Figure Drawing

There are many figure drawing books on the market, this is the list of books I recommend.  This list includes anatomy books and technique books.  

Click to Buy – Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life by George B. Bridgman (1992) Hardcover

by George B. Bridgman

The book in Three Sentences:  George Bridgman, taught by Jean-Leon Gerome and  Gustave Boulanger, was an artist and an art instructor during the industrial revolution, an era that influenced his theory of the “human machine”.  This is a classic training manual from that divides the body into separate components and explains the anatomical design and its mechanical function.  He demonstrated his concepts using a French Academic hatching technique and he invented and developed a modern system of form design,  planes, and stylized insertions to describe and design the human body.

Below is a video to show you how to use Bridgman as a study guide.

Click to Buy – Complete Guide to Life Drawing

by Gottfried Bammes

The Book in Three Sentences:  Gottfried Bammes was a professor at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in Germany during the second half of the 20th century.  He is an original source for much of the construction method we use today in drawing the figure as well as many of the modern exploratory approaches to figure drawing.  Not only does he construct the figure part by part with forms, planes, and a hatching technique to help reinforce the illusion of form , he also gives insight into many techniques on drawing the figure using several different mediums.


Below is a video to help you understand how to use this book as a study guide.

Click To Buy – Figure Drawing for Artists: Making Every Mark Count

By Steve Huston

The Book in Three Sentences:  This is a well written book, packed with why we draw the figure along with the demonstrations.  The demonstrations are well illustrated and clearly described in great detail.  The reproductions are outstanding and the spine of the book is sturdy for laying the book open to study from.

Click to Buy – Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth

by Andrew Loomis

The Book in Three Sentences:  This is a classic manual dedicated to teaching a shorthand of figure drawing for illustrators.  The book provides insight into some of the techniques used for quickly gesturing the figure with convincing action and weight to the pose.  It also offers some information and minimal demonstrations on rendering the figure to a finish using every traditional medium available during the time of this publication.

Click To Buy – Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

By Stephen Rogers Peck

The Book in Three Sentences:  This is one of the better figure anatomy books on the market.  Fully illustrated, it breaks the body down into 10 sections that include anatomy studies, charts and shortcuts to help the artist articulate the nuances of the body.  He also includes sections on the vascular language of the body, facial expressions, how to handle body fat and differentiating male, female, young and old models.


Click to buy – Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

by Elliot Goldfinger

The Book in Three Sentences:  This anatomy book should be on every artist’s shelf.  This is the definitive anatomy book defining every muscle 1 at a time, isolating it and describing with photo reference and the artistic shape language.  Elliot also includes many great visual short hand concepts to help visualize the technical content.

Click To Buy (If You Dare) – Struttura Uomo Manuale di Anatomia Artistica Vol. 1 (Manuale di Anatomia Artistica, Volume 1)

by Alberto Lolli, Mauro Zocchetta, Renzo Peretti

The Book in Three Sentences:  It seems to be very very very expensive.  I am sorry that it is.  It is good, I won’t lie, but you can live without it at the going price.