There’s not exactly a shortage of books on figure drawing at the moment, but new ones are almost always welcome as they bring a slightly different perspective to a tricky and endlessly debatable topic. This one, however, is genuinely different.
As well as guides to the technique, there have, from time to time, been collections of photographed poses that handily substitute for the live model the home worker may have trouble getting access to. Friends and relatives tend to look at best askance when asked to disrobe, even in an impeccable context!
What makes this different and, in my experience, unique, is that it combines both approaches. It’s a thorough and progressive course in drawing the human figure and it’s also a collection of poses. However, the two are linked, and more than just as a guide to drawing from photographs. The approach is helped by having an included CD that contains 64 poses that you can rotate fully. This means that you’re not just limited to the fixed viewpoint of the printed page, but can effectively have the live model in front of you. It provides a whole new perspective, both literally and figuratively.
As well as the poses, you get outline shapes and contour drawings based on them and instruction on how to handle things like musculature, tone and perspective. All the things you’d expect, in fact. Combining all these things in one book is a massive task of juggling, but Butch Krieger has pulled it off with aplomb.
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