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Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count Flexibound – June 1, 2016
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"Steve Huston is a living master, and one of the few who can teach as well as he paints. He's both a mentor and an inspiration to a new generation of professional artists around the world." - Joshua Jacobo, Cofounder and CEO,New Masters Academy€‹
"Steve Huston is one of the most uniquely powerful artists out there . . . a modern master. [Figure Drawing for Artists] is a phenomenal resource. Steve's insight and love for what he does inspires. This book should be in every student's library. That being said, it's for every artist - students and professionals alike." - Carlos Huante, Art Director, Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm
"Steve Huston's new instruction book, FIGURE DRAWING FOR ARTISTS, has been long over due and something I have personally waited for. A consummate draftsman, brilliant painter and one of the most knowledgeable artist I have ever had the pleasure of knowing has made this valuable book available for anyone who is truly interested in understanding the principals of drawing. This book will be the yardstick that all other instructional drawing books are measured by." - Dan McCaw, Fine Artist
"Finally a book that emphasises gesture and rhythm first and foremost. I think the book is weighted just right for making it clear to the current photo copyist culture, and the overly medicalized anatomy culture, that gesture, rhythm, and playful, designed proportion are by far the most important initial visual ideas. Not only for the figure, but for entire images." - Erik Olsen, faculty at College of Creative Studies, Detroit
About the Author
Steve Huston was born and raised in Alaska. He studied at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. Graduating with his BFA, Huston began illustrating. His client list eventually included such names as Caesar's Palace, MGM, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios.After nearly a decade of doing commercial work, Huston decided a change was in order. He's developed his unique teaching method over 30 years, teaching drawing, painting and composition- first at his Alma Mater, then at the Disney, Warner Brother, Dreamworks, and most other major studios.Influences include among others Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, the early American Tonalists, the homespun character of the WPA art projects, and the heroic and graphic inventions of the American Comic Book form.Since then, Steve has shown his fine art pieces around the world. He's the only artist in the history of the California Art Club to win their gold medal three times.His work has been featured in Art News, American Art Collector, Harper's Magazine, Southwest Art, American Artist, Western Art & Architecture, Playboy, and many others.
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Top Customer Reviews
There is less instruction than I hoped. Much of the text needs a re write for clarity as well as some additions for depth. The pictures don't clearly support the text, at least not easily. The authors fabulous sketches aren't even here in abundance, and while it isn't a show off book, if the instruction is lacking, which I believe it is, then at least give us more eye candy or material to copy.
This is much more like a fancy set of notes for those who have studied with Steve Huston or taken his classes.
Negative reviews don't make me popular but I have to call it as I see it. It pains me to say it, but I think there are better books out there.
So you can get some idea where I am coming from and determine if this review is has relevance to you, some books I really like are Mike Matessi's Drawing Force and The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals, Rankin's Fast Sketching Techniques, and Mellem's Sketching People.
I have also applied a number of observations such as the "whistle notch", a method of noting the eye socket from the side and 3/4 back position. I now also use the "sail" head schema for the layout of the head for side views. This head layout is the most direct that I have seen and has the advantage of easily providing a correct placement of the ear. (Michael Hampton's "Figure Drawing Design and Invention" has another useful schema for drawing the head.)
Unfortunately reading this text is frustrating. The book needed a strong editor. Many of the examples seem obscure because they are difficult to connect with the drawings. Moreover, most of the diagrams are apparently made on a computer screen, give the effect of following a mathematical proof while the text itself is colloquial and seems to have been recorded from a live lecture. Terms such as "wiggly digits" p.158 and "wobbly surface variations" p. 39 are among those not explained. The frequent use of pronouns such as "this" make the presentation hard to follow. Editing would have replaced these pronouns with nouns improving reader comprehension.
Frequently the labels on the drawings are difficult to connect with the text. In one place the labels are completely left out of the diagram. On page 178 the letters mentioned in the text do not label the drawing making the discussion very hard to follow. Other times the discussion is not followed by a summation drawing. For example, the presentation of perspective of the human form p. 59-65 goes on for seven pages of careful description and diagrams but the summation drawing is of a giant Roman column not of a human figure.
A figure similar as the one at the very beginning of the discussion of perspective, page 62, could have been used as a summation drawing for the section. A figure drawn with wrapping lines would have shown the depth that he was describing making it clear to the reader how to apply the theory to an actual figure drawing. At key points such this he misses the obviously necessary explanation.
The book is worth studying because it presents some drawing ideas that I have not found anywhere else. How disappointing that the lack of strong editing makes important ideas unclear.