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Drawing the Living Figure Paperback – May 1 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (May 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486267237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486267234
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 21.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Parka HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 9 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:21 Mins
"Joseph Sheppard has been favorably compared to practically every Renaissance master... he is without peer among modern realists for his ability to impart warm verisimilitude to the figure" -- Artspeak Magazine

That's the quote on the back cover. I've my doubts on that comparison but after looking at the figure drawings, yes, it seems the praise is well deserved.

Drawing the Living Figure uses life drawings from models to teach human anatomy. Joseph Sheppard has included 70 drawings of models in different poses, from standing to reclining. Most are accompanied by two diagrams, one for bones and other for muscles, showing how they affect surface form. These drawings are carefully annotated and selective parts are highlighted.

I prefer this book a bit more than Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters, which has a similar teaching style. The difference is here it doesn't include rough sketches, each piece is a refined completed figure drawing. The drawings are detailed, clear and beautiful.

No prior knowledge of anatomy is required to enjoy this book. It's great for beginner to advanced artists as an alternative reference.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carlo R. Montoya on March 18 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the book I should have bought when I spent some initially for "Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life" This is perfect for beginning artists like me who aren't overly concerned with the finer details of human anatomy but rather with surface anatomy. The textual content is in plain English unlike Bridgman's "older" English.
However, this book does have one blemish: some of the letter markers are difficult to see against heavily shaded body parts (because the letters should have been white instead of black in these areas). But after reading a few pages, you'll be able to determine where the letter should be (sometimes they are missing too or perfectly blended in) or where the indicated body part is.
I still rate it 5 though because it proved extremely useful to me personally.
I also bought "How to Draw Manga: Bodies & Anatomy: Human Body Drawings for Creating Characters" which is a visual reference rather than a "why" book. The drawings are clearer (devoid of light and shade) and should also appeal to those who only want to draw "cartoon" like human characters (i.e. manga, GI Joe, He-Man, Thundercats).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has some good detailed artwork in it, but its instruction isn't as detailed as hoped. Its not sitting somewhere on my bookshelf forgotten. Suggest a better alternative would be Jack Hamm's "Drawing The Head and Figure", around the same price, very detailed yet simple to read through.
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By Calzephyr on Jan. 4 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is both useful and economical. It covers male and female nudes in different positions and angles (3/4, side, frontal).
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