Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Favorite Figure Drawing Books

I love buying books on art...technique, artists, styles, art movements. And what's great about buying any art book is that every time you look at it, you will see something new and gain some new insight. They don't have to be a big investment, either.
The book in the lower left "Drawing the Nude" was a great find for under $7 at barnes and Noble. The author is Diana Constance who also wrote the book above - "Complete Life drawing Course". While the drawings may not be the best figure drawings out there, they are all solid examples of technique and style. She gives a great over-view of drawing techniques and time-honored methods of improving your drawing skills.

Inside each book I find an abundance of inspiration - I love the "Big Book of Drawing and Painting the Figure" by Muntsa Calbo - he has an incredible technique and includes many examples from other great figure artists, both famous and unknown. He also shows a lot of works in progress, which i think is so important- the next best thing to watching a great artist work.
"How to Draw the Human Figure" by John and Jody Raynes also has a great over-view of drawing technique, and ends with a section on figures in environment which is very helpful and gets he artist thinking about beyond the studio, There are some beautiful color palettes in theses pieces especially.
I have written about "Drawing from Life" in a previous post...definitely one of my favorites!
The important thing to remember when buying a book is - no. 1 - not all the images are "the best of the best". Many of these are instructional drawings, meant to illustrate a point, not to be seen as "fine art". Read, but also look at the pictures with an eye for IDEAS - do you like the pose? is it a great sense of space? do you like the line quality? is it an interesting color palette? When you need an idea, or inspiration to take your work to the next level, or just a gentle reminder of HOW to draw (technique!) these books never fail me. I look forward to adding more to my collection!

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