John Raynes has pretty much cornered the market in books on drawing and painting the human figure and it is a measure of his skill and depth of understanding that he has produced such a number without repeating himself and continuing to have something worthwhile to say.
This is an exhaustive study of human form and structure, as detailed as an architectural handbook or car maintenance manual. With the aid of colour coded drawings that are little works of art in themselves, John explains, in terms aimed at the artist and not the medical student, how the human body fits together and moves. Follow his tutorial through and you will understand the complex machine that the body is, how one part blends into another and how one movement provokes and influences another. Poetry in motion is what it becomes.
More than half the extent is taken up with this textbook stuff, but it’s not something you can hurry and John sensibly resists all temptation to do so. The reward for your effort in following it is what follows: a masterclass in drawing and painting a series of complete poses and compositions that simply come alive on the page. John, as we know, is supreme at this kind of thing but work with him and you too will stand a chance of getting at least somewhere near him.