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Before we start, please not NOT regard this as a "how to draw" course. I do not want to teach
any techniques, or tell people how to make illustratiosn that I like.
You keep your style and your techniques, and if you lack these, you can get all the help you
need at a local art course, or by browsing the internet. This is a step by step, on the simple,
but yet easily ignored, art of reading bones.


pelvis with femur, tibia/fibula, metatarsals, phalanges and ungual phalanges; a foot, or PES
As an example we're gonna use the best example on a dinosaur body.
A theropod hindlimb, attached to the pelvis.
This is a good example because this hindlimb is made for running,
and therefore is fitted with prominent shapes for muscle attachment.
For a simple overview of the muscleattachment spots, see the "hints" on the image.


hindlimb fitted with muscles, according to the muscle-attachment spots on the bones
Here the muscles are fitted, as correctly as possible, according to
the muscle-attachment knobs on the bones. On the front end of the ilium
there's a muscle going down to the femur, to lift the knee up. There's allso
muscles from the middle ilium, to keep the femur steady, there are allso
muscles from the pubis helping do this. Muscles attached on the ischium
drags the foot backwards. There are allso muscles from the rear part of the
ilium that does this, since these are the muscles that pushes the animal
foreward while running.
On the front side of the fibula there are muscles kicking the leg foreward
so that the animal lands on the leg, and the hind muscles (much bigger) pushes
the body foreward, and the fibula backward.
Down the metatarsals the muscles are exchanged by strong ligaments, which run down
the metatarsals, on the front and behind, and manages the toes. The toes need to be
very strong, in order to push the animal up and foreward,
for each kick/jump during a run.


all muscles are covered with skin. Claws are covered with ceratine
This step doesn't need much detail. The skin must be thick enough to protect the muscles
and must allso have a slight to moderate fat layer, for insulation. Remember that the skin
wrinkles the most where the bone connections are; by the front and rear end of ilium, the
knee, the ancle, and the toes.


finished hindlimb
This step gives the most liberty to the individual artist. All birds and living reptiles
pose small protective scales on the toes and metatarsal. They are very broad in the front
of the toes, and up the metatarsal, while they are pretty slim in the back of the toes,
and where the metatarsal meets the toes - This is for good movement. Big scales on those
spots would make movement difficult and maybe painfull. Most dinosaur skin impressions
show a kind of "moderate crocodila scale" type. Kind of if you mixed crocodile skin with
the skin of an elephant. Some recent finds of advanced coelurosaurs show feather impressions
and a very recent find of a Psittacosaurus show that even
ornithischians could have feathers or featherlike structures.




Copyright 2001 © Øyvind M. Padron, all rights reserved