Today we’ll show you how to draw arms.

When drawing arms, it is very helpful to be familiar with the bone and muscle structure.

When one understands that the forearm is made up of the ulna and radius, for instance…

… it is easy to remember that the arm tapers from the shoulder to the elbow, then flares out again to accommodate those two bones before tapering down to the wrist.

Study the anatomy of the arm carefully, and drawing will be greatly simplified.

Begin by sketching the shape of the arm. Keep in mind that even at its relaxed state, the arm does not hang straight down, but bends slightly at the elbow.

Also note that if the arm is hanging at the side, there should be a straight line from the back of the neck through the center of the arm until the arm bends at the elbow.

Draw lines that indicate the deltoid muscle in the shoulder and other muscles that may be visible, as well as a mark where the elbow, wrist, and hand will be.

Build up the appearance of muscles on the arm by shading and picking out highlights. On the upper arm, you may see deltoids, biceps, and triceps indentations.

On the lower arm, you will see a furrow beneath the ulna bone, especially if the arm is bent.

You may need to reshape the arm if your sketchy strokes were too straight; contrary to appearances, the arm is almost never straight, but a series of slight in and out curves.

Blend the shaded tones following the curve of the arm and pick out highlights on the tops of the muscles with a kneaded eraser.

You may need to add the darks again if they were lightened in the blending process.

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