bump this is where the name gastrocnemius comes from its gastric as in stomach because the anatomist our throne shape and saying that the calf looks like a big round potbelly anyway it really is two separate heads and they split one the calf tenses these heads are not symmetrical the lateral head ends higher and tends to create at a bleak edge that flows into the soleus the medial head is bigger and rounder you'll usually see it take a sharp turn inward to attach to the Achilles tendon in essence the lateral head makes a slash and the medial head makes a hook together they kind of make an upside-down heart the gastrocnemius is most interesting where muscle meets tendon about halfway down the lower leg if you're idealizing the design you can make the muscle longer on a female to get that sleek feminine look that artists often go for and a little shorter on a male if you're shooting to make your model look more masculine and accent their muscularity there's a lot of variation in that proportion between individuals and of course when gastrocnemius contracts the belly shortens so if someone's wearing high heels or reaching for something up high the muscle belly will shortly remember that slant today achilles tendon doesn't come in like this but at an angle like vastus medialis in the quads the medial gastrocnemius head is low and heavy and creates a round form where it meets the Achilles tendon now for the calf muscles final form the Achilles tendon despite the legends about its fragility the Achilles tendon is actually the thickest and strongest tendon in the human body it wraps around the lower third of the calf and funnels muscle tissue from soleus and gastrocnemius into a thick cable that anchors down on the heel bone this creates a v-shape the narrowest point of the tendon is about three fingers with above the heel so let's review from inside profile we can see how the gastrocnemius is big and round while the soleus is wide and flat the gastrocnemius meets the Achilles tendon at around the halfway mark if we smooth things over the calf looks like an upside down bowling pin or a chicken drumstick or a caveman's Club except it's slanted high on the outside low and heavy on the inside when the leg tenses it splits into three forms the two heads of the gastrocnemius and the soleus flowing down into the Achilles tendon and that's what you need to know to draw the cow except of course all the stuff I left out of this video that stuff is in the premium video puh-puh-puh premium and premium will analyze the forms in more detail and expand on the anatomical info and as always you'll get assignment demonstrations 3d models and ebooks of course there's only one way to really master Anatomy get that pencil sharpened and let's get started on your assignment your assignment is to do tonal studies of the calves from the photos provided in the description below start with a linear land making sure you're tracking everything where it should go and then add clean tone on top study the planar structure of the calves make sure to post your assignments in the community at pro going to comm / groups if you want to be featured in the critique video all right thank you guys for watching leave a comment below if you have any questions about the calves


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