It's been a while since I've updated this thread. I really need to figure out and curve out a time and day for just posting and keeping my profiles up to date.
Earlier this year I did some arm studies as part of my anatomy study series that I have planned for this year.
The intention of these studies are as follows:
1. an understanding of the skeletal anatomy and building the muscular anatomy on top
2. make observations about the motion of the anatomy which include the overlaps, contraction and extension and the overall shape and gesture
3. Value rendering as means of understanding both the form and also how light interacts with anatomy
In this first piece I was pushing the values just a little bit too much in the shadows. I was definitely struggling with the subtle changes of the values in the skin. The drastic difference in each value in some areas gives the anatomy a semi-realistic look. It's great with muscular people, as the contrast in values separates the forms of each muscle really well, but it doesn't work well otherwise, especially with females. I found when working with anatomy that has muscle definition, it was easier as there were more shapes to work with as opposed to female anatomy where there's not a lot definition but to make up for the lack of it, I needed to work on making my values blend correctly to represent the skin tone so that the arms don't look like simple cylinders.
I was constantly reminding myself of the observations that I made on the first set of studies when approaching these ones, as you can see I have started to pay more attention to the shadows and how much of I push in terms of value. The use of reflected light really sold the 3 dimensional aspect of the arms, especially when the reflected light is on the side of the shadow.
There's nothing new to add to this set aside from the fact I started softening out the reflected a little bit more to add the illusion of subsurface scattering that occurs in the skin due to its translucent properties. I also started to put effort in the mid tones and blending them to properly indicate the roundness of the forms. At this point, I've started noticing patterns in the forms and the motion and which allowed me to work a faster in pace when drawing and rendering.
I've gotten better at noting the subtle value variations in the mid tones, but there's still work to done in defining the forms of the muscles. But at the same time, I really need to focus on gesture as well, as I've noticed when focusing entirely on the muscular anatomy, they end up looking just a bit too rigid.