Life Drawing || Robert Barrett

I’m struggling to say something positive about this book. I say that because there’s a spark in there, something that makes me feel that this could be not just a good book, but a classic and it seems to have been strangled at birth.

The trouble is the illustrations. The style is slightly old-fashioned and the clothing particularly so, historic even, although the handling of it is really rather good. The author also works with a soft pencil and uses a lot of shading, which makes the images themselves rather dark. The reproduction does this no favours by obscuring detail so that all the subtleties, of which there are plenty in there, are obscured. In places, they look like quick copies on a cheap photocopier.

It’s frustrating because there are just so many if-onlys. The progression of the book is good and moves from shapes to proportion and anatomy, detail work, clothing and poses and the book could have been one of the best on its subject. There are some complex clothed, posed subjects here that would be amongst the best I have seen, if only I could see them.

I’d recommend you take a look at this if you can find it because, if you can get past the objections, it could have much to recommend it.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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