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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Dec-17 > The torso

The torso

In her new series Adele Wagstaff helps you to understand the proportions and forms of the figure by looking at what the artist needs to know about anatomy


Copenhagen Youth, pencil, 118in (2820cm). Drawing made from Athlete – Roman variant of a Greek sculpture from 350 to 300BC at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen

The anatomy of the human body is a beautiful subject, and its underlying structure is fascinating; its complexity can be overwhelming when we first begin to delve under the surface of the skin.

During my time at Newcastle University and the Slade School of Fine Art I spent much of my time in the life room, drawing and painting the nude and it was while I was at Newcastle that I decided to look more closely at what lies under the skin. I was allowed into the dissecting rooms of the university medical school, and there I stayed for the rest of the term, drawing from skeletons, preparations in cases and directly from dissections taking place for trainee surgeons. This was an absorbing time, which resulted in a number of drawings and paintings.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our December issue, packed with inspirational workshop-style features from our team of top professional artists and tutors. This month David Curtis demonstrates an oil painting of a corner of his garden, Graham Webber shows how to paint boats in the landscape, Judi Whitton shares her 'creepy crawly' drawing methods to help you produce unique sketches without a viewfinder and Penny German reveals her tips for setting up and lighting a still-life subject. Watercolourists will love learning how Claire Harkess paints her prizewinning wildlife paintings, and how to paint a successful botanical subject using just three primary colours following Jarnie Godwin's advice. Writer, broadcaster and painter Andrew Marr discusses his thoughts about abstraction with reference to the development of one of his own compositions, as well as much more to keep you inspired, informed and, of course, drawing and painting!