Complete Guide to Life Drawing is an accessible guide to figure drawing. It was authored by Gottfried Bammes who had also pu (More pictures on my blog)
Complete Guide to Life Drawing is an accessible guide to figure drawing. It was authored by Gottfried Bammes who had also published many other books, in German.
This is the English translated edition of the German Menschen zeichnen: Grundlagen zum Aktzeichnen. It's a huge book and has 312 pages.
The book adopts a structured approach, starting with the study of proportion, body at rest and motion, followed by a more detailed look at the different parts of the body.
The many wonderful illustrated examples are supplemented by descriptive and insightful commentary. The pictures are from Gottfried Bammes and other Old Masters. There are also several helpful exercises to follow along. While it's not strictly an anatomy reference book, there are still a lot of detailed drawings of the muscles, all properly labelled.
It's a great book for beginners into figure drawing....more
Sarah Simblet's anatomy book is a bit of a mixed bag for me.
Unlike other anatomy books, this one features lots of stunning photography of the body in nude. The models have lean muscular figures and the lighting and poses are great. Some photos are used as underlays with translucent skeleton overlays on top. Unfortunately, there aren't any muscles overlay using this method.
As a book that's targeted at artists, I thought the drawings were not good enough. They are done in a sketchy style that makes it difficult to make out different muscle groups. It takes a bit of effort to understand what you're looking at. You can't draw what you can't make out. That's the major weakness of this book.
Sword's Edge is a collection of fantasy art paintings from the Spanish painter Manuel Perez Clemente Sanjulian, as inspired by Robert E Howard, the guy who created Conan.
There are not just beautiful paintings but also sketches. The paintwork is marvelous, and you can see and almost touch the scars on Conan. Sanjulian also has his inspiration from Hal Foster and Frank Frazetta so there's some similarity in style. But make no mistake, Sanjulian is an excellent painter himself, able to create action-filled scenes and composition.
The hardcover book only has 48 pages which is on the light side but it's large format so the art displayed are big. There are also essays for the writer and artist.
There are four parts to this book. The first part isn't really on figure drawing and introduces the basics of drawing and the stuff you need. As a Dummies series book, this one really assumes the reader has absolutely no knowledge on drawing.
The second and third part are on drawing the head and body. The last part is about other related stuff like clothing, composition, perspective, etc.
This book has a lot of text compared to other figure drawing books. The instructions are easy enough to follow. However, the illustrated examples aren't as nice as other figure drawing books.
I can't believe I'll see the missing-forehead problem in a figure drawing book but it's there on some of the heads. Maybe the author is going for a stylised look? I don't know. The other problem of this book is the lack of examples of posing figures other that the ones in front, side and back views. It's might be a bit difficult to visualise the form and volume of the body, muscles and how they are affected when the body is in different position.
This book might be very affordable, but there are other better ones....more
Here's a book on fine art modeling written by Andrew Cahner, who's an art model himself. This is a handbook aimed at helping other art models who mighHere's a book on fine art modeling written by Andrew Cahner, who's an art model himself. This is a handbook aimed at helping other art models who might not have proper training. He writes not just from the perspective of a model but also that of an artist.
The book is loaded of tips from the author's own experience. You'll read about topics like resuming poses, keeping awake, choosing poses, finding jobs, staying safe, networking in the industry, etc. There are even details like how to file taxes — gasp! — as a model —, or (elastic band) clothing to avoid before a photo shoot. It's all practical tips everyone can relate to.
Andrew Cahner has also included interviews with a model booker, a male model, a female model and a photographer. They give really great insights into the dos and don'ts of modeling, tips on professionalism and other issues on the job. Different perspectives sure help give a clearer view on what it's like to be a model.
There are a lot of resources provided throughout the book. It includes places and websites where you can find more information. The appendixes also come with very handy forms like model release forms, protocol and important guidelines.
This book is like an informative and interesting documentary. I learned a lot even though I'm not a model and not going into modeling. It's recommended to models, would-be models and people who work with models.
Bernhard Siegfried Albinus (1697 - 1770) was a German-born Dutch anatomist which probably explains why even in the eighteen century, his drawings were so accurate. This anatomy book is a compilation of work from two books he wrote at that time, Tabulae Sceleti et Musculorum Corporis Humani (Tables of the Human Body) and Tabulae Ossium Humanorum (Table of the Human Bones).
When I first saw work of Albinus, it was in Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters. There's a skeleton posing in front of a grazing rhinoceros. And on the cover of this book, there's a cupid over a skeleton's shoulder, trying to throw a cloth over it. How cool is that?
Apparently, the drawings were actually copperplate engravings created with the help of Jan Wandelaar. He's the guy who added the decorative background art. It's great foresight to use long lasting engravings instead of print. The reproduction in this book is brilliant because of that, being able to retain all the details not lost to any degradation. You can still see clearly the intricate cross hatches that wrap onto the surface of muscles and bones.
The content is presented with both the original anatomy illustration together with an outlined line art with labels. There are also close ups on the specific parts, which are a marvel to look at. It's comprehensive enough but nothing is mentioned on how the muscles work or body functions.
It covers everything from bones, to muscles to topics like fat, veins, hair, age, sex, race and expression. There are some photos for reference as well. The writeup is descriptive and simple to understand. The examples are well illustrated and clearly labeled. It's pretty comprehensive.
While it also has some figure drawing tips and instructions, it certainly is not as comprehensive as dedicated figure drawing books. Here, it's on the approach to drawing certain parts. There's not much on posing the figure.
I see this book get mentioned a lot on art forums online, for good reasons. It's useful and very affordable.
This book's recommended to beginner and intermediate artists....more
The approach covered is primarily concerned with the use of line, development of form, and the simplified design of anatomy. It doesn't go into contour drawing, shading and expression.
The many illustrated examples are aimed at helping students develop a feel for the form and volume of figures they draw. To that aspect, I think it does a very good job.
The use of simple geometric shapes as drawing guides are simple to understand. Not only that, Michael Hampton also builds onto to those simplified mannequins with lots of clearly illustrated muscles. The muscle groups are visualised very distinctly in the examples. They are colour-coded to bring attention those that affect form when the body is in different positions.
I like the part on finding landmarks — bones that are near the skin. Colour-coded and shown very clearly, with rotating views from front to back.
The book does have head drawing but the focus is on the form rather than the details of the features, although the examples do show the details. It still covers enough for for anyone to draw a decent head.
One thing that's missing is the mention of figure proportions, like how many heads tall a body, length of an arm, etc. That I think will complete the book. There's nothing on bones and you won't learn how muscle works, but this isn't an anatomy reference book. That said, having an anatomy reference book to go along will be extremely helpful.
This is a useful book for artists learning to create and pose their own figures. Recommend for beginner and intermediate artists....more
Actually the copy I have on hand is the German edition of Anatomy Drawing School: Human, Animal, Comparative Anatomy. It's Anatomische Zeichenschule: Mensch. Tier. Vergleichende Anatomie in German. I bought it because I couldn't resist the price of Euro 9.30 (without any taxes for me). And it still is at that price as I'm writing this review. It's either a pricing error or a seriously good bargain - if you don't mind German text.
This book is by the same authors Andras Szunyoghy and György Feher, who also wrote another very similar book called Human Anatomy for Artists, which I also have. This book is thicker at 604 pages and focuses about 200 pages on human anatomy.
If you already have Human Anatomy for Artists and not interested in the drawings of animal bones and muscles, you can skip this book. Most of the illustrations inside have actually appeared in the other book. The only additional part I see is some additional drawings of drapery. The main difference is the other focuses on every single muscle with many different views, this book also has those muscles but in lesser but the basic view — front and back. Bones still have as many views and come with muscle attachment points.
Illustrations of bones and muscles are very big and clear. The animals featured are horse, dog, cat, pig, monkey, sheep, bear, deer, cow, camel and lion. A big bulk is on horses. It's really interesting to see how different the bone and muscle structures are in different animals. I don't have any other animal anatomy books to compare from but this one's pretty good.
I notice that bones in German are named completely different from English while muscles still have somewhat recognisable names. Since the animals have slightly different bones and muscle names, learning them might be a problem.
Overall, it's a pretty useful anatomy reference book. Depending on your preference, you might want to get the English book, or the less dear German edition....more
his is the boxed set containing three Bridgman anatomy books published by Dover, namely, The Book of a Hundred Hands, Heads, Features and Faces and Brhis is the boxed set containing three Bridgman anatomy books published by Dover, namely, The Book of a Hundred Hands, Heads, Features and Faces and Bridgman's Life Drawing. Let's take a look at them separately.
The Book of a Hundred Hands
There's certainly more than a hundred hands in this book — I've tried counting but lost count after a few pages. I would have called it The Book of a Tonne of Hands. The drawings of hands and fingers are plentiful and in a great variety of angles. This is a great resource book to practice from. If you want more hands, just turn the book 90 degrees, again, and again.
I like the style here, which looks more realistic — even though sketchy — than those ultra stylized ones from Burne Hogarth's Drawing Dynamic Hands. However, Hogarth's book has a clearer structure and is easier to follow.
4 out of 5 stars.
Heads, Features and Faces
This is a very thin book at 64 pages. It's an introductory guide to drawing heads. It touches basic construction of heads and the major placements and proportions of features on the face. There's a bit on using cube construction to help draw heads in different angles, but it's really simplified that nothing is mentioned on how to handle jaws.
About a third of the book is on portrait drawings, in his style, of famous people like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, etc. He also talks about some famous artists from the past. I must say that all these are not really necessary although interesting.
If you want to construct heads out of memory, you might want to check out Burne Hogarth's Drawing the Human Head.
3 out of 5 stars.
Bridgman's Life Drawing
The main use of this book is probably to help artists visualise the weight, forms of construction and mass of the figures. Half of the book is on simplified posed figures to illustrate the point. The other half deals with the other parts of the body. There's a bit more on head and features construction here.
This book doesn't teach the anatomical parts which is dealt with in The Human Machine.
This is like volume one of introductory figure drawing and his other book Constructive Anatomy is volume two.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
When the three books are sold as a boxed set, it's a great bargain for the price.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Below are previews I found on Google Books for The Book of a Hundred Hands, Heads, Features and Faces and Bridgman's Life Drawing. If you like the books, you can get them from the Amazon links I've put at the bottom — it goes to the boxed set....more
There are a couple of George Bridgman anatomy books if you look around. If you just want one Bridgman anatomy book, Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life is the book for you. It essentially collects most of the illustrations and commentary from his other books.
This edition is published by Sterling and it's much larger than the Dover editions. It's also thicker at 352 pages. Books included here are:
* Bridgman's Life Drawing * Constructive Anatomy * The Human Machine * Heads Features and Faces * The Book of a Hundred Hands * Drawing the Draped Figure
That's six books for the price of one. Well, almost. It's not a complete duplication of those books, some drawings are left out. The text is slightly rewritten and move around but the main gist remains.
This book covers all parts of the human body. It also touches on topics like use of balance, rhythm and light in drawing figures.
This is not a book that I will recommend to beginners. The commentary is great only if you already understand your anatomy and know your muscles well. This is because most of the illustrations don't have labels so it's not easy to figure out which part he's referring to, unless you already know generally where those muscles are. The drawings are a little sketchy and sometimes hard to make out different muscle groups.
The main use of this book is probably to help artists visualise the weight, forms of construction and mass of the figures. To that extent, the plenty of illustrated examples are helpful at bringing the concept across, and to practice from.
Below's the preview I found on Google Books. You can get a feel of the style just by browsing through the pages....more
Constructive Anatomy is like the volume two to Bridgman's Life Drawing. While the other book deals more with conceptualizing mass and form, this book takes a closer look at the parts of the body.
The commentary talks about the anatomy, mass and movement. He introduces simplified guides to drawing like using cubes to block in the mass first before going into more detail, The muscle drawings although still sketchy are delineated clear enough to show how they affect surface form. Even more detailed discussions on the muscles are dealt with in The Human Machine.
Again, just like other books, the artist with prior knowledge of anatomy will benefit more. It's recommended for intermediate artists and above....more
"Joseph Sheppard has been favorably compared to practically every Renaissance master... he is without peer among modern realists for his ability to impart warm verisimilitude to the figure" - Artspeak Magazine
That's the quote on the back cover. I've my doubts on that comparison but after looking at the figure drawings, yes, it seems the praise is well deserved.
Drawing the Living Figure uses life drawings from models to teach human anatomy. Joseph Sheppard has included 70 drawings of models in different poses, from standing to reclining. Most are accompanied by two diagrams, one for bones and other for muscles, showing how they affect surface form. These drawings are carefully annotated and selective parts are highlighted.
I prefer this book a bit more than Anatomy Lessons From The Great Masters, which has a similar teaching style. The difference is here it doesn't include rough sketches, each piece is a refined completed figure drawing. The drawings are detailed, clear and beautiful.
No prior knowledge of anatomy is required to enjoy this book. It's great for beginner to advanced artists as an alternative reference....more
Here's a great figure drawing book for beginners. The author/artist Jack Hamm has packed the 120 pages with over 3000 illustrations and loads of drawing tips.
What I like particularly about this book is the plentiful use of anatomical landmarks and proportion guides. In demonstrating the height of a man as eight heads, he literally filled the man with eight heads. There are helpful grids for finding features and checking proportionals.
Every subject is accompanied by plenty of examples in different variations, making this book also like a style book. All parts of the body are covered, including a bit on clothing and hair. The instructions are concise and easy to understand.
I've read some reviews complaining about the book being outdated. Well, the only thing outdated here is the hair style but even so, the techniques taught to draw hair is applicable to modern hairstyles as well. Figure drawing itself is a timeless.
This is a very good quick-start guide to figure drawing. It's very affordable and well worth the money....more
Figure Drawing Without a Model is a spiral bound hardcover. The author is Ron Tiner.
I'm disappointed by this book. For a figure drawing book, it sure doesn't teach much about drawing the figure.
Yes, it touches on the essential topics like anatomical structure, proportion and movement. But it really just mentions the bare minimum, and not really in a helpful manner.
In the section of hand drawing, it explains briefly what the hand is made of and gives a tip on drawing your own hands. It ends with what I think is suppose to be the technique:
"Think of the palm as a flat square shape with a curved outer edge from which the four fingers radiate; to the basic shape is added, on one side, a fleshly and very flexible wedge shape in which the thumb is rooted."
That's all there is to drawing hands. No mention of the size of the hand, relative proportion of the fingers and other stuff. There are multiple illustrations but none really helpful — just like looking at one's own hands.
Most important about figure drawing is about posing the figure. Simplified skeletons and blocks are used to help with posing. In the fleshing out part, muscles are drawn onto the stick figures. But it's really hard relate how the muscles are drawn especially when examples of muscles and form are few and only briefly explained.
Other sections suffer the same problem. It talks much about drawing but doesn't teach much about the actual process of drawing. Some of the tips are high on the abstraction ladder and needs to be expanded into with impossible-to-not-understand examples. The general advice is "Practice, practice, practice." Anyone can give that advice.
The book does include additional topics like expressions, perspective, composition, graphic narrative. But those topics aren't core to figure drawing.
Ultimately, this is a very general figure drawing book that I won't recommend it. I'm giving this book a 1-star rating because I find it really hard to imagine, with what's taught, that anyone will be able to comfortably pose and draw a simple figure.
It seems that there are some good reviews for this book on Amazon. I'm shocked. Maybe this book isn't a figure drawing book. In that case, I'll give it a 1-star rating for the misleading title....more
Henry Yan is a painter and teacher at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
This book focuses on the tips and techniques in drawing human figures and portraits. All the paintings included are from his class demonstrations and workshop studies developed from many years of teaching. And all drawings are done from live models.
There are about 20 step-by-step demonstrations from quick 20-minute sketches to long poses. He shows us how he draws and teaches us what to look out for, and the various techniques to approach figure drawing — lines, mass, shadows, etc.
He has a very cool painterly style and energy to his figures that I like. Some pieces are created like chinese paintings, not drawing in too much details to invite viewers to fill in the details (in their mind) themselves.
It's an inspiring book filled with beautiful images, recommended to anyone into figure drawings....more
Compared to Drawing Lesson, this book is much more straightforward. The book is really like an anatomy reference which points you the parts of the body to look for. This pointing and labeling of parts isn't really called analyzing. It lacks the insight that goes into the creative process of these art masters. By comparison Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters really explores the thought process that goes into creating art.
While there are the usual anatomical reference drawings at the back, showing the bones and muscles from from and back views, it's not as comprehensive as other anatomy reference books.
The good thing about this book is of course the figure drawings. Most of them are sketches. It's really inspirational to look at the drawings created around the 15 century by artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rubens, Raphael, and other masters.
This book is not really an essential buy unless you're buying for the drawings.
Drawing Lessons From the Great Masters is an art book that teaches by looking at the art fundamentals used by great art masters themselves — Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rodin, Goya, Rembrandt, among others.
There are 100 master drawings analysed by Robert Beverly Hale on the fundamentals such as line, light and planes, mass, position and thrust, and anatomy. These are all figure drawings. Each illustration is printed full on one page with a certain section selected for analyzing on the next. The commentary is simple and concise, providing great insight to what these artists were thinking. Many of these pieces are really sketches but when you realised the thought put behind every stroke and what the artist was trying to show, you'll instantly be enlightened.
At the end of this book, even if you can't draw yet, you'll be able to identify the difference between a good and bad drawing. And when you draw, you'll remember the principles.
This is a really useful and inspirational reference book, great for beginner to advanced artists.
Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement is a anatomy reference book for artists. The bodies, muscles and skeletons are well illustrated and explained. The different layers of muscles are shown individually as well as a whole. Where the muscles are attached to the bones (even those hidden) are shown. The illustrated examples are plentiful and comprehensive.
The writeup is well researched and written clearly. It has all the technical speak, including pronunciation, but still easy to understand when read. Every anatomy part and every muscle shown is explained in terms of functionality.
There are some drawing tips but not as much compared to dedicated instructional anatomy books. For example, it doesn't teach much on drawing twisting torsos. As such, this will be a great companion to other instructional anatomy books, especially so for those that focus on poses and have less details on the underlying human form.
Overall, this is a highly recommended anatomy reference book, for beginner to advanced artists. For the price, I think it's really worth the money....more
Force: Character Design from Life Drawing is the second book that deals with life drawing by Mike Mattesi, the first being Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators. This book also talks about character design.
The first part builds on the concepts he has taught in the previous book, which are the handling of force, space and shapes of characters. It's presented in the similar style, sketches with tips. For those who like the first book, you would probably like this one too.
The second part on character design. In addition to the sketches provided by Mike Mattesi, he has invited other character designers to contribute their work and thoughts. Photos of models are provided to them who then create their own style of work. Each artist then describes their characters in terms of acting and emotions, showing how they try to get ideas across to readers.
The guest artists are Rik Maki, Stephen Silver, Dean Yeagle, Jake Kazdal, Griselda Sastrawinata, Patrick Morgan, Ragnar, Erin Leong, Marc Perry, Teddy Newton, Steph Laberis, John Nenarez, Mike Daley, Phil Rynda and Deanna Marsigliese. They provide plenty of insights into their personal style, be it the cutout collages of Pixar artist Teddy Newton or the simple cartoon caricatures of Marc Perry.
At the end, there are also sections that talk about giving characters to architecture and animals. They are rather brief, but interesting nevertheless. For animal character designs, you can check out The Art of Animal Character Design for even more tips.
There's no one way to how character designs are done. The approach of this book is to give plenty of ideas to get you started. This book is for anyone who's looking to put more edge and style into their own characters....more
Darkstalkers probably has the most unique character designs in 1-on-1 fighting games. Maybe it's because the characters aren't human and there's more leeway for designs. I only knew of Darkstalkers because several characters appeared in Super Puzzle Fighter 2, which I use to play.
Darkstalkers Graphic File is an art book and game guide thrown into one. There are three chapters, the art gallery, the character profiles and other miscellaneous stuff.
The art gallery section is quite thin with only 24 pages. These are the fully coloured splash pages and character portraits. The style of work will be familiar as they are done by the usual Capcom artists, Ikeno, CRMK, Arnold Tsang, Shinkiro and Kinu Nishimura among other artists.
In the character profile section, additional individual character concept illustrations and sketches are presented. This includes the various designs created for the different game series. Also included is the story of each character, from the first Darkstalker game to the later Vampire Hunter 2. There are command lists, screenshots, ending gallery and victory dialogues. Unfortunately, the screenshots are too small and details in it are hard to make out.
And in the last retrospective section, there's the Darkstalkers timeline, promotional materials like toys and goods, soundtracks, books, etc. There are even command list printouts, those that pasted on the arcade machines.
There's just enough art for it to be considered an art book, and overall is a pretty interesting book I'll recommend....more
The Human Figure is a collection of figure drawings from the 18th and 19th century. There are no captions for the drawings so I'm unable to say if they are drawn by any great art masters.
Other than the section from 1769, where the humans — creepy — are without ears, the rest of the book presents some really cool illustrations. They are mainly simple line art, schematic drawings, pencil sketches and some really detailed cross hatch figure drawings, just like the one on the cover.
The earlier drawings from the 17th century are not really 100% anatomically accurate, as compared to other anatomy books. Towards the end under the 18th century section, there are some really well drawn examples of muscles and bones.
As a bonus, this book contains a CD of all the drawings shown in the book.
The knowledge imparted by the anatomy drawings can also be found in other reference books, such as Human Anatomy for Artists by Andras Szunyoghy and Gyorgy Feher. So the reason for buying this book is probably for the figure poses....more