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Complete Life Drawing Course [Paperback]

Diana Constance
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 31 2001 Quarto Book
“Lively and accessible...progressing nicely from quick-pose sketches to more ambitious interpretations of both the character and the form of the person one is drawing...covers a variety of media and explores light and shadow, clothing and drapery....[Constance’s] use of cropping, pastels, collage, and monotypes attests to her preference for creative expressions....an outstanding book for public libraries.”—Library Journal.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Civardi and Constance take two entirely different approaches to drawing the human form. Civardi's is a detailed, classical manual, informed by his study at the Faculty of Medicine, Milan, and his teaching of sculpture and drawing. He describes each part of the skeleton and each muscle, using frontal, lateral, and dorsal projections. Academic libraries will want this unless they already own Civardi's previous trilogy, Drawing Human Anatomy, Drawing the Female Nude, and Drawing the Male Nude (LJ 3/15/96). Constance's book is a more lively and accessible volume, progressing nicely from quick-pose sketches to more ambitious interpretations of both the character and the form of the person one is drawing. Constance covers a variety of media and explores light and shadow, clothing and drapery, and varying perspectives. Her use of cropping, pastels, collage, and monotypes attest to her preference for creative expression over accuracy. The result is an outstanding book for public libraries. For an advanced book appropriate for both academic and public libraries, see Robert Beverly Hale and Terence Coyle's Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters (LJ 7/01).
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
The standard to which Diane Constance ought to be held is contained in the choice of words for the title: "The COMPLETE Life Drawing Course" [Caps mine, -BB] So is this a "complete" art instruction in figure drawing? No, it isn't. It's just another art "how-to" book sacked up and shoved over the Fast Food counter to go.
Diane Constance gives a terse and peremptory glossing over of the fundamentals of figure drawing, and most pointedly, we are obligated to ask ourselves: "Do we need another HOW-TO figure drawing book at his time?" "Are the published figure drawing books woefully inadequate?"
Well, in fact, some of the popular titles published today are woefully inadequate. Unfortunately, Diane Constance's book "Complete Life Drawing Course" must join the ranks of those cloned texts that offer the same trite superficialities over....and over....and over yet again. At a suggested retail price of $19.95 this book better deliver, and it doesn't, so what's the point? Really great art instruction is already in print, with good anatomy sections included, for far less money.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Begins well but is quite incomplete. Nov. 24 2003
This book starts off with an excellent pictoral discussion on anatomy, with both male and female models in many various posings.
Unfortunately, once one moves past this excellent beginning, the book rapidly becomes unusable by most artists studying their craft outside of a classroom or studio environment...which means the vast majority of artists will find this book of very limited use, and good for theory only.
Far from explaining all media, it shows only a two-page layout of basic tools of the trade...this is a pen, this is a brush, this is an oil crayon, etc...and then moves into the "exercises" which turn out to be essentially useless, as they require the artist to have a live model present. It is astounding to me that with such a beautifully laid out and well written beginning, and such well done exercises, that the author should choose to omit photographs of the models she worked with in the creation of the book. Nowhere at all does the author state that one needs a live model to complete or even perform the exercises that comprise the majority of this art book...and during the exercises, she even suggests asking the model to make various poses. I found this unbelievable...how can you write an art instruction book of this nature and not mention the need for a live model?...and extremely disappointing, as well as very, very frustrating. Now, the book is essentially useless to me in all but theory.
If you are currently, or planning to, take a figure drawing class which will feature a live model, then this book is for you. It is very well written and the photographs, instruction, and exercises are superb for the beginning or intermediate artist, or any artist venturing into anatomy for the first time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars concise and informative April 6 2003
By amie
It presents a lot of information very succintly. The book begins with a section on the human body: bones, muscles, movements and balance and progresses into 8 lessons on learning the basics of catching the nude form. It then provides 8 lessons on various ways to draw light (including a couple that have been covered in a basic design class I am taking), 8 lessons in picture making, and additional projects to try.
I have also been attending a figure drawing group, and have found the instruction contained herein is invaluable to understanding what 'information' is needed for short poses and long poses, and all of the ways one can accurately capture the essence of the human form.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! May 7 2002
By Vince
Wonderfully done! Starts out with basic anatomy and proportions and shows how these translate in a moving figure. Large clear photos cover both male and female anatomy. The majority of the book is then dedicated to teaching you to develop your own style through various media and then critique your work. A brilliant book for both beginning and intermediate artists. Would be cheap at twice the price. A definate must have!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great how to book for figures and life drawing Nov. 28 2001
By A Customer
I wish I'd found this book before I'd bought other, less complete and helpful ones! This book shows techniques and all media and is a bargain! I was glad I got it to review before I took a figure drawing class because it helped me to do much better.
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