Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Book review: anatomy book for artists

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a book which I then found very useful.
I own several texts on anatomy for artists, including Bridgman's Constructive Anatomy, which is probably one of the best around.

This other book is called Anatomy Lessons From The Great Masters, it's by Robert Hale and Terence Coyle. Finally I found a book that explains clearly what to look for when attempting a life drawing or painting.
Hale takes examples from masters such as Pontormo, Raphael, Durer and many others.He points out clues to what lies beneath the skin. These clues can be a tiny ink line or a gentle shading but still locate precisely muscles bones or tendons.I particularly enjoyed the explanation of a quick Rembrandt sketch which seemed so naturally executed but betrays a very deep knowledge of anatomy.

There is not too much emphasis on anatomical terms, and every master drawing is accompanied by a labeled graphic scheme.
I think the book is also a wonderful catalogue of drawing languages, how artists have managed to describe human form convincingly using a variety of marks.

I am slowly going through the sections of the book and it clarifies concepts which of which I had a very nebulous grasp. I am definitely going to bring it along on Thursday's life session !

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