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Sketch: Frontal Bone

Wednesday: February 8, 2012

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Busy as expected, I haven’t had time to summarize my class notes. Readers probably care less than I do about that – my notes here are just a drop in the ocean of knowledge that is being poured down my throat, so I doubt it holds much interest, but I like writing them because it aids in crystallizing my understanding of the material. Maybe not obvious was that last semester, I would dump notes just prior to a test. Maybe that will be the case this round as well.

However, I have decided to dedicate some time periodically to sketch bones, though not for artistic purposes (though I do hope that by the end of my stint in the program, they will be pleasing to the eye – a dual purpose perhaps as I hope it builds my drawing skill). Instead, my purpose is so that I can really get it in my head the features of bones to aid in identifying and siding them. I also find drawing to be mildly therapeutic and a nice stress-reliever so perhaps a tri-purpose?

I will begin this series with easily identifiable bones and then turn to other angles of the same bones, before gradually sketching more complicated and fragmented pieces as time goes on and I get skilled enough to represent them correctly. This is the plan anyways, who knows if I will be able to keep up with it. I bought a recycled sketch pad and some drawing pencils, but I warn you that my last drawing class was in the early 2000s. For now, don’t expect much!

A sketch of a nearly complete frontal bone.

The frontal bone is the bone of your forehead. In some people (and in all children) this bone is actually made up of two bones, a left and a right. The suture between the two is called a metopic suture, although this is completely or near-completely fused in most adults. In this example, you can see what is known as a trace metopic suture, just where the nose begins. A prominent point used for measurements both metrically and non-metrically known as glabella is also visible. Along the edge of the upper orbit, there could be a supraorbital foramen or a supraorbital notch (this particular example had a notch). Along the orbital surfaces, sometimes porosity or tiny spikes develop – a condition known as cribra orbitalia, associated with iron deficiency.

A sketch of a nearly complete frontal bone with highlighted features.

There are many more features, but these will get you started. If you find this interesting, I suggest grabbing a copy of a skeletal text book (The Human Bone Manual by White is a quick reference guide, or Human Osteology either by Bass or White will get you started). Of course, you could always start with a skeleton model. Boy started me with My First Skeleton, otherwise known as Tiny Tim a couple years ago for fun.

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