Wednesday, 18 March 2015

#618 In the studio: Bone structure and musculature of the horse

There are approximately 205 bones in the horse's skeleton and the artist must understand the skeletal structure. 

The artist must also know the major muscle groups.  Some of the muscles are deep and are hidden by outer muscles that lie over them.  The outer muscles - called superficial muscles - are those that lie just beneath the skin and are of major importance to the horse artist.  Some animals, such as bears are covered with thick fur but a horse's musculature, like humans, is revealed.  Please see blog #448, posted July 31, 2013; and blog #450, posted August 7, 2013 
for more information about this subject.



Shown below, is a drawing of the horse's superficial muscles with some of the main muscles identified.

Neck and shoulder:    1.  Deltoid                               Back and trunk:    10.  Latissimus Dorsi
                                   2.  Triceps                                                             11.  Longissimus
                                   3.  Brachiocephalus                                              12.  Fascia of Back and Loins
                                   4.  Splenius                                                           13.  Ventral part of Serratus
                                   5.  Trapezius                                                         14.  Intercostals
                                   6.  Cervical Part of Serratus                                 15.  External Abdominal 
                                   7.  Sternocephalicus                                                    Obliques
                                   8.  Trapezius                                                         16.  Ascending Pectoral
                                   9.  Pectoral

Hindquarters:             17.  Tensor Fascia Latae
                                   18.  Gluteals
                                   19.  Biceps 
                                   20.  Hamstrings
                                   21.  Hamstrings

    Although tissue, skin, and hair cover these muscles, they influence form.
The very nature of the horse's coat breaks reflections so that muscle masses become soft 
and fused into one another.  The artist must know what lies underneath. . .
In other words:  What causes the bumps, bulges, and hollows that I see on the animal?    

I have sketchbooks full of bone structure and musculature drawings of many animals including the horse.
I have found that drawing the skeleton and superficial muscles is an extraordinary way to analyze physical 
construction while a sculpture is in progress. . . much better than looking at pictures.

Keep in mind, drawing the animal from life allows the artist to portray the true character of the animal.
 I constantly refer to the authors, illustrators, and publications 
that are posted in the previous two blogs for anatomical information.

    Below, are drawings from my sketchbooks after A. Szunyoghy; credit resource.


Below, are images of a great source of information . . . a plastic horse that I use in my studio for reference.
Contact Breyer Animal Creations - copyright, Susan L. Harris  2005

Go to the BLOG INDEX  and Reference Page for more information.

Blog, text, photos, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

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