The Nude Figure: A Visual Reference for the Artist (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 1998
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Before "The Nude Figure" my best reference book was "Drawing the Female Nude" by Giovanni Civardi, which featured his drawings of two models in various poses. It is a great book for the beginner, but after five years of using it I needed something new - and Playboy just wasn't working.
The Nude Figure by Mark Smith featured only photographs of various models and all kinds of different poses. All of the photographs are in black and white which is a definite plus in my mind, helping you to see the defining lines and edges. The poses are divided into chapters as follows:
Standing Poses - This chapter is full of your basic standing poses. Arms up, arms down, from the side, from the back.
Seated Poses - Seated on the ground in different positions including Indian style, which I find very hard to draw.
Reclining Poses - All kinds of laying down positions, all from different perspectives. Some look quite easy to draw and others are quite hard.
The Figure on a stool - These I find quite difficult simply because of the stools - I am not good at any kind of still life, even if it has a woman sitting on it.
Kneeling Poses - The Kneeling poses are quite useful, but some of them just look awkward and I don't see how you could use them in a work of art - but I guess there is always a way.
Bending Poses - Most of these look like stretching before a workout poses. I don't se how they could be useful in a work, but for practice everything is good.
Crouching Poses - A lot of these poses make the model look like she is ready for a race.
The Figure in motion - I am very happy with this section as I do a lot of fairies and it is full of people jumping up in the air - something you could never get a live model to hold.
The Pregnant Figure - There are only a few pages of this, and I'm glad they put in here. It's not too often that you get to see a nude pregnant woman to draw from. I think this will come in handy someday.
Unusual Poses - Just like it sounds, many of these aren't very practical, but very useful in learning how different muscles shift in different positions.
The bulk of the photo's are in Standing, Seated, and reclining poses. Those fill up most of this book.
If you are wanting to learn how to draw men, this book is not for you. In all of the chapters (excluding the pregnant figure), men are only featured on about two pages. But this is a very good thing for me, as I only draw women.
Also the people in this book are all pretty fit. There aren't any fat people in here, not a big scope of different shapes. Again, I am happy with this as I don't want to draw fat people, but other artist might be disappointed by this lack of diversity. Some of the women have hairy armpits though, and some don't - that's diverse enough for me. Plus the women may all be over-all fit, but they are all built differently.
The photo quality is OK, but not fantastic, no glossy pictures in here, in fact some are grainy. But they are all adequate, and I think they did this to keep the cost of the book down, which makes me happy, as I would not have paid 40.00 just to have more glossy pictures. They use a lot of different lighting techniques in this book, but some of them I hate only showing the outlines of the figures when I want to see muscle.
Overall I am quite happy with this book. I know it will give me plenty of ideas for years to come, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting lots of good poses to use in their art. It is the best book of poses I have found thus far. 90% of the poses are very usable, my only problem is trying to choose which one I want to try out next.
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