Recently i've found myself struggling quite a bit with my limitations as an artist. Specifically with the human form, anatomy, proportions etc. I've had no real art training and I know that would be a great way to improve, unfortunately at this point money is tight and there is no way i can give up my rather menial job to go pursue what i really want to do.
A little bit of background. Outside of the daily grind i do a bit of comission work, mostly for metal bands in a pen and ink style. Sort of mimicing that woodcut/engraving style. Very popular at the moment. Anyway, i've found that drawings are taking me far longer than they should due to my need to constantly check everythings right with reference photos. Basically, I just take a photo of myself in the pose i want and then use that as a base for things.
Essentially, I feel that i'm cheating. What's worse is the cheating is making me take longer than i should!
Sob story aside, i'm really just looking for a good book to purchase for someone that needs to re-learn what little they know about figure drawing. What would you guys recommend? What helped you? Any particular study habits that helped?
I'd love to go to a life drawing class, or enroll in an evening course, but right now it's just not an option financially.
Any suggestions for a place to start would be greatly appreciated!