How to Draw Legs – The Quad Muscles

How to Draw Legs – The Quad Muscles

Hey, I’m Stan Prokopenko. Welcome to Proko. This lesson stars one of the coolest and most powerful areas of the human body. The front of the leg. It has some of the biggest muscles we’ve got, going by sheer weight and size. So dynamic! So powerful! So confusing! The asymmetry can throw off a rookie, but don’t worry, this lesson will teach you what you need to know. Let’s introduce the four muscles. The quadriceps femoris is a four-headed muscle Each head has its own name, So let’s say hello real quick. Vastus lateralis is the largest of the bunch, On the lateral side. Vastus medialis is this big meaty teardrop On the medial side. Vastus intermedius on the interior, It’s a deep muscle we don’t need to worry about. And the rectus femoris in the middle. High up in the middle. They all originate on the femur Except the rectus femoris, Which originates higher up on the pelvis. But not all the way up where the sartorius and TFL attach, Just a tad lower, right here. We group all the quads together because they share the same quad tendon, After insertion to the kneecap Which attaches to this ligament, Which then attaches to the tibia. Remember from the premium knee episode that the purpose of the patella is to help the quads To straighten the leg. Wooooh, wow! Yes! There you go, you just learned the origin, insertion and Action of four muscles. That’s twelve things already. Patterns like this make the quads a little easier to learn. But it’s the shape And forms of these muscles we’re concerned with, And that’s the hard part. The quads can look really awesome When drawn well. So let’s learn how to do that. Asymmetry From the front, you’ll want to look for asymmetry. The sartorius and tensor fasciae latae Create that ‘V’ shape that leads nicely into the gesture and large teardrop shape of the quads. That point at the top starts at the ASIS, Which is off to the side, not in the centre of the leg. At the knee, you want to use more straights to indicate bone and all the vertical tendons in that area. The vastus medialis is the lowest of the bunch. The vastus lateralis is a bit higher up on the outside. The rectus femoris starts even higher at the top of the quad tendon, and goes up at the same angle as the femur. The quad tendon is another place to look for asymmetry. I want to remind you guys about the triceps tendon. Remember how it was diagonal and had a roof with a short and long side? The quad tendon is similar. It looks like a little house tipping over to the lateral side, with an asymmetrical roof. The short side is this top plane that the rectus femoris attaches to, and the long side is the edge that the vastus lateralis attaches to. The vastus medialis connects to the medial wall, and since it’s so low, it has a tendon That attaches along the side of the patella, as well. The quadriceps tendon varies from person to person, in proportion and shape. So, you get a little artistic license here. Basic Forms Ever notice how women in comics will often be posed to accent very specific… …body parts? Well, one of the more common poses for male superheroes is all about the quads. Look at this one. It’s pretty much just quads, delts and fists. In the adductors lesson, We grouped the quads and hamstrings into one large mass, to focus on the adductors. The quads take up most of that large mass. The quads are huge, and on a huge person, they’re even huger. (HULK SMASH!) The quads span most of the front of the leg, and a really large chunk of the side of the leg. The side is defined by the vastus lateralis, and is usually fairly flat. The rectus femoris bulges out in the middle. In a cross-section lower down on the leg, Just above the knee, it’s the sides that bulge out more. We have that bread slice shape as a cross-section. The vastus medialis and vastus lateralis Are the muscles on the sides that make that rounded top part of the bread slice. This quad tendon in the middle is flat in this section. On large hunks, it can even be recessed as the muscle bellies bulge around it. The tendon is thin, so when the knee is bent and the tendon is stretched, you can see the femur’s pointy lateral condyle through it. The medial condyle is covered by the mass of the vastus medialis. Vastus Medialis The vastus medialis is a very prominent teardrop shape on the inside just above the patella. You’ll commonly see a sharp edge where it ends at the bottom. Even on an average, non-muscular person who’s just standing around, You’ll often see a distinct furrow above the kneecap where the medialis ends. The musculature blends together, but the attachments are defined. The medialis is the muscle that the sartorius wraps behind, before it comes back around to the side of the tibia. So make sure you don’t confuse this whole mass As the vastus medialis. It ends here, above the patella. This is the bundle of tendons we learned about last time, from the sartorius, gracilis and hamstrings. Vastus Lateralis The vastus lateralis is the largest of all the quads. In profile view, vastus lateralis looks like a large football high on the leg, with its top point at the greater trochanter, and bottom point just above the patella. The side plane is flat…ish, and when flexed, can flatten even more and get this sharp turn along the front edge. On a crazy buff guy like this, you’ll see some really intense diagonal fibre striations. Also remember the vastus lateralis can be vertically indented by that iliotibial band We learned about in the butt lesson. Rectus Femoris …Not that rectus. The rectus femoris has two bellies. On most people you won’t see that separation, but on athletes, it’s very obvious. The lateral belly is higher up, and more forward than the medial belly. The rectus femoris defines most of the contour from side view. As a final note, I want to come back to the similarity between the quadriceps and the triceps. They both have a low medial head, and a high lateral head from the body of the bone, and a long head that originates on the torso instead of the limb. They both have large tendinous zones at their insertion, and they both straighten the limb. I find these echoes through the body really neat. In premium, we go into a lot more detail about the quad muscles and some interesting things you’ll see on the surface. Get the full anatomy course at In the next lesson, we’ll learn about the biceps of the leg, the hamstrings. Until then, here’s your assignment. Your assignment is the same as last time, except now with quads. Do quick sketch of the legs from the model photos I provided in the description below. Start with a gesture, then focus on drawing the forms of the quads. In premium, I’ll show you how to draw all the assignment photos, so you can check your work.

100 thoughts on “How to Draw Legs – The Quad Muscles

  1. i want to know about when i register the caricature lession with almost no skill before. it can teach me to better than free clib on this chanel? how deep details that paid can teach? i want to register next month after i bought my new ipad with pencil. want to more info pls.

  2. Quien más mira este canal porque no hay más dibujantes que ablen en español y nesesesitas el conocimiento XD

  3. Hey, any chance of a lesson on fat distribution? Muscley people are cool, but I'm often confused about what I'm looking at when muscles are obscured by fatty tissue. I'm often afraid I'm attributing mass to muscle inappropriately, which makes some forms hard to explain, visualize, and recreate. Thanks a lot for the great lessons!

  4. 0:41 introduction of the (s)quads
    1:17 tendon attachments
    2:07 shapes and forms (how to draw it)
    3:11 tendons shapes
    3:56 basic forms
    4:20 cross sections
    5:36 vastus medialis
    6:29 vastus lateralis
    7:11 rectus femoris
    7:36 quadriceps and triceps similarities
    8:23 assignment

  5. thanks for the video it was very helpful could you do a video on different types of unique muscles example people with unique muscles such as 8 pack and figures with bowed legs not many videos talk about such things in the anatomy

  6. Hi, Proko, I have a question: When you draw action in extreme perspective, for example like someone kneeing right on your face. Then the leg become forshorten and distorted. So how do you judge exactly how big the knee and the foot, how long is the thigh and lower leg, and the body… or do you just eyeball it? I have hard time draw it from imagination without reference.

  7. I just draw cartoons and I don't have to worry about anatomy some characters are suppose to look silly BUT I am absolutely terrible at figuring out poses

  8. In bodybuilding and anatomy one truth is essential:

    Your arms are supports…
    You can't play without proper core…
    Your legs are yer team's carry…

    Your head is the observer to see how badly it all comes together… So never skip the for either of them.

  9. 日本語の字幕付けて欲しいです!!
    これからも頑張って下さい(ง •̀_•́)ง

  10. I nearly watched all of your anatomy videos. So I guess the next will be about the anatomy of the lower leg? Huge thank you to everyone who helped creating this video series!! 👍

  11. I love Proko’s expertise and info he gives us but I just wish his channel didn’t come across as something you’d watch in high school.

  12. Never had problems with legs. Hands and perspective were my kryptonite. Always working to get better. Thanks for the amazing videos. 👍👍👍

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