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A Lesson in Female Anatomy

A few months ago my friend Alex, asked me to paint up this anatomy figure for him. At first I was pretty intimidated and had no idea how to approach painting her. However, after much deliberation and air brush practice I mustered up enough confidence to get to work. So, ladies and gents taking center stage, this 8 inch tall beauty is available through 3Dtotal.  Give it up for Bertha (well that’s what I named her).


Here she is without any paint and a little sanding work done. As you can see, it’s a beautifully sculpted model with a lot of detail and very realistic proportions. This is an excellent addition to any artist’s reference collection.


Alex requested that I only paint the muscle half. So I set about to masking all the areas i didn’t want to paint. Step one was painting on some Vallejo airbrush liquid mask, followed by painters tape and then more liquid mask over that. Lastly I Gave Bertha a spray coat of White Primer.

FemMod_PiPI took these pictures during the first few airbrush sessions. I started with a warm red-orange basecoat followed by some shading using a darker neutral red. From there I added a few light coats of pink and Ivory. I used a references from the Bodies Exhibit to help with where the lighter colored tissue go. The last step for the muscle tissue were several washes. The first few red washes were to soften the highlights. Then I mixed a brown/red ink and applied that in the recesses to bring out contrast in the recesses. In the final images below you’ll see Bertha after a few white brushed-on highlights and some other detail.

Female Anatomy Model by 3DTotal

And here’s the final version. As a side note, when I originally masked the model I forgot to cover her toes on her left foot. So I mixed up my won gray to match the resin (pretty close if I do say so myself) and brushed that on. This model is very different from the stuff I’m used to working on. The scale is bigger, the detail is more subtle and the style is more realistic. It’s been a fun, challenging project and I’m happy to have finally completed it. Anyhoo, I hope you like Bertha and please share any thoughts you have on her and my paint job. As always, happy painting! 🙂

2 thoughts on “A Lesson in Female Anatomy Leave a comment

  1. Great work! I only wish I had as much creativity you have in just one of your cuticles. But I’ll tell you what I am good at and that is having an opinion (haha). Having seen the bodies exhibition, taken anatomy classes and dabbling in the sciences. I feel that we’re missing out on muscle contraction, a miss Olympian pose if you will. And another idea its too have different areas that reveal the muscular tissue i.e. right foot, left leg, right arm, left side of head and whatever in between.

    Sincerely Justin

    Ps I need some art work done for tattoo, you down, I Pay

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion Justin! 🙂
      As for tattoo art, I’d love to design something for you. However, I always recommend getting a tattoo designed by an experienced tattoo artist. It’s one thing to be able to draw or paint really well, and another to be able to design something that will look good on your skin tone and muscle structure. Also not all illustrations look good as tattoos. Maybe I can help you flesh out (see what I did there) a clear concept that you can give to a tattoo artist for them to expand on?

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