"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
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 is an extremely exhaustive book and well worth the price. As far as I know, there exists no more comprehensive book on how every muscle interconnects in the human body -- it is truly an encylopedia of the human anatomy. A few things keep me from giving it a 5 star review. 1: Goldfinger's illustrations are fair, but not masterful, particularly those of the human face. 2: Strangely, there are almost no fully rendered full-body illustrations or even any fully rendered "body part" illustrations -- almost all the good sketches are of isolated body parts alone. For example, there isn't any fully rendered muscular illustration that encompasses both the upper arm AND the lower arm(!) There ARE full body illustrations, but only in a more schematical form. 3: There are no "application" illustrations of the anatomy in case studies such as bending, posing, flexing, etc. Most of the examples are in prone positions. Granted, much of this information can be taken from any number of other anatomy books, particularly Richer's "Artistic Anatomy," which this book is largely based on and I also highly recommend. Nevertheless, as a reference guide to the human body, this book has no peer. If you truly want to understand how the muscles of the body interconnect, there is no better alternative. This book is obviously a labour of love.
Detailed -- and disappointing. There are too many written descriptions, too many line drawings, too much wasted space (large margins, half-blank pages) and not enough photographs. The first photograph appears on page 65. Prior to that, over half the pages are primarily, or entirely, text. A randomly selected passage (p. 37): "The tibial platform is divided into medial and lateral condyles. Their top surfaces have elongated shallow facets. These facets articulate with the medial and lateral condyles of the femur..." Much of the text throughout the entire book is of this type. Other minuses include the paucity of body positions, and the dearth of ethnicities and body types. Although the body PARTS are seen from the front, back, and side, there are no bodies DOING anything. There are no old people, no children, no fat people, no thin people, and except for one light-skinned black man, no people of races other than Caucasian. There is very little depiction of male and female differences, although there is some descriptive text of them. While the book description says it includes genitalia, there is extremely little of it -- hardly enough to mention. There is one photo of a circumcised penis from the front, and one from the side; and the same of an uncircumcised one. There are two frontal views of the "female pubic region", one shaved and one unshaved, both with legs tightly together. All of these photos are on one page, and that is the extent of the "genitalia", unless you want to include the page with female breasts. This page has four photos: female breasts from the the front, in 3/4 profile, and from overhead, and one male nipple. Oh yes -- genitalia is also included in the two pages (only two!) of full body photographs. These two pages contain eight photos, four male and four female. Each sex is seen from the front, back, 3/4 front profile and 3/4 back profile. (These same views are given of a male head, but there are no corresponding photos of a female head.) The book goes through the body part by part, the usual format being one page of illustrations facing a page with corresponding descriptive text. The illustrations usually include a drawing of the underlying skeletal structure of the body part under investigation, and next to it two more drawings, one of which adds just one muscle, while the other adds the entire muscle group; finally there is a photograph of the part. The photographs are rather small, often less than an inch and a half wide. (Many of the margins are two and a half inches wide.) One plus is the 39 pages devoted to facial expressions, although, again, more than half of these pages are text-only (again with large margins and lots of blank space), and even the pages of illustration contain only one or two expressions per page, usually a front and a side view of the same expression, in the usual format of skeleton + muscle drawings + photograph. This is not really a bad book, just not worth the money. I wouldn't have bought it if I had examined it first. A better choice for the working artist (especially if s/he is anywhere near the "starving" category) would be Stephan Rogers Peck's "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist". Peck's book ... has much of the same information as the ... Goldfinger book, and includes many useful features not found in the more expensive book. Check out the reader reviews on it!