Resources for the Figurative Artist

Here is a  list of some of the books I use in my sketching practice.

Models are expensive and finding time for a model session can be tricky. Fortunately, these books provide a wealth of images and resources for those of us who love human anatomy.

Classic Human Anatomy:

The Artist’s Guide to Form, Function and Movement

Valerie L. Winslow

This is currently my favorite human anatomy book. It’s obsessively thorough, clear and user-friendly. The author includes many of her own drawings. Her gesture drawings are particularly compelling.

The Nude Female Form

Mark Edward Smith

This is one of a very few references that includes some diversity as to size of the models photographed. The photos are clear and easy to use. I also enjoy the fact that the models are not airbrushed or “corrected” in any way. You can see freckles, moles, pimples, etc. It’s refreshing.


Drawing the Living Figure

Joseph Sheppard

Sheppard draws a figure on one page and, on the opposing page, shows the same figure in the same position, but with part of  the skeleton or muscles showing. It’s a good resource in this way, but not consistent in what is shown from figure to figure. If you’re interested in seeing a certain part of the figure, you may be occasionally frustrated.


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