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Figure Drawing: Design and Invention Perfect Paperback – August 31, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews

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  • Figure Drawing: Design and Invention
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Hampton; 1st edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615272819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615272818
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 7, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 0:18 Mins
The approach covered is primarily concerned with the use of line, development of form, and the simplified design of anatomy. It doesn't go into contour drawing, shading and expression.

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.)
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Drawing has been a lifelong interest of mine, but until recently, I was barely able to draw much more than a stick figure. Around a year ago, I decided to seriously devote efort to learning to draw. It's a great skill to have, requires little in the way of materials and can be fun. SInce that decision, I've purchased and used about 10 books to drawing, mostly figure drawing. this was the last book on the subject I purchased, and, I am convinced, the last one I need. Hampton lays out what you need to become a better artist. I believe that anyone who is interested in the subject could pick up this book, and within a few hours see a marked difference in their skill at drawing. What I found the most helpful is that on sections where he is going over muscles and shapes, he uses color to call out what he is talking about. If you are interested in any type of drawing that involves the human figure, definitely take a look at this book.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention is a must have for any artist trying to learn or refine the art of figure drawing. If drawing solid figures with life and conviction is your goal, this is your book. The overall message is drawing from the inside out (as opposed to flat contour line drawing) by combining strong gesture lines with solid three -dimensional forms to achieve a sculptured and lively figure drawing. This book also teaches the lost art of analyzing form and constructive anatomy. Michael Hampton gives a simple procedure on how to approach the drawings from the ground up using ideas such as line of action, rhythm, and tilt to act as an anchor for adding basic forms and shapes on, and finally anatomy. Muscles are more easily learned when they are reduced to basic shapes that are easy to memorize and locate on the figure. This book reveals shapes for all the major muscles and bones of the human form. Artists interested in any discipline that involves the figure will greatly benefit from the lessons and ideas brought forth in this book.
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You flip through this book and you think, "This is great!". Great detail on how to draw the general masses, do gestures, great anatomy on the trunk, wonderful figure and anatomical drawings. "This I've got to have!" you think.

And then you start working through the book. This book starts off very promisingly. Excellent explanations on how to sketch the gesture and how to render the masses. Great anatomy of the trunk and of the shoulder girdle.

But then you reach the sections on the limbs, hands and feet. And the book mysteriously collapses. Yes, there's much detail but not nearly enough to work through the sections and become able to draw the arms, legs, hands and feet. Muscles are named but not labelled on diagrams. The arm muscle diagram on page 137 is a travesty. Labels separated from the diagram. Muscles are diagrammed without being labelled.

The author says on page 86, "This chapter is not meant to act as a reference manual for anatomy..." But sadly no references to other anatomy books are forthcoming.

The section on the foot appears to be an (uncredited) derivative of Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded Edition

It's as if the author ran out of time midway through the book and hurriedly finished it with whatever materials were at hand.

The first part of the book is _great_, though, highly recommended. I hope the second edition will include a rewrite and expansion of the second half so that it will actually be useful. In the meantime, you could use Burne Hogarth's
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