Trying to find a good anatomy or figure drawing book can sometimes be difficult. There seem to be a kajillion of them, and they aren't all created equal. Fortunately, I have been quite the anatomy book collector, and have many good anatomy books in my library.
Here I recommend only books that I have personally owned, and enjoyed. Many of these books were also required reading in the figure drawing or anatomy classes I attended in art school. Which usually means that they are good, instructional books!
I have linked directly to Amazon.com's and Amazon.co.uk's listing of each book. How convenient!
This book really revolutionized my figure drawing. Burne Hogarth's dynamic drawing style and fantastic teaching methods will really knock your socks off. He shows you how to "knit together" the figure. He helps you to understand its structure, how the body moves fluidly. My figure drawing dramatically improved after I got his book.
I was also exceedingly fortunate to be able to attend a figure drawing class taught by Mr. Hogarth at Otis in Los Angeles. He was as dynamic in real life as he was in his books. He had the entire class enraptured, and we all improved and learned so much. Even though Mr. Hogarth's style has a "comic book" look (he used to do the Tarzan comics) the principles he teaches apply to all figure drawing styles. A must-have book.
Andrew Loomis is a wonderful artist and teacher. His books are always friendly, helpful, and belong in every artists' library. One of his most famous books, (which I am most pleased to have in my library) is "Figure Drawing for all It's Worth." Unfortunately, this book is currently out of print. Used copies are selling for rather lofty prices. (Though you can find an online "archive" of it at Yoyodyne.net.) Since acquiring Loomis' Figure Drawing book is rather difficult at the moment, get what you can of his workin this case, his small "Figures in Action" book. It's gorgeous. You won't be sorry you got it.
The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: A Contemporary Perspective on the Classical Traditionby Anthony Ryder Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk |
This is not strictly an "anatomy" book (no illustrations of bones and muscles) but it is an absolutely stunning book on figure drawing. And it's not one of those "look how good of an artist I am" books, with lots of beautiful pictures, but no real structure or information. (Though the artwork is absolutely gorgeous as well!) This book is packed with fantastic insights on drawingits goal is to inform and educate. Another must-have. This book is being praised by many artists. It is a true gem.
This stylish and lovely book was required reading in one of my Life Drawing classes. I can see why. It's an excellent book that explains anatomy, but not in a dry, stuffy way. A beautiful addition to your library.
This book is full of nuts-and-bolts stuff. Every page has valuable information, and it is shown in a helpful, accessible way. Excellent illustrations and photographs. This was another book that I was required to purchase for an anatomy class. I always have considered it to be a particular favorite.
The Human Machine : The Anatomical Structure and Mechanism of the Human Body by George Bridgman Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk |
George Bridgman's books are small, inexpensive, and full of fantastic drawings. He's especially good at showing the structure of the human body. Get one book, get 'em all. They are very helpful little books. (As an aside, Mr. Hogarth told my class that he attended some of Bridgman's art classes himself. Small world!)
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