"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
ByParkaHALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon September 13, 2009
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.)
After purchasing this book I was very disappointed with the information the way it was presented. This book is extremely biased towards using male subjects as the so-called norm. What is dangerous about this type of book is that it teaches artists only about stereotypical male anatomy. The skulls depicted are all male caucasian skulls. Therefore it would lead people to believe that the alpha-male skull is a generic skull, which to me is simply biased ignorant thinking. Personally, I was hoping for a resource that would not only give information about male & female skull differences and body differences, but also to compare and contrast differences between the races. Not only does it leave out the differences between the male and female skeleton and musculature, but it bases all of its drawings on caucasian male anatomy, which to me is very incomplete. Also, the book skimps on discussing proportions. I have seen amateur websites that do a better job discussing facial proportions than the information covered in this book. Lastly, I am giving this book a 2 because about the only good point about it is that is does a good job describing muscles. Personally, for a serious artist I would look elsewhere.
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!
As an artist and sculptor I have found this book a valuable addition to my anatomy reference library. It has what almost every other artist anatomy book is missing. Well lit Photos that correspond to illustrations of skeletal and muscular structures. The facial muscular system is better described and laid out than I have ever seen in artistic reference material. My main beefs with this book is the lack of variety with the models. I would like to see examples of fat distribution as well as the focus of muscle and well defined males. I would also like to see the same attention given to female anatomy as was done for male anatomy. I do realize this would double the size (and price) of the volume but for reference of this caliber I would readily pay for it. I have also found the accompanying texts are heavy in medical lingo that doesn't serve the average artist, but the images well than make up for the text. Over all an excellent reference book.