Any more advice on reference books?

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  1. #1
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    Any more advice on reference books?

    After I was told (for some reason) that I shouldn't be using How-to-Draw anime books for anything, I decided to buy Hogarth. Then I was told that he sucks shit. Then I bought Bridgman, but I don't really care for his illustrations, besides maybe his hand references.

    So, I wanted to be sure this time, before potentially throwing away more money, that what I'm going to be ordering is top-notch and A-ok. I'm aware of the books in the stickied thread, but anyone can post, and it's hard to gauge the value of one book over another (Hogarth is recommended in there).

    What I have is:

    "Drawing the Head and Figure" by Jack Hamm - http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Head-F...pr_product_top

    From the reviews I've read it seems he is a great source for beginners.

    Second, "Figure Drawing: Design and Invention" by Michael Hampton - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615272819

    Seems like his stuff is more organized, and more "clean", than Bridgman.


    and as an aside, "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" by Stan Lee and John Buscema - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...the+marvel+way

    Just because.


    I'm mainly looking for stuff on the head and facial features at the moment, but anything decent on the figure as a whole, I would also like. The only reasonable resource book I have now is Stephen Pecks, "Atlas of Human Anatomy", so I'd like to beef up my collection with more quality books.

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  3. #2
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    I would strongly recommend Michael Hampton. I don't know this book of Jack Hamm, I have the "How to draw animals" that book is ok. I would forget about the Marvel one.

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  5. #3
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    Those are all great book choices u listed Matthew. If i could reccomend another, at least if concept art is what you are interested in, i'd reccomend picking up The Skillful Huntsman, by Design Studio Press. It's a great example of industry standard work, and each page is a model for a good way to compose a portfolio. It isn't anything like a guide on good anatomy or anything like that, but is just good for anyone serious about concepting.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixel cheetah View Post
    I would strongly recommend Michael Hampton. I don't know this book of Jack Hamm, I have the "How to draw animals" that book is ok. I would forget about the Marvel one.
    Um, don't forget about the Marvel one. While the Marvel one may offer up how-tos on drawing anatomy (which are so-so at best), it's really what it teaches you about being dynamic and energetic in your work that makes it a worthy read.

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  9. #5
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    Andrew Loomis, all of his stuff, but I'm sure he's been recommended to you by now. Jack Hamm's books are great. Michael Hampton's book is amazing, but make sure you have a decent understanding of proper anatomy before delving too deep into it, or at least study the hell out of that atlas of human anatomy book (which is also terrific). I wouldn't dismiss Bridgman so quickly, there's a lot of great information in his books, and are a nice compliment to Hampton regarding the constructive approach of the figure (plus the copyright has run out, so they're archived by Google, therefore free).

    Make sure you don't go overboard on books, the ones you've listed plus maybe Loomis are all you're really going to need. Sometimes it's easy to get lost looking for more and more books, and you never get to actually studying them. Sometimes you already have everything you need.

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    Drawing People by Barbara Bradley

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    I recommend that you just get them from your local library because I own all kinds of art books and there's maybe two that I would buy again. Most were a total waste of time and I learned more just by looking at art and reading comics than I did reading any of 'em.

    My advice is "read everything and think for yourself." But for obvious reasons it's a bad idea to just *buy* everything.

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    "The Artists Complete Guide to Drawing the Head" by William Maughan.
    "Henry Yan's Figure Drawing Techniques and Tips"
    "Life Drawing in Charcoal" by Michael Graves.
    Giovanni Civardi's books are good.
    Subscribe to "Drawing" from American Artist.
    Loomis - read the "Opening Chats" in every book. Copy out the passages that strike you onto 3x5 cards. Put them under your pillow.

    Just remember, reading them won't help...unless you're doing it.

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    Another book for anatomy reference is, all of things, a book called "Strength Training Anatomy". Really clear illustrations that show muscle interactions, and from a few different angles that artist anatomy books don't really show. Plus, it's an exercise book, so bonus!

    The illustrations are of a person that's about as buff as Conan the Barbarian, so subtlety it ain't, but you do get some really nice muscle diagrams and examples of what exactly is relaxing/contracting with various movements.

    "Composing Pictures" is also another great book - I'm still working my way through it, but it's split its information into fairly small segments, so you don't have to wade through huge chunks of text at a time (which I can have some trouble with.)

    Dover really needs to put out a better publication of Bridgman's stuff, because his drawings are absolutely outstanding to see. But then Dover goes and publishes these books that have drawings that looked like they were xeroxed several times before they were published...wtf is that about?

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    The Artist's Guide to Human Anatomy

    probably the best book on the subject of artist anatomy and figure drawing

    http://conceptdesignworkshop.blogspo...r-artists.html

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  18. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgonzola View Post
    Another book for anatomy reference is, all of things, a book called "Strength Training Anatomy". Really clear illustrations that show muscle interactions, and from a few different angles that artist anatomy books don't really show. Plus, it's an exercise book, so bonus!

    The illustrations are of a person that's about as buff as Conan the Barbarian, so subtlety it ain't, but you do get some really nice muscle diagrams and examples of what exactly is relaxing/contracting with various movements.
    That's one reason I got Anatomy of Exercise as it shows the muscles relaxing of expanding depending on the strain they're under. It was cheap too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgonzola View Post
    Another book for anatomy reference is, all of things, a book called "Strength Training Anatomy". Really clear illustrations that show muscle interactions, and from a few different angles that artist anatomy books don't really show. Plus, it's an exercise book, so bonus!
    Definitely - this is an excellent resource. It also has some women bodybuilders.

    Another great muscle ref is "Visualizing Muscles" by John Cody. They painted the muscles on the model and have him in various poses.

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  20. #13
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    "The Artists Complete Guide to Drawing the Head" by William Maughan.
    "Henry Yan's Figure Drawing Techniques and Tips"
    "Life Drawing in Charcoal" by Michael Graves.
    Giovanni Civardi's books are good.
    Subscribe to "Drawing" from American Artist.
    Loomis - read the "Opening Chats" in every book. Copy out the passages that strike you onto 3x5 cards. Put them under your pillow.

    Just remember, reading them won't help...unless you're doing it.
    Jeffx99 gives good advice; these are very useful books and I second their recommendation.

    William Maughan's book is very useful for portraiture; I don't think you really need anything else for learning portraiture.

    Maughan's book has the added benefit of explaining analysis of form before going into portraiture.

    Not certain how far you are in your art education, but analysis of form is more fundamental and important than nearly anything else you will learn; it is the foundation upon which a drawing will be guilt. Lose the shadow shapes and form and your drawing will fall apart.

    Loomis is good, but I particularly recommend his "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" as there are some good diagrams of the planes of the body as well as the head.

    I don't know anything about the Henry Yan book, but I've seen Mr. Yan draw in real life; watching Mr. Yan draw is like a magic show: a beautiful drawing just seems to appear out of thin air and a few pencil marks.

    Last edited by Aaron Fung; June 16th, 2011 at 03:27 AM. Reason: technical difficulties
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  21. #14
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    PS

    I forgot to mention Mr. Noah Bradley's stickied thread in the Art Discussion forum:

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=152626

    This is a very good list of books, to which I would only add Richer's Artistic Anatomy; we used this book in ecorche class in order to sculpt the anatomy:

    (click on either of those two links to see my ecorche anatomy sculptures)

    http://aaronfungart.blogspot.com/p/ecorche-2004.html
    http://aaronfungart.blogspot.com/p/ecorche.html

    Richer's book is probably the best all around book for artistic anatomy, though it's diagrams of the face are not so great.

    For the portrait I'd recommend Stephen Peck's "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist" as it has some rather detailed plates of the muscles and bones of the face.

    Incidentally, Mr. Peck's book is recommended in Mr. Bradley's stickied thread as well.

    And, in addition to your bookish studies, always be drawing from life.

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