Anatomy/Figure Study References and Resources
Below We have a variety of resources to help you find your way to better learning on your artistic journey.
The video below is an archived livestream presentation focusing on ways of learning how to go about the pursuit of better figure drawing, how to approach doing master copies and great references and resources to research.
Below we have also some of our free livestreams for your enjoyment and we have complied a comprehensive of references and books for you to look into for more info.
Leonardo DaVinci (1452 - 1519) Renaissance genius
Leonardo started his study in the anatomy of the human body under the apprenticeship of Andrea del Verrocchio. As a successful artist, Leonardo was given permission to dissect human corpses at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence and later at hospitals in Milan and Rome.
Leonardo's anatomical drawings include many studies of the human skeleton and its parts, and of muscles and sinews. He studied the mechanical functions of the skeleton and the muscular forces that are applied to it in a manner that prefigured the modern science of biomechanics] He drew the heart and vascular system, the sex organs and other internal organs, making one of the first scientific drawings of a fetus in utero. The drawings and notation are far ahead of their time, and if published would undoubtedly have made a major contribution to medical science.
References: Vitruvian Man and his notebooks and studies
Andreas Vesalius (December 13, 1514 – 15 October 15, 1564) Woodblock ecorche
A 16th-century Flemish anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body).
Vesalius is often referred to as the founder of modern human anatomy.
The Illustrations from the Works of Andreas Vesalius of Brussels (1950 edition)
By: J. B. Saunders, Charles O’Malley ISBN: 9780486209685
Charles Bargue (c. 1826/1827 – 1883) Classical drawing and rendering
Charles Bargue was a French painter and lithographer noted for devising an influential classical drawing course. He is mostly remembered for his Cours de dessin, one of the most influential classical drawing courses conceived in collaboration with Jean-Léon Gérôme. The course, published between 1866 and 1871 by Goupil & Cie, comprised 197 lithographs printed as individual sheets, was to guide students from plaster casts to the study of great master drawings and finally to drawing from the living model. The Charles Bargue Drawing Course is used by many academies and ateliers which focus of classical realism. Among the artists whose work is based on the study of Bargue's plate work are Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, who copied the complete set in 1880/1881.
Charles Bargue Drawing course (1866), ISBN: 978-2867702037
Dr. Paul Richer (1849 – 1933) Average Human Proportions unit Head height
Paul Marie Louis Pierre Richer was a French anatomist, physiologist, sculptor and anatomical artist who was a native of Chartres. He was a professor of artistic anatomy at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Artistic Anatomy (1971), ISBN: 978-0823002979
New Artistic Anatomy: Female Morphology (2015), ISBN: 978-0994731302
John H. Vanderpoel (November 15, 1857 – May 2, 1911)
Studied at the Academy Julien and where he taught as a drawing instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Stuck to the Beaux art tradition while denouncing modernism. His students include, Leydecker & Georgia O’ Keeffe.
The Human figure (1907) ISBN: 978-0486204321
This great classic is still unrivalled for its clear, detailed presentation of thousands of fundamental features of the human figure. Every element of the body (such as the overhang of the upper lip; the puckering at the corners of the mouth; the characteristic proportions of the head, trunk, limbs, etc.; the tension between connected portions of the body; etc.) both major and minor differences in the structure and representation of the male and female figure.
George B. Bridgman (1865–1943) Structural and constructive approach
Bridgman used box forms to represent the major masses of the figure (head, thorax, and pelvis) which he would tie together with gestural lines and produce to create "wedges" or simplified interconnecting forms of the body.Studied at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts studied the arts under painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme. Taught at Art Students League of New York for 45 years some students include Will Eisner, Andrew Loomis, Frank J. Reilly, Norman Rockwell as well as his successor, Robert Beverly Hale.
Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life (2017), ISBN-13: 978-1454926535
Constructive Anatomy (1973), ISBN: 0-486-21104-5
Andrew Loomis (1892–1959) Idealized 8 head tall proportioned figure
American illustrator, author, and art instructor. His commercial work was featured prominently in advertising and magazines; however, Loomis is best known as author of a series of instructional art books printed throughout the 20th century.
*There are many good books by Loomis that can be found online as downloadable PDF’s.
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth (1943), ISBN: 978-0857680983
Drawing the Head and Hands (1956), ISBN: 978-0857680976
Robert Beverly Hale (1901–1985) Cranial Masse as unit of proportion
Robert Beverly Hale was an artist, curator of American paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and instructor of artistic anatomy at the Art Students League of New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. He was also the author of the well-known book Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters, as well as the translator of the classic anatomy text Artistic Anatomy by Dr. Paul Richer.
Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters (1989), ISBN 0-8230-0222-5
Artistic Anatomy (1971), ISBN 0-8230-3014-8
Master class in Figure drawing (1985), ISBN: 0-8230-3014-8
Frank J. Reilly (1906–1967) Method Abstraction Rhythms
Studied under Bridgman and with Jean-Leon Gerome. He is best known for his twenty-eight years of instructing at the Art Students League of New York and establishing the Frank J. Reilly School of Art in the early sixties, where he taught until his death in 1967. Has no publication but students who gathered notes have put some publications together.
Burne Hogarth (1911 – 1996) dynamic and extreme anatomy/inked rendering
American cartoonist, illustrator, educator, author and theoretician, best known for his pioneering work on the Tarzan newspaper comic strip and his series of anatomy books for artists. Hogarth designed the curriculum for the School of Visual Arts (SVA), now one of the world's leading art schools. Hogarth designed the curriculum, served as an administrator and taught a full schedule that included drawing, writing and art history.
Dynamic Anatomy (1958), ISBN: 978-0823015528
Drawing the Human Head (1965), ISBN: 978-0823013760
Dynamic Figure Drawing (1970), ISBN: 978-0823015771
Drawing Dynamic Hands (1977), ISBN: 978-0823013685
Dynamic Light and Shade (1981) ISBN: 978-0823015818
Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery (1995) ISBN: 978-0823015870
Other notable references/ resources:
Stephen Robert Peck - Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist (2003) ISBN: 978-0195030952
Stephen Robert Peck's Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist remains unsurpassed as a manual for students. It includes sections on bones, muscles, surface anatomy, proportion, equilibrium, and locomotion. Other unique features are sections on the types of human physique, anatomy from birth to old age, an orientation on racial anatomy, and an analysis of facial expressions. The wealth of information offered by the Atlas ensures its place as a classic for the study of the human form.
Robert Zeller - The Figurative Artist's Handbook: A Contemporary Guide to Figure Drawing, Painting, and Composition (2017) ISBN: 978-1580934527
The book brings together three figure-drawing methods—the study of gesture, the structural approach and the atelier method.
proko.com - Excellent online drawing courses and videos
New Masters Academy & Croquis Cafe - Free timed figure drawing reference video
These are a great free resource for practicing and getting used to the urgency of timed drawing from the model. Of course you can pause them or work from photo. The only disadvantage is they are flattened into a 2d format for you already making them easier than drawing from real life.
There are so many more....
If you think there are others that are essential and not to be missed being mentioned and added here please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org