Figure Drawing: Anatomy of Style | CG Master Academy

Figure Drawing: Anatomy of Style

An 8-week course on developing a drawing language by simplifying anatomy into basic shapes and gestural lines

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Develop your drawing style

Patrick will discuss traditional drawing rendering techniques which he uses to simplify anatomy into basic shapes and gestural line to create a language your memory will use to unlock and develop your personal style of drawing.


Course Format:   Custom
Lecture Type:   Pre-Recorded
Feedback:   Live feedback (recording available)
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week | Live Format
Materials:   See syllabus for full materials list
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Analytical Figure Drawing course OR foundational knowledge of human anatomy

Figure Drawing: Anatomy of Style WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Introduction to materials (see syllabus for list) | Drawing the head: break down the formula for drawing the head
Break down the formula for drawing the figure
Long poses | In-depth focus on the hip structure and gluteus in various positions | Gravity and compression | Group and mass
Body landscape | Long poses | In-depth focus on the shoulders and chest in various positions | In-depth focus on foreshortened poses | Chasing rhythms
Long poses | In-depth focus on the torso and breasts in various positions | Gravity and compression
Body landscape | Long poses | In-depth focus on foreshortened poses
Long poses | In-depth focus on the arms and legs in various positions | Drawing with style, sanguine on toned paper
Long poses | In-depth focus on hands and feet in various positions | Drawing with style, sanguine on toned paper

Bringing out the best in talent

Patrick J. Jones is an award winning artist, author and teacher. He has worked as a concept artist and book illustrator for most major companies and his work has featured in major U.S. exhibitions, both in NYC and Pennsylvania. His oil paintings and drawings reside in private collections worldwide. Patrick is the author of two best selling art technique books: ’Sci-fi & Fantasy Oil Painting Techniques' and ‘The Anatomy of Style detailing his figure drawing methods. His third book, ‘The Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art of Patrick J. Jones’, has just been released from Korero Press. His latest book on figure drawing, ‘Figures from Life’, will be released in early 2018.

Student interviews


April 23rd!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




April 23rd!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

Need guidance?

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review / course recommendations!

Figuratively Speaking

Interview with Landon Markasky

Freelance artist Lanny Markasky gives an in depth look at how he captured the spirit of the class and gave it form in Patick Jones's course, Figure Drawing: Anatomy of Style.

Figuratively Speaking


My name is Lanny Markasky, and I’m an artist in New York City. I grew up in Santa Cruz CA in a very creative environment, with my mother being an artist, and my father a guitar builder. I moved to Los Angeles at 17 to study art, and after receiving my BFA in illustration from CSU Long Beach, I moved to NY with my wife to pursue a career. I’ve been working since 2015 as a freelance storyboard and concept artist in the advertising and film industry. I work on everything from commercials and music videos, to tv and movies. Figurative drawing and painting has always been very important to me, as well as crucial for the type of work I do. I’ve continued studying and working from life at places like The Art Students League of NY, and Chelsea Classical Studios. I’ve always done so much figure drawing from life, I didn’t see much reason to take a figure drawing class on the computer, but I signed up for Patrick Jones’s Anatomy of Style course anyway, and I’m very glad I did!



Working Traditionally In An Online Course

It was really interesting working traditionally for an online figure drawing course. It really wasn’t much different from taking a class in person. You get the same lectures, same demos, same feedback, etc. Even submitting homework was as simple as taking a picture on my iPhone and sending it in. The one thing I feel like is worth talking about is the idea of learning figure drawing, without a live model. While there is no substitute for drawing from life, Patrick does bring the next best thing by supplying great photos, under good lighting conditions, that he’s taken personally. The class itself is also focused more on understanding concepts of figure drawing and anatomy, so Patrick’s handouts and references were really more than enough. The drawing below is an example I did from a photograph, but you can see how I’m applying what I’m learning, using a photo as reference, but not simply copying the photo.



However, aside from only doing homework from the photos, I made an effort to always go to figure drawing sessions, and do the homework from life as well, and I would highly recommend it to anyone else studying figure drawing. Working from life made it easier for me to understand the concepts, and the better I understood the concepts the easier it was to apply them to working from photos and imagination.




Drawing The Muscles

Something I found very helpful was the way Patrick introduced the muscle structures. His instruction is a result of his years of experience studying anatomy. He’s not just regurgitating the words of an anatomy book and explaining where muscles attach, he makes it clear what’s most important, depending on the given area. In one place it might help most to understand the origin and insertion of a muscle, in another place it might be better to understand the grouping of multiple muscles, then somewhere else you might want to focus on the larger overall form and think less about some of the specific anatomy. This way of learning sped up my progress and made it easier to come up with a process of working.




Analyze, Understand, Draw

Patrick was always drilling into our heads the idea of AUD, analyze, understand, draw. I found this to be incredibly important in my work. It got me to slow down a little and really understand what I was looking at before I made the mark. Not only did it make my drawings better and more descriptive, but it actually speed up my process because I was getting the mark down right the first time instead of having to go back and fix it.




The Spirit Of The Pose

I loved how Patrick talked about capturing the spirit of the pose, because it can’t be captured by copying a photograph, you have to really make an effort to understand and communicate what’s happening. It’s a great way to create a more interesting drawing that tells a story. I consider one of the most important things in capturing the spirit of the pose, capturing the relationship between the three large masses in the body, the head, ribcage, and pelvis. When I look at a model I’m trying to understand the pose. Is there a weight bearing leg or is the weight more evenly distributed over both legs? Are there areas of the body that are stretching and other areas that are pinching? How are the masses oriented in space and in perspective? Is there anything twisting? Which muscles are activated and which are relaxed? Where is the skeleton underneath the muscles? And so on. Answering all these questions in my drawing gives me not just a copy of what I’m seeing, but it allows me to clearly communicate what’s happening in a more convincing way.




The Hip Structure

I really enjoyed the in-depth study of the hip structure. Patrick had very clear diagrams to help identify the forms, and did a great job explaining the differences between men and women. A little thing that made a big difference for me was learning about the fatty pads woman can carry under their great trochanters on their thighs. A bump I’ve seen plenty of times working from life, but never understood what it was or how to properly describe it. He also had great mnemonic devices for remembering them, like the butterfly to describe the gluteus medius and maximus.



My Process

I approach drawing the female figure the same way as I would a male. I start by trying to capture the gesture, really emphasizing the movement between the head, ribcage, and pelvis. I try to enhance the drawing more by looking for rhythms throughout the body, finding areas where I can draw lines through the body to find where they might relate to. For example, continuing the line of the neck may take me to the hip. Learning about the differences between men and women, I was able to exaggerate my drawings of the female model to enhance the effect. For example, the smaller ribcage, the wider hips, even the additional fatty pads in certain areas.



Hands And Feet

Hands and feet are always tricky, and I believe they’re two areas should be carefully designed. It was great having Patrick explain his approach, and learning how he chooses to simplify. Like most of his teaching, he focused a lot on gesture and exaggeration, which helped me think more about getting the energy and the action of the hands and feet. It was also helpful getting the hands and feet down in general shapes first before getting too descriptive of the structure.



Seeing The Development

Patrick really got me thinking about making art, and making confident decisions in my work, rather than using drawing purely to study a subject. Before this class I focused a lot more on understanding the figure in line, which I still think is a great exercise, but as an illustrator who is very interested in design, I wanted a new approach. It was great working with Patrick because he helped me get to a place where I was still concerned with three-dimensional form, gesture, and rhythm, but I was able to work more with shapes of value. Furthermore, he helped me embrace line as part of a finished drawing, where I would normally use line only to construct the figure and then render in the value. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to create the illusion of realism, we can forget that we’re still just putting charcoal on paper, and that we need to embrace the strengths of the medium.






Final Thoughts

Patrick was an amazing teacher and provided really helpful feedback. He actually gave most of his feedback during the live Q and A’s, where he would go over our homework right in front of us. It was great because not only could we ask questions, but we also received input from our fellow classmates. 

What was so exciting for me about this class was how different it was from all my other figure drawing classes. It really is different learning figure drawing from an illustrator than is it from a fine artist. Since everything is from imagination and photo reference, I learned a lot more about making decisions instead of simply capturing what I see. Working from life has always been more about studying the model and describing form. Patrick got me thinking more about just creating good art.

I would highly recommend this class to any artist interested in figure drawing, especially if they’re in the illustration field. Patrick really knows his stuff and he’s very passionate about it. He also really cares about his students learning and progressing. 


You can see more of Lanny's work here.
Instagram: @Lanny.Markasky

The More You Know

Interview with Mariette Jacobs

Mariette Jacobs tells us how 8 weeks in Figure Drawing: Anatomy of Style helped her understand human anatomy but also gain confidance as an artist.

The More You Know


Hi Everyone! My name is Mariette Jacobs and I am an artist from the Netherlands. I have been working  as a 2D concept artist and illustrator in the game industry for 4 years on different mobile titles. Before that, I studied Game Art & Design at the University of the Arts in Utrecht. 

As an artist I'm always eager to improve my skills whenever and however I can. I usually work digitally, but this course has brought back my love for traditional art. Recently I started focusing more on character design and figure drawing. I've chosen the Figure drawing: Anatomy of style course to get a better understanding in anatomy and to improve my skill and my style. 



Drawing the Head 


At the beginning it was a fun challenge to work in a traditional media. It was really refreshing touching the pencil, paper and chalk, instead of looking at a screen. In the game industry everything is done digitally, so it's easy to forget the traditional fundamentals. Patrick clearly demonstrates how to use these tools and make them work in your favor. He provides images you can work from, however this does not mean you can't use other references. It would be even better if you are able to attend live figure drawing sessions! 



The Female Figure 



What is interesting about Patrick's approach of drawing the figure is that he talks a lot about finding the balance between structure, gesture and style. You don't want the figure to look like an exact copy of the photo, because it will make it look very stiff and unnatural. Understanding the figure is key to finding that balance. To make it look, how you want it to look. I always enjoy having some stylization within my work but at the same time, create enough definition to make it feel real. 

When I start working on a figure, I usually do a couple of warm up sketches of the same pose to understand what I'm looking at. Where are the angles, what kind of shapes am I seeing and what is my focus point within this figure. Once I figured that out, I put down the landmarks of the body and build it up slowly. 


The most challenging poses, were definitely the foreshortening ones. It is important to understand how overlap works together with proportions. Especially when working from a photo, the camera can skew the image quite a bit. Patrick helps you understand the image and then gives you the tools to conquer the pose. 





With the arms I tried to see the rhythm within the muscles. One muscle folds into the other one and they constantly overlap each other, which creates a flow within them. Knowing this helped me deconstruct and understand them. Understanding how the body works, really helped me draw better. I believe this applies to a lot of aspects in art. 



Patrick shares his study sheets of how certain muscles and structures work in the body which I placed all over my workspace so I always have my reference nearby. The more you look at something, the more you will apply this knowledge. Another trick Patrick teaches you is to use mnemonics for different parts of the body. For example: The deltoid looks like a heart, the ribcage looks similar to a braid, or the kneecap looks like an ice- cream cone. 



The Hand & Feet 


Hands and feet are the toughest body parts to draw, all of the previous lessons helped me find the balance between structure and gesture. This is where all these lessons came together. Especially with difficult topics like the hands and feet it is best to give yourself room to think and observe before you put down a stroke. It will actually make your drawings work better and your process much more enjoyable and faster. 




One of the things Patrick taught me were 'ghost lines'. Ghost lines are areas in your line work where you leave an opening and let your drawing breathe. They are a great way to give your work more dimension and life. As a viewer, you usually don't even realize they are there, because your brain is wired to fill in those gaps. 

My drawings changed drastically during this course. I have a much better understanding for the underlying structure of the body as well as seeing the rhythm and shapes. I know how to work with tools like charcoal and pastel and bend them to my will. But most importantly, I gained more confidence in my own art! 



Final Thoughts

Feedback rounds are done by having a live Q&A session with the entire group so it’s easier to start a conversation with Patrick as well as your fellow classmates. Patrick also addresses a lot of problems people encounter throughout their art career and varies from low self esteem issues too how to deal with a client. 

For me the biggest philosophy take-away is: understanding that if something looks or feels wrong, it probably is. Even though it is structurally correct; trust your own eyes and judgment. This course did not only improve my traditional work but it brings another layer to my digital work as well. Patrick is a great teacher and I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their figure drawing as well as improving on their own style! 

You see more from Mariette here: