Fall is here and it is time to draw spiders. In this season female spiders have reached their full size and are ready to mate. Their webs are easily seen in the morning dew. Understanding how the body is put together will help you draw what you see with greater ease.
As in insects, the body is divided into segments. The head and the thorax (where the legs attach) are fused into one pear shaped segment, the cephalothorax. The eyes are set in the front of the cephalothorax. The eyes are often in groups and make distinct patterns on different kinds of spiders.The chelicerae are stout appendages below the eyes that support the fangs. The large abdomen has most of the organs and the spinnerets that make silk for the web.
Think of the legs as having three big segments. The Femur is the first big segment. It is thick and muscular. The patella and tibia are effectively one segment although there is a little side-to-side movement at the joint between them. They are usually aligned. Similarly, the metatarsus and tarsus are usually aligned. Unless you have powerful magnification, you probably will not see the patella-tibia and metatarsus-tarsus joints. You can effectively ignore the coxa and trochanter as they are small segments close to the cephalothorax and do not make prominent angles on the legs.