Vanderpoel’s influence

My brother-in-law recommended The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel when he saw that I had a bunch of drawing anatomy books out from the library. This book was published in 1958. It’s crazy! And yet it is amazing how much a thorough description of anatomy can really help you see what you didn’t see before. Here’s one paragraph from the book:

The eyeballs enveloped by the lids protrude partially from their bony orbits. The plane of the orbits or sockets slopes inward from the frontal bone as it descends, making a decided angle with the plane of the forehead and cheek, giving the effect of the forehead being a step in advance of the plane of the cheek. The sockets are somewhat rectangular in form, and descend slightly from the nose outward; this drooping effect in the skull is counteracted in the living model by the eyebrows as they rise from their origin to the outside of the socket.

This is from the chapter on eyes, and it goes on like this for seven pages.

And yet, if you can stay awake and pay attention, it actually really helps. It’s also useful to refer to the studies that line the margins of the text.

After reading this (for as long as I could handle it in one sitting!), I made a few drawings of my daughter while she worked at the computer. This is probably one of my most accurate likenesses of her. So there you go!



I was catching up on some 99% Invisible podcasts. I love the crazy buildings and colors of Hundertwasser, so it was really cool to hear a whole podcast on him. Here are three pieces inspired by the podcast and by Hundertwasser himself. (I just looked up the podcast to make sure I had it right and it looks like my inspiration has a tiny mistake in it: the tiny detail of a simple article. Sigh.)

The first two are pen and watercolor brushes. The third is a playful experiment on Adobe Illustrator.