The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: A Contemporary Perspective On the Classical Tradition
Many of us want to learn “how to draw.” But as artist Anthony Ryder explains, it’s much more important to learn what to draw. In other words, to observe and draw what we actually see, rather than what we think we see. When it comes to drawing the human figure, this means letting go of learned ideas and expectation of what the figure should look like. It means carefully observing the interplay of form and light, shape and line, that combine to create the actual appearance of human form. In The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing, amateur and experienced artists alike are guided toward this new way of seeing and drawing the figure with a three-step drawing method.
The book’s progressive course starts with the block-in, an exercise in seeing and establishing the figure’s shape. It then build to the contour, a refined line drawing that represents the figure’s silhouette. The last step is tonal work on the inside of the contour, when light and shadow are shaped to create the illusion of form. Separate chapters explore topics critical to the method: gesture, which expresses a sense of living energy to the figure; light, which largely determines how we see the model; and form, which conveys the figure’s volume and mass. Examples, step-by-steps, and special “tips” offer helpful hints and practical guidance throughout.
Lavishly illustrated with the author’s stunning artwork, The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing combines solid instruction with thoughtful meditations on the art of drawing, to both instruct and inspire artists of all levels.
Beautiful people, beautiful pictures.
By Peter Mackay "surgeonsmate" - January 28, 2002
If you are looking for an introductory book to ease you into being a whiz in life class, this is not it.The techniques described are time-consuming and require a steady eye and hand - not something the average beginner has a lot of, with five or twenty minute poses and a wobbly easel.But if you can get a model to hold the same pose for hours, possibly over several sessions, and you have some experience in figure drawing, then you may find this book extremely valuable.Anthony Ryder talks the reader through the techniques, step by detailed step, aiming for understanding rather than slavish repetition. His method is logical and elegant, and if understood and practised, may result in some extremely good drawings.Don't expect overnight success, however - there is a lot that is required before you can even start with this book. You'll need to know basic techniques with your media, be able to judge angles and proportions, have a good understanding of anatomy, and probably be able... read more
Breathes new life into drawing from life
By Phat Kat "poet and teacher" - June 23, 2000
If you're looking for anatomy lessons and short cuts (the eyes are one eye apart, the head five eyes wide sort of thing) then this is not the book for you. If you want to learn how to draw from life, to develop the basic techniques in tandem with a loving patience and relaxed attention, then this book will be hard to beat. Ryder demonstrates his method - starting with the "envelope" moving on to the "block in" then finished contour, and ending with the delicate shading that give life and mass to the drawings - with painstaking (but painless) care and wonderfully helpful illustrations from his own work.I would strongly recommend this book with the warning that there are no shortcuts to drawing as brilliantly as Ryder - one thing that makes this book great is that Ryder doesn't pretend that there are any shortcuts. He admits up front that it takes hours of careful attention and work to get to the finished contour - which is the outline of the figure... read more
THE definitive work on quality figure drawing!
By A Customer - June 27, 2001
As a practicing artist I have to say that this is the finest book of its kind I've come across. If you are serious about taking a traditional approach to figure drawing and want to produce artwork of the finest quality, this is the book to look at. If you just want to learn to do quick sketches then you might look elsewhere, since the approach discussed is time-consuming and painstaking. But it is THE way to go if you are serious about fine art. If I was only allowed to have one book on my shelf this would be it.