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Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should Read

Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Figure Drawing books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.

1. Figure Drawing: Design and Invention (2009)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadFigure Drawing: Design and Invention is an instructional figure drawing book geared towards the novice and experienced artist alike. This book emphasizes a simplified understanding of surface anatomy, in order to clarify the mechanics of the figure, facilitate invention, and ultimately create a skill-set that can be successfully applied to other media. In addition, this book focuses very strongly on practical usage, making sure the artist is able to assimilate the steps presented here into a cohesive working process. (Fourth printing, September 2011)…
Author(s): Michael Hampton

2. Figure It Out! The Beginner’s Guide to Drawing People (Christopher Hart Figure It Out!) (2009)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadChris Hart has a head for figures — human figures, that is. Not only does he draw them with incredible style and flair, he also has a friendly, accessible teaching style that makes his how-to books super-sellers. In this unique figure-drawing course, Chris avoids the usual anatomy lessons that intimidate aspiring artists and gets right down to the basics young illustrators need to get started. Starting with heads and facial expressions, he moves on to full figures, male and female, ideal and average, some in fashion poses and others in…
Author(s): Christopher Hart

3. The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing: A Contemporary Perspective On the Classical Tradition (1999)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadMany of us want to learn “how to draw.” But as artist Anthony Ryder explains, it’s much more important to learn what to draw. In other words, to observe and draw what we actually see, rather than what we think we see. When it comes to drawing the human figure, this means letting go of learned ideas and expectation of what the figure should look like. It means carefully observing the interplay of form and light, shape and line, that combine to create the actual appearance of human form. In The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing, amateur and experienced artists alike are guided toward…
Author(s): Anthony Ryder

4. Drawing the Head and Figure (1983)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadA how-to handbook that makes drawing easy. Offers simplified techniques and scores of brand-new hints and helps. Step by step procedures. Hundreds of illustrations….
Author(s): Jack Hamm

5. Figures from Life: Drawing with Style (2018)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadThe book is an in-depth exploration of life drawing—covering gesture, short and long poses, foreshortening and contrapposto, and more—and delves into its more challenging aspects: such as measuring with rhythm, drawing with feeling, and developing a style. Packed with step-by-step, all-new drawing demonstrations and insightful commentary, the book also includes Patrick’s most recent anatomy and drawing study sheets, which feature essential notation, style tips, and at-a-glance memory clues. This re-creation of the artist's…
Author(s): Patrick J. Jones, Julie Bell

6. How to Draw People: Step-by-Step Lessons for Figures and Poses (2018)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadTo draw an anatomical figure, you don't need a stack of weighty anatomy books. Just take it step by step! In How to Draw People, author Jeff Mellem teaches beginning artists how to draw the human figure, from stick figure to anatomically accurate person, in clear, easy-to-follow lessons. More than just a reference, this book provides the step-by-step instruction to teach you to draw the human figure and the anatomical knowledge to draw it realistically. In each chapter, called "levels," you'll learn core concepts for drawing the human figure. Each new chapter builds on…
Author(s): Jeff Mellem

7. The Human Figure: A Photographic Reference for Artists ()

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadNow you can draw from your own life model anytime you want without paying expensive models’ fees! This handy volume contains over 600 detailed anatomical photographs for artists to study and draw from. Subjects included are male and female, and the models range in age from two years old to ninety years old. All together, seventeen different models were photographed, in the most useful and instructive poses for the artist. They are shown clothed and unclothed, full-figure and in closeup, in classical poses and in action, and in a wide variety of views–the standing male and female models, for instance, were photographed from eight different…
Author(s): E. A. Ru| Mar 1, 1979

8. Morpho: Anatomy for Artists (2018)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadIn this book, Michel Lauricella presents both his artistic and systematic methods for drawing the human body―with drawing techniques from the écorché (showing the musculature underneath the skin) to sketches of models in action. In more than 1000 illustrations, the human body is shown from a new perspective―from bone structure to musculature, from anatomical detail to the body in motion. Morpho is a rich, fascinating, and helpful book that can go with you everywhere on your sketching journey….
Author(s): Michel Lauricella

9. Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory (2015)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadFor today’s in-demand comic creators, animators, video game artists, concept designers, and more, being able to quickly draw the human figure in a variety of action-packed poses is a requirement. But what do you do if you don’t have models or photographic reference readily available? In Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators, artist and instructor David H. Ross provides an alternative solution, showing you how to master freehand figure drawing without visual reference by using a modern twist on the classic technique of blocking out the human figure in mannequin form. Step-by-step lessons guide…
Author(s): David H. Ross

10. Figure It Out! Drawing Essential Poses: The Beginner’s Guide to the Natural-Looking Figure (Christopher Hart Figure It Out!) (2016)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadBestselling how-to-draw author Christopher Hart helps artists fine-tune their skills with the fundamentals of drawing natural-looking figures. Eschewing the esoteric “art poses” and wooden mannequins commonly found in art books, he portrays everyday, real-life gestures on human-looking foundation figures: standing, sitting, kneeling, and reclining, with arms folded, ankles crossed, hands on hips, and more, all shown from various angles. Hart also explores deeper concepts such as perspective, illusion of depth, casting shadows, and foreshortening, and provides step-by-step tutorials that take artists…
Author(s): Christopher Hart

11. Dynamic Figure Drawing (1996)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadThis powerful book offers a systematic approach to rendering action figures that seem to leap off the page.  …
Author(s): Burne Hogarth

12. The Artist’s Complete Guide to Drawing the Head (2004)

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should ReadIn this innovative guide, master art instructor William Maughan demonstrates how to create a realistic human likeness by using the classic and highly accurate modeling technique of chiaroscuro (Italian for “light and dark”) developed by Leonardo da Vinci during the High Renaissance.Maughan first introduces readers to the basics of this centuries-old technique, showing how to analyze form, light, and shadow; use dark pencil, white pencil, and toned paper to create a full range of values; use the elements of design to enhance a likeness; and capture a sitter’s gestures and…
Author(s): William Maughan

Best Figure Drawing Books Everyone Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some figure drawing books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Figure-drawing for beginners

Author(s): Dorothy Furniss
Publisher: Budgeman , Year: [194-], Size: 103 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 878390

The Art of Drawing Folds : An Illustrator’s Guide to Drawing the Clothed Figure

Author(s): Kelly Gordon Brine
Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2018, Size: 24 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2257080

Drawing Anatomy: An Artists’ Guide to the Human Figure

Author(s): Barrington Barber
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing, Year: 2017, Size: 34 Mb, Download: azw3
ID: 2329151

Figure Drawing Methods for Artists: Over 130 Methods for Sketching, Drawing, and Artistic Discovery

Author(s): Peter Boerboom, Tim Proetel
Publisher: Rockport Publishers, Year: 2017, Size: 18 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2329224

Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count

Author(s): Steve Huston
Publisher: Rockport Publishers, Year: 2016, Size: 31 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1632272

Figure Drawing for Artists Making Every Mark Count

Author(s): Steve Huston
Publisher: Rockport Publishers, Year: 2016, Size: 64 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2093009

Figure It Out! Drawing Essential Poses: The Beginner’s Guide to the Natural-Looking Figure

Author(s): Christopher Hart
Publisher: Sixth & Spring Books, Year: 2016, Size: 84 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2101280

The Anatomy of Style: Figure Drawing Techniques

Author(s): Patrick J. Jones, Pat Wilshire
Publisher: Korero Press, Year: 2016, Size: 123 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2109783

Figure Drawing in Proportion: Easy to Remember, Accurate Anatomy for Artists

Author(s): Michael Massen
Publisher: North Light Books, Year: 2016, Size: 28 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2328900

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are absolutely best-sellers according to USA Today, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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