27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Not extreme or dynamic, but still has some good parts,
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This review is from: The Fantasy Figure Artist's Reference File with CD-ROM (Spiral-bound)
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. Overall, it was uninspiring to me, especially in creating my own characters. As a reference photo book, it fails because the poses are not extreme and dynamic as promised. It also seems to try to reach beyond its scope with a section on painting and many comments on characters beyond anatomy and costume.
- "Anatomical studies" show each character type in only shorts (or shorts and sports bra for women) so you know what the body looks like in some poses.
- Summary of character wardrobe
- Poses of characters in wardrobe may help in drawing clothing -- depicting folds, how certain material hangs, etc.
- As another review mentioned, an overweight man ("cleric" and "norseman" types) and a small person ("warrior dwarf" type) are shown here, and both are helpful.
- Captions in the book often direct you to details (how material is bunching up a certain way, how a shoulder strap hangs off the body in a certain pose) or notes about anatomy ("legs need to be placed apart because they will have to bend to compensate for the weight of the ax")
- Section of close-up facial expressions (male and female)
- Although brief, there are also some photos of hand detail, including props like rings & bracelets, and accessory details -- boots, belts, jewelry
- Spiral binding allows the book to lay flat (although when you're drawing, you'll probably print images from the CD instead)
- Uninteresting poses. This is the sale-killer for me. Although the book says the photos depict "extreme anatomy and dynamic action poses" I found the poses to be too plain. There was no "extreme" posing where the body is in extreme angles -- lunging, jumping, twisting. Instead, someone is standing still with their arms raised and feet spread, but there is no action happening. You can tell because there is a lack of tense muscles.
- The back of the book has a section on painting characters that seems out of place. This is a photo reference book, not a painting book. Unless you already know about painting with acrylics, this section is useless.
- Some captions have irrelevant comments. In a caption of a photo showing a happy "warrior prince" face, it notes, "All characters should be able to feel elation and happiness."
Summary: although a few poses are good, don't expect most of them to be "extreme" or "dynamic." Note that this is not an instruction book on learning anatomy, and you should have at least a basic understanding of human anatomy to use this book well.
Books that I would recommend for beginning artists:
- Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easy by Christopher Hart
- Drawing the Living Figure by Joseph Sheppard
- Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth (great for flow of action)
- Perspective! For Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea
- Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery: Solutions for Drawing the Clothed Figure by Burne Hogarth
- Action Anatomy: For Gamers, Animators, and Digital Artists by Takashi Iijima