Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Art Books

Yesterday three new books arrived.

First "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist" which is excellent, and helped greatly by being bolstered with photographs. More photos with less stark contrast on the lighting would have improved the book, but it's still the best artist's anatomy book I've come across so far and details tiny things, like the difference between male and female belly buttons(!) that a lesser book would overlook.

Second "The Artist's Complete Guide To Figure Drawing" which is less useful to me as a how-to book, perhaps because I can draw! but more useful to me as a visual reference thanks to the many excellent drawings. Just as a botany or wildlife book is better when the plants and animals are drawn, it's the same for people. Oddly, photographic reference books don't seem to be half as useful as the brilliant drawings by Anthony Ryder.

Third "Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery". It's a "this is how I do it" book. Not a "do this" book. Not a "start here, learn this theory, draw this, then voila" book. Not even a "here is how I learned to do it" book. It's a "how I do it book". It's good for the smatterings of theory which can be broken down into five or six basic rules about where wrinkle crests/troughs start and end, then lots of excellent examples of those rules in action. That is all it is. But it's one of only a few "inventing drapery" books so useful for those times when I need to paint that which is impossible to photograph.

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