image #57. 15 March 2017. Foetal skeleton.

#57 15 March foetal skeleton 800px

This was my first visit to the Hunterian Anatomy Museum at Glasgow University. It was a delight to draw in. Very quiet, with only a murmur from the surrounding gallery above. The exhibits reminded me of a butcher’s shop window, an Italian butcher’s shop to be precise, specialising in parma ham – often I couldn’t identify the slabs in question until I read the caption. I swithered at first with drawing a preserved foot but while some exhibits looked quite artificial, the foot, with its yellow gnarled toenails, was all too real and turned my stomach. I settled on this 40-week old foetal skeleton, part of a display of a dozen or so at different stages of development. The partly fused ribs reminded me of the webbing on a soldier’s jacket, and I liked its bold stance and beaming grin. It made me think both of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes (see below) and HR Giger’s Alien. Overall I am pleased with how this turned out; I did a preliminary set of sights for the whole figure, then blocked in my best guess at basic shapes; having that armature to work around before you dig into the detail makes life easier.

calvin

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