The Skeleton Within



Choose a work of art to sketch in the main figure and draw a skeleton inside the figure using the artist’s style.

Figure and Motion, The Skeleton Within, Tyvek Paper, Acrylics, Watercolor, Adobe Photoshop, 30″X21″

For this assignment, I was required to recreate an art piece showing the skeleton that lies within the body. It was a primary goal of mine to choose a picture that was in black and white. With this, I was able to make the bones that I drew in a tone of yellow, and have them stand out. I consider the skeleton the focal point, and one of the key elements of my piece. If the bones were tones of grey, there is a better chance that when painted over, they might have been completely covered. Also, it creates an interesting visual aesthetic having the whole picture black and white except for one major element of the piece. Another reason in particular that I liked this photo was because of the interesting perspective. This photo has over 60 vanishing points. Utilizing this, I was able to create a stronger sense of depth and have a greater sense of realism. This can be seen heavily in the vents. The line weight towards the left side of each vent is thicker than the right. It tapers down to a single point, and make the vents seem like they are actually going back in space. The left side of the photo is considerably lighter than the right side. The reason was for this was to make it seems as though the left side of the picture was closer to the viewer than the right side. I made the edges of the bones slightly darker than the “meat” of them to make it seem as though the bones actually have real depth, and presence in the piece. I used acrylic paint for the background and the under layer of the bones, and I used watercolor to create the skin, clothing, and hair on the photo. With this, I created the look that the bones were actually underneath the skin and clothing, which was one of the most important goals of the project.

I feel I was moderately successful in recreating the photo of James Dean. I spent a lot of time recreating and mixing all of the different shades of grey as well as recreating all of the lines in the vents throughout the piece. I consider this piece a great learning process, and an experiment of sorts. Before this, I’ve only painted once in my life, and I learned many new techniques over the course of this project. This was my first time using acrylic and it was helpful learning this medium of paint. With the knowledge that I’ve gained from this project, I will be able to maker stronger art in the future.

In Process Photos:








Original Photo


Unknown (1950-1955) James Dean.

Image found at :





Generally most of the skeleton projects were very well.  I was told that to make my project more effective, that I would need to up the contrast in the bones to make them pop more and give them more depth.  Also, I need to make the chest of my skeleton be more clear, so that the image can be read better and make more sense.


About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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