Janine M. Ptaszek
I was very surprised by how easy this book was to read; it's organized well, and clearly written. I think this is a great manual to have on hand for the casual doodler, like myself. I don't necessarily have time for classes, and it's nice to know I can figure out some of these techniques by myself, with the help of a book. I've learned a lot from just flipping through it.
The drawings are fun! Ken is really amazing.
Check it out!
There are four parts to this book. The first part isn't really on figure drawing and introduces the basics of drawing and the stuff you need. As a Dummies series book, this one really assumes the reader has absolutely no knowledge on drawing.
The second and third part are on drawing the head and body. The last part is about other related stuff like clothing, composition, perspective, etc.
This book has a lot of text compared to other figure drawing books. The instructions are easy enough to follow. However, the illustrated examples aren't as nice as other figure drawing books.
I can't believe I'll see the missing-forehead problem in a figure drawing book but it's there on some of the heads. Maybe the author is going for a stylised look? I don't know. The other problem of this book is the lack of examples of posing figures other that the ones in front, side and back views. It's might be a bit difficult to visualise the form and volume of the body, muscles and how they are affected when the body is in different position.
This book might be very affordable, but there are other better ones.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
How typical. The art community, as inefficient as expected. A whole chapter on drawing materials - in detail! So overkill. Who cares about prices, sheesh, who's unable to search prices on line for art material prices themselves? Two or three pages would've sufficed, or just a table with websites to look them up on yourself. The anatomy parts, like the one on the human skeleton are woefully short. Many more pages have gone into explain in small detail how you shouldn't get too used to one brand of pencils. Because the company that makes them could go out of business, and then you might need to find pencils of a different company! Who would've thought! That's going to make you the next rembrandt to know!
And much text on lamps, setting up a studio. For pete's sake. That's information that isn't relevant until down the way. People buy the book because they want to learn to draw, not because they're dying for info on what kind of drawing pads there are, and which one to get (almost anything will do in the beginning anyway).
The skeleton is shown from 3 angles, and the 3/4th view is only talked about. Much is just talked about through text. Some chapters are better than others though, but still lack in detail - just not as much as some of the others. For instance, the part on rendering the figure by putting together simpler shapes is far, far, shorter than that on how drawing pads can be expensive, and how it's bad to use a flat desk! Or how pencils are relatively cheap, duh. What's explained by author is that it's not recommended to use square shapes, but instead use angular shapes to represent the body parts. But no details or recommendations on which shapes to use for the what body part, not even which the author favors, and why. How is a beginner supposed to know? Ok, don't use squares, use angular shapes, but for what, what muscles? Apparently, most of that energy and page estate went into details on what rubbers, pens, lamps, ergonomic chairs, desks etc to use! A fat chapter on that alone. Whereas, just a few pages on each anatomy topic.
Also, some things are explained in text, that pretty much demand complementing pictures. Like a list of technical skeleton bone names, and text descriptions on where they're located on the body, and where they join with other body parts, without picture references!
Example (not saying this is accurate) "The femur holds up the body and is slightly angled, and then connects with the ulna". But where's the picture reference? Nowhere, what a joke. Drawing is a visual subject.
I am trying to teach my young daughter some basic techniqes for figure drawing. Though I have some experience with art, I have very little knowledge of figure drawing. As a result, I looked for a book that would offer some basic guidelines and tips. Though I did not really need the info on gathering materials so much, I understand the value in having this section. The book is a great introduction, in any case, and we are loving it!
What I really find helpful are the details of proportions, eyes, noses, mouths, hair, and so on. The sections on muscles, skeletons, and clothing are also useful. Though we haven't gotten that far working together, I have reviewed the rest of the book to work with her and to improve my own skills. If you do another edition, we hope you will add more and more sketches! Those are really helpful! Thanks, Mr. Okabayashi! We appreciate your efforts and your help!
Great product, fast shipper