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Figure Drawing: Design and Invention Perfect Paperback – August 31, 2009
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Excellent explanations on how to sketch the gesture and how to render the masses. This will be my "go to" book for years to come. I am currently working my way through this new edition.
I hope to take a class from Hampton someday but meanwhile this is a great analytical anatomy book that I will refer to often when doing inventive and live drawing.
The many illustrated examples are aimed at helping students develop a feel for the form and volume of figures they draw. To that aspect, I think it does a very good job.
The use of simple geometric shapes as drawing guides are simple to understand. Not only that, Michael Hampton also builds onto to those simplified mannequins with lots of clearly illustrated muscles. The muscle groups are visualised very distinctly in the examples. They are colour-coded to bring attention those that affect form when the body is in different positions.
I like the part on finding landmarks -- bones that are near the skin. Colour-coded and shown very clearly, with rotating views from front to back.
The book does have head drawing but the focus is on the form rather than the details of the features, although the examples do show the details. It still covers enough for for anyone to draw a decent head.
One thing that's missing is the mention of figure proportions, like how many heads tall a body, length of an arm, etc. That I think will complete the book. There's nothing on bones and you won't learn how muscle works, but this isn't an anatomy reference book. That said, having an anatomy reference book to go along will be extremely helpful.
This is a useful book for artists learning to create and pose their own figures. Highly recommend for beginner and intermediate artists.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
I gave this 1 star because Hampton obviously has copied Bammes approach and is trying to capitalize on a market that wants a magic bullet / quick fix approach to drafting the human figure. Well, as the beginning artist will find out, the only magic bullet is practice, practice and more practice with good reference books, a Bammes book would be a better start than this.
If you have read this and not buying this review then I suggest you read some of the other more critical reviews as most will refer to a very weak anatomical development. Hampton knows this very well but still is peddling this approach, I hope you can see his true motivation, got it?