"Brilliant.... Exquisite drawings.... Detailed descriptions.... Beautiful and extensively labelled photos of models."--American Artist^"Very thorough and well presented."--C. Moone, University of Colorado at Denver^"Extremely detailed and well illustrated. The drawings of bone structure, isolated muscle, muscle groups, followed by corresponding photographs is very useful. Section on mass conceptions compared with photographs is excellent as well. I can't imagine a more detailed reference for figure study."--Alan Hall, Mohave Community College
Nice book, but it's really an artist's spin on an anatomy book and doesn't have much by way of photo references (more what I was hoping for). If you're looking to learn WHAT anatomy is and how it works, more than photo references, this is a good book.
I bought this book for and used it in my life drawing class in school. Was an amazing resource for learning how to draw muscle in particular. Each page goes into detail on each muscle's origin and insertion points as well as its function. Diagrams of how each muscle looks on its own and in context with other muscle groups are also included for your convenience. There are also photos to further illustrate the muscular landmarks each muscle creates above skin.
Won't help you too too much with the skeleton though so be sure to learn that from another source ahead of time.
I'm using this book mainly to study the form and function of individual muscles. This book has very clear descriptions and diagrams that illuminate what can be difficult to understand in some other references. I recommend this book, it's not a one stop solution to anatomy studies for art, but it is a unique and valuable addition to a collection of works for that purpose
This book is a reference guide to the human anatomy for artists.
The approach here is a part-by-part look at the different section of the body. Each area focused has illustrated muscles and bones with accompanying photo of a model by the side. We can clearly see where different layers of muscles are attached to the bones The photo reference is very useful and provides clarity than using illustrations alone.
The downside is the author isolates the parts too much. If the topic is on the arm, only the arm is shown with very little of the shoulder. Amazingly, there are no full body illustration showing the muscles. The only full body illustrations show the schematic form, e.g. muscle boundaries. So while every part is explained and illustrated well, it's still a bit difficult to get the whole picture.
Most of the examples are static. The body is not doing anything. Again, it's hard to see how the body really works when place in different positions like walking, sitting or twisting. Well, this is a reference book, for bodies in different positions, it's better to get a figure drawing book that focuses on poses and gesture drawing.
Also, a great bulk of the examples are for male bodies. It would have been perfect if more female bodies were included for comparison.
The accompanying text is comprehensive in explaining the structure and how the parts work.
Ultimately, this is a very useful reference guide for any artists who wish to look up any part of the body. It's recommended for beginner to advanced artists.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
this text served me extremely well as i learned figure drawing and is the best anatomical reference i have ever seen, a genuine encyclopedia of anatomy. however, artists should be warned that the approach is analytical (anatomy is broken down into its elements) rather than illustrative (anatomy is presented as pictures of different poses). goldfinger (a sculptor) attempts to explain surface form structurally, from the inside out -- starting with individual bones, then joints, then all visible muscles, facial features (eye, mouth, nose, ear), fat pads, surface veins and arteries, skin folds and finally a gallery of "mass conceptions" of the head, hand and full figure as blocks, continuous planes, cylinders, ovoids and photographed models. (some internal musculature is omitted because it does not affect surface form, but there is extensive information and photo documentation on the facial expression of emotions, largely based on the classic research by ekman and friesen.) this "inside out" approach also determines the content of the 1 to 3 page descriptions of each bone and muscle. in the section on muscles, four diagrams show the skeletal muscle attachments, isolated muscle form, form within surrounding muscles, and surface appearance in lean models, usually from two different points of view. schematic diagrams analyze muscle form into its basic shapes, or show the mechanical effects of muscle contraction. the text is often heavy going but presents unusually detailed and clear explanations of muscle attachments, action, form and interaction with other muscles or joints. there is also much information not available anywhere else, and all sex differences in anatomy (for example in the abdominal musculature and hip bones) are described in the text. goldfinger's goal is to provide the artist with the information necessary to identify the bones and muscles contributing to surface form in any model, any physique or any pose, and i have never found it to fail that purpose. for a breezier and visually more attractive approach, simblet's book is preferable.