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Anatomy for the Artist

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  22,443 ratings  ·  59 reviews
For millennia, the human body has been celebrated as nature's finest masterpiece. This superb drawing guide helps you unravel its complexity and capture its aesthetic on paper.

Packed with instructive illustrations and specially-commissioned photographs of male and female models, Anatomy for the Artist unveils the extraordinary construction of the human body and celebrate
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Dorling Kindersley (first published 2001)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  22,443 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: art
Some nice photographs and drawings however all the models are a bit too perfect. It would have been more interesting if more body shapes and different ages were included. Also the unnaturally coiffed body hair is a bit distracting. I found the anatomical drawings of most use. The text was not really helpful or instructive to me. I think this is aimed more at those with an interest in life drawing rather than for experienced practitioners. Having said that, it is a beautiful book with some lovely ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it

(More pictures at

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
Marie. Kelly
Sep 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Very informative, agreed. Everything anyone would want to learn how to "draw". Yet i don't believe in learning art practical - if you like to draw, draw. If it's not anything similar to the object you're drawing,sketching, painting, sculpting .. it's irrelevant. What matters is if YOU enjoy art. It's yours, you created it, it's a piece of you. THAT'S art. You do not need to "learn" how to "draw" .. Subjectivism.

However, Informative :)
May 13, 2007 rated it liked it
The only complaint I have about this book is that the models are MODELS. They're too perfect looking. Most people don't have such sculpted abs, and perfect butts. And since when was drawing or sculpting boring perfect-looking people fun? ...more
Barack Liu
Mar 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing

320-Anatomy for the Artist-Sarah Simblet-Biography-2001


" Anatomy for the Artist " was first published in the United States in 2001. It shows the muscles and bones of the human body, thereby showing the relationship between the appearance and internal structure of the human body.

Sarah Simblet, born in 1972. She is a portrait painter and author, and mainly teaches anatomical painting. Studied at Bristol University. Representative works: " Anatomy for the Artist " and so on.

Robert Adam Gilmour
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's surprisingly few anatomy books that focus on photos of people, most anatomy books I've seen before were predominately an artist's drawings and while that may be useful for showing the different layers of muscle and flesh with clarity, I really don't want to be looking at someone else's drawings when I'm learning to draw people for most of the time, because you're always looking at their particular approach, however realistic they draw.
Of course photos have their own layer of stylizatio
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-and-drawing
An absolute brilliant book to draw from. This book is ideal for referance work, for those who seek it i would highly recomend this. Not only does it show great quility photos of different poses and angles but also illustrate the relationship between the surface appearance of the body and the complexities of the underlying structure.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, teaching_seminar
Very helpful! This book is full of descriptive text, photographs, drawings by the author, art historical references, and, unlike many books on human anatomy, it doesn't ignore the genitals. No fig leaves here, my friends! ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book is pretty crappy. It reminds me of what an anatomy book would look like if E! did an anatomy book. It's all bells and whistles... and I'm sure it sells well, but in the end the all you'll really get out of it is knowledge of what an air brushed body looks like. blaaaa. ...more
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
By far the best anatomy book I have found so far. Amazing muscle reference and vellum overlays make this a permanent accessory at my desk.
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this for any body artist...its a great book
Oct 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-related
An EXCELLENT resource for drawing humans, with many hard-to-get reference photos of the human body.
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful and detailed anatomy books.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very informative, well written with excellent photography. The semi-transparent drawings that are superimposed on the photographs are also really useful and something I hadn't seen before. Great ties into seminal works throughout history as well as reference to contemporary artists as well. ...more
Anna Morgenstern
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
I appreciated the use of photos and the concentration of usage of anatomy study *for* the artist, as not many books who claim to do so, don't.
I find it very helpful yet slightly lacking in content.
Overall a good one.
Bhavya Pochiraju
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read that hooks you right from the start. A brilliant cast of characters, with a good story and some really funny moments.
Check out my Art Page [ARTONORIUM]
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fine-art
I found the book very useful in revising some captures human body.....
Cynthia Cat  Garnder
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is the perfect blend between art and beauty of the human body.
I loved it.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good resource but I wish there was more variety in the body types. Beautiful as they are the models are all young and fit.
John Gentry
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, reference
Fun to look at, but I don't think it's really worth owning, or even delving into too deep. ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful resource to have in any artists' collection. ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Pretty much love everything.
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is ideal for reference work, for those who seek it i would highly recommend this to all human , and it shows up how all humans body looks like and everything like that.
Jennifer Hibdige
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading a book like this, so my opinion simply comes from my expectations. So this book had really great photography of the human body, and the various poses. One fault I found in the photographs was that there was only one type of body shape having photos taken of, for a book on human anatomy there should've been more variety. Another fault I found that there wasn't enough sketches, although I loved the photos, the ratio between sketches and photos were off. Those transpar ...more
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference-books
While this is not the most interesting book in the world and definitely not the kind of thing I would choose to read in an idle Sunday afternoon, it is probably one of the most insightful that I have ever read. For someone who is trying to learn how to draw or even improve their skills, this book is awfully useful. It has lots of good reference images, excellent quality photos and excellent bone reference in beautiful translucent pages with the exact positioning according to the model posing. Th ...more
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
This is a very good on anatomy, sure it doesn't go into complete detail of the human body, but it doesn't have to. As an artist's anatomy reference it's great, it covers the skeleton and muscle systems of the human body in good detail, providing a lot of information useful to artists when drawing or sculpting or whatever the human body.

I'm not much of an artist, and am instead a technical person. I rig characters for animation and this book provides me with a better understanding of the human bo
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
THis book is the best out there it's fantastic reference book for aspiring artists, It has a introduction on the history of the study of anatomy, then sections covering each part of the body (as well as the body as a whole). Colour and tonal photos of each part, plus full-body poses, are used throughout as examples, and there are plenty of illustrations of the skeleton and muscle structure too.
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Excellent. There is no other book that has affected my figure drawing skills in the way this has. I drew a face, read the book, drew another. That was it. No practicing or sketching. The first face looked flat. The second looked real. 950% improved just by reading their discussion on muscles, interaction and understanding. Since studying their models more fully I have produced some pretty decent human forms.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Extremely well put together, although very artsy. Of course, this is the purpose of the book. Most of the musculoskeletal drawings are sketched as opposed to drawn, which is the one thing that takes away from it. It lends itself well to understanding the support of flesh and movement but less so to the exactitude of anatomy.

Jeno Barcsay is more suited to those looking for precision, although his books are very hard to find and aren't even available to rate in GoodReads...
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, nonfiction
The real title: Porn For The Artist. Some of the men in here are so HOT, and the pictures of them leave nothing to the imagination. One picture is so fantastic I think about it when I'm not "reading" (oh yeah, like I really read) this book. So how on earth can I think of working with these images in front of me? I can't. I didn't buy the book for that either lol.

And I can't imagine the creators think this skin-book is an "art book." Come on with your bullshit now....

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