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Anatomy for Artists: A New Approach to Discovering, Learning and Remembering the Body Paperback – October 3, 2007

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony Apesos is an artist and professor at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. He has exhibited throughout the eastern U.S. and in California and China, has done major commissions, and has been reviewed/published in the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, New Art Examiner (regular reviewer), San Francisco Art Week, Art and Arts Exchange.

Karl StevensÂ’ graphic novel Guilty is in HarvardÂ’s Fogg Art Museum and won a 2004 Xeric Foundation grant for comic self-publishing (established by Peter Laird, creator of the highly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Stevens has been compared to such renowned comic creators as Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Joe Sacco. He draws a regular strip for the alternative weekly Boston Phoenix.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books; illustrated edition edition (October 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158180931X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581809312
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Linda Blanchard on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
Clear and readable, each chapter details an area of the body with illustrations and text perfectly matched to give just enough detail to understand the form, function and limits of each working group of muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons. The hand, forearm, movement of the elbow, movement of the upper arm, rib cage and shoulder girdle, foot, lower leg, thigh and pelvis, abdomen, and head and neck are each given their own chapters. You are shown how to see and feel for yourself how all the elements of the body work together, changing relationship, shape and tension. The approach is so logical that I found myself following the instructions to move, feel, observe, and saying, "Fascinating!" over and over again, and being amazed by what I didn't know about my own body and the way bodies work. The end result is that I gained and retained an understanding of where all the body's bits are, how they function and why. This information is not just useful to artists working in still media but of great use to everyone who needs an introduction to the hows and whys of the way the body moves: new athletes and coaches, animators, dancers and choreographers will benefit from Anthony Apesos's approach to learning anatomy.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Grant Beaudette VINE VOICE on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
They are plenty of different approaches to understanding human anatomy for artistic purposes. That instruction usually falls in the "proportion and landmark" type notable in books by the likes of Byrne Hogarth and Robert Beverly Hale. Their books are far more useful for artists than the usual scads of medical-grade anatomy plates.

"Anatomy for Artists" on the other had, takes that more medical approaches and makes it work. Author Anthony Apesos focuses less on names and more on function to help you understand all the body's many parts.

The very first lesson involves dissecting a lamb shank. (and later cooking it for dinner) As unconventional as it seems, this little biology lesson makes you aware of how muscles, tendons, ligaments & bones work in general in order to prepare you for learning about specific parts later on.

The remainder of the book cover all the various functions of how the body moves. You're encouraged to find each mentioned muscle on your body to learn how it ties to your bones and moves them around. The landmarks of the body make more sense when you realize they're usually there to give a tendon a place to insert into.

Anatomy is one of the hardest aspects of art, and the best way understand it is to approach it from as many different angles as possible. "Anatomy for Artists" is a great way to get a better grip on anatomy and supplement the fine books already out there.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ronald John Baker on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author and illustrator have successfully given beginning students of artistic anatomy a 'user-friendly' and easy to apply method for coming to grips (literally) with the body's skeletal and muscular functions. By following the instructions I have made sense of what had previously been technical names of muscles, which I forgot or failed to recognize from another angle. This approach has helped me see the broad picture and it has helped me make more sense of other anatomy books - which the authors recommend via a bibliography.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:20 Mins
This anatomy book is quite unique compared to others. The author Anthony Apesos states a disclaimer right in the introduction,"This book is not a reference; rather, it is for reading through from one end to the other." So it's not really a reference, it's also not a drawing guide even though there are drawings.

This book focuses on explaining the structure and form of the body by the way it works. It tries to link back to human evolution which is really unnecessary. The unique part is the book encourages readers to refer constantly to their own body to feel and see how it functions. It's all very practical and hands on, with the first chapter touching on dissecting a lamb's leg and looking at the different muscles before cooking it. Alright, I must admit the first chapter is unnecessary also.

The writeup is filled with instructions on how you can locate the different bones and muscles on your own body. As you follow the instructions to bending arms, flexing elbows, you can easily locate the different muscles. It's a very interesting way to learn because you can relate instantly and easily -- the lesson points are so visible. The pen and ink illustrations drawn by Karl Stevens shows very clear form and some really cool cross hatching style.

There a section in the book which was quite strange. It talks about several old masterpieces, such as Michelangelo's The Last Judgement, but we are shown pen and ink drawings instead of the original paintings.

Overall, the book presents a refreshing way to learning anatomy, and understanding form. It's recommended for the beginner artists.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris Gargan on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
As requested by the author I am reposting my response to an earlier review, as my review. Text as follows:

I found this book today, quite by accident, in a used bookstore. I think it's great, not just because of the clarity of the text and its synergy with the illustrations, but because this is exactly how I have taught anatomy and figure drawing for 34 years. There are so many times in reading this book when I have stopped and exclaimed: "Exactly!".
The illustrations work precisely because they are not aesthetically beautiful; they are direct, clear, and do not obfuscate their purpose. By contrast, the drawings of Sarah Simblet in her drawing books are arrestingly beautiful and graceful, and this very quality can sometimes distract from their didactic intention.
I often tell my students that there exists no one, perfect book for learning to draw the figure. I myself probably own in excess of 50. Each artist and author offers a unique insight for the developing artist. I'm thrilled with this latest find, and I intend to share it with my students on Monday.
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