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The Human Figure (Dover Anatomy for Artists) Paperback – June 1, 1958
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From the Back Cover
The result is the only art instruction book which not only illustrates details of the body but directs your attention at every stage to a host of subtle points of shading, curvature, proportion, foreshortening, muscular tension, variations due to extreme age or youth, and both major and minor differences in the structure and representation of the male and female figure. Comprehensive discussions and drawings cover the eyes; nose, mouth and chin; ear; head, trunk, back and hips; neck, throat, and shoulder; shoulder and arm; hand and wrist; leg; foot; the complete figure; and other interdependent groups of structures. This is the human figure as the artist, art student, and art teacher must know it in order to avoid many deceptive errors unfortunately common in much modern portraiture, painting, and illustrative art.
Second edition, revised and enlarged. Foreword by George Bridgman.
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This book, however, is extraordinary in its simple yet detailed display of muscles and how bones are wrapped in them, how the body can move and why, and why it looks the way it does. The amazingly clear way that Rubins shows each part of the body, layering it up from bones to muscles to skin, and then shows those parts of the body bending and twisting, and how those forms are created by what's beneath - is really tremendously helpful. He's really detailing the architecture of the body, and I've copied his drawings a great deal. (Just this weekend, for instance, I've been copying his wonderful drawings of leg muscles and how legs are structured... and I've learned so much.)
I draw these days on a Cintiq, and next to it is this book, forever bent open to some page from which I am copying anatomical drawings by Rubins. Every time I go through it and closely observe his drawings, draw from them, I discover new about a muscle group or the way the body is formed. It's a jewel of a book.
If you spend time with it and really study and draw from its contents you will advance your anatomical understanding by leagues.