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Arms raised above the head.
Using the sketches below I will attempt to demonstrate the proportions of the arms when raised above the head. In each of the examples I first set out the points between the shoulder the elbow and the wrist. See here. Once I had done this I lightly sketched the outline of the arms remembering the muscle groups and their relation to the shape of the arm.
In my first sketch you can see the back of the upper arm. The forearm is turned outward slightly as the subject is clasping her hands above her head. Notice how the upper arm curves in from the shoulder to the elbow and then back out round the elbow joint to meet the forearm. From the elbow I began to taper the forearm toward the wrist. Notice how the back of the forearm appears flat and that because the forearm is turned slightly there is a gentle curve on the inside of the forearm as it tapers toward the wrist.
To try to make it easier to understand the proportion of the upper arm in relation to the fore arm I divided the points between the shoulder the elbow and the wrist into equal parts. In this sketch you can see that there are five equal spaces between the shoulder and the elbow and only three and three quarter spaces between the elbow and the wrist.
In the next sketch the subjects arm is raised and she is resting her hand on the back of her head. Notice the shape of the upper arm. As her arm is raised and turned back the underside of her arm is visible along with the side of the Bicep and triceps muscle. From the shoulder her arm gently curves as both the Bicep and triceps muscles curve from the shoulder to the elbow slightly emphasizing their shape. From the elbow her arm is turned with her palm facing up causing her extensor muscles to form a slight bulge in the forearm. Her palm is extended and facing up causing her flexor muscles to stretch making the top of her arm appear flat. In this sketch you can see that there are five equal parts from the shoulder to the elbow and three equal parts from the elbow to the wrist.
In this sketch the subject has both her arms raised and her palms are extended and facing upward. She is not of a muscular build but as with the previous sketch you will need to slightly emphasize the muscle groups of the arms as they are all being used to hold the pose forcing them to tense up. Again you can see the gentle curve over the bicep and triceps muscle of the upper arm and the curve of the extensor and flexor muscles on the lower arm. This sketch is slightly smaller than the previous sketch so the points between each joint are slightly less but again they give you a rough idea of the proportions you need to be aiming at for the arm to look right.
In this sketch you can see that the subject has both her arms raised. Note the position of her arms in relation to her body. Her left arm is extended to ninety degrees at her elbow and the back of her hand is fully visible. Her bicep and triceps muscles are also clearly visible suggesting that she is pushing against an object such as a wall. Her forearm is extended almost at ninety degrees to her upper arm showing the back of her arm and revealing a slight curve of the extensor muscles from the elbow to the wrist. Her body is twisted slightly so her right arm is not extended as far as her left. Notice how the point from her shoulder to her elbow is greatly reduced compared to her left arm. Again you can see the shape of both the flexor and extensor muscles in her forearm.