Arms raised. How to draw arms.

How to draw raised arms for absolute beginners.

The sketches below demonstrate how to draw a subject with their arms raised. Drawing raised arms and getting the proportions correct when the arms are in different poses can be a very daunting thing. It is crucial that the proportions between the shoulder, elbow and wrist are correct to get the arms to look natural. See here.

With the arm lengths plotted, lightly sketch the arm outlines. Remember the arms muscle groups and their relation to the shape of the arm. So be sure to plot them accurately before sketching them in.

Drawing a model with the arms raised above the head.

In the first sketch, you can see the back of the upper arm. She is clasping her hands above her head turning the forearm outward slightly. From her shoulder, the upper arm curves into the elbow. It then curves back out around the elbow joint to meet the forearm. From the elbow, the forearm tapers toward the wrist. See how the back of the forearm appears flat and that, because the forearm rotates slightly a gentle curve appears on the inside of it as it tapers toward the wrist.

To make it easier to understand the proportions of the upper arm in relation to the forearm, I divided the points between the shoulder, the elbow and the wrist into equal parts. In the sketch, there are five equal spaces between the shoulder and the elbow. Yet only three and three-quarter spaces of equal size between the elbow and the wrist.

Nude sketch.Arms raised above the head.

Drawing a model resting her hand on the back of her head

In the next arm raised sketch. Her hand is resting on the back of her head also. Notice the shape of the upper arm. The arms raised and turned back. This makes the underside of the arm visible along with the muscles on its side. The arm then gently curves from her shoulder, as both the Bicep and triceps muscles curve from it to the elbow emphasizing their shape. The arm rotates from the elbow, and the palm facing up. The palm causes the extensor muscles to form a slight bulge in the forearm. The palms extended, facing up which causes the flexor muscles to stretch making the top of her arm appear flat. In the sketch, you can see that from the shoulder there are five equal parts to the elbow and from the elbow, there are three equal parts to the wrist.

Nude sketch. Nude resting her hand on the back of her head.

Drawing a model with both arms raised and her breasts pushed forward

This time, the subject has both arms raised, her palms are extended and facing upward, her breasts are pushed forward. She is not muscular but a slight emphasis on the muscle groups of the arms will need to be shown as they are being tensed to hold the pose. You can see again 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 one so the point between each joint will be slightly less but it does give you an idea of the proportions you need to be aiming at for the arm to look correct.

Both arms raised with breasts pushed forward

Drawing a model with her arms raised and palms extended

In this sketch, you can see that the subject has both arms raised. Note the position of the arms in relation to her body. Her left arm extends to ninety degrees at her elbow and the back of her hand is fully visible. The bicep and triceps muscles are clearly visible suggesting that she is pushing against an object such as a wall. Her forearm extends at almost ninety degrees to her upper arm. This shows the back of the arm and reveals a slight curve of the extensor muscles from the elbow to the wrist. Her body is slightly twisted so the right arm is not extended as far as the left. Notice how the point from the shoulder to her elbow is greatly reduced compared to her left arm. You can again see the shape of both the flexor and extensor muscles in her forearm.

Nude pose.Arms raised and palms are extended

Figurative art, anatomy drawing resources.