Elements of Style For Artists: a book review

I am the son of an artist and artistically reclined. I’m always on the look out for resources which will inspire me to pick up a pencil and brush and actually create something. With that in mind, I delved into Al Gury’s Foundations of Drawing: A Practical Guide to Art History, Tools, Techniques and StylesGury chairs the painting department at the Pennsylvania Academia of Fine Arts where he teaches drawing, and his works have been exhibited at the F.A.N. Gallery, in Philadelphia, and the National Academy of Design, in New York.

Foundations of Drawing by Al GuryFoundations of Drawing is not a “how to” book, with step-by-step instructions or a flourish of happy trees. Instead, Gury has compiled a resource which discusses the essential elements to drawing: art history, art mediums, materials and tools, skills and techniques, aesthetics and various subject matters (e.g. still lifes, architecture, portraits and figure drawing).

As such, I found this to be a good
at-a-glance’ resource for understanding the building blocks of drawing. It is like Elements of Style for artists, but with a lot more naked people. I knew a lot of the ‘art history’ portion of this book already, but the section on drawing materials was quite informative as a resource for understanding different drawing mediums & instruments (e.g. pen, pencil, charcoal, chalk, pastels, crayons, brush and paints, mix media). The section on techniques also has great information on how to achieve certain effects in various medium, and in composing drawings.

The book is full of illustrations, demonstrating a variety of styles and techniques (as shown from the cover). I would recommend this book to anyone interested in honing their craft as an artist and learning about various styles. Beginner artists may wish for a more step-by-step manual, but this would still be a good resource to have around. I give it four stars. –

Notice of material connection: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.

Who Moved the Body? a book review

There are lots of books on figure drawing with  drawings women and men posed nude eating fruit or looking tired. Classic Human Anatomy in Motion: The Artist’s Guide to the Dynamics of Figure Drawing is a comprehensive volume for artists, exploring how bodies move and how to draw them.

Classic anatomyValerie Winslow begins her exploration into drawing people with a look at bones, sinnews, joints and muscles. She illustrates how bodies bend and move, faces express, and how to depict continuous motion. One part scientific manual, one part Artist Technique book, Classic Human Anatomy in Motion is a great reference for Artists to hone their craft and to make their depictions of people more true-to-life.

The thirteen chapters each explore aspects of human bodies and how they move. Chapter One discusses the skeletal system (making watching Bones more enjoyable). Chapter two  examines joints, chapter three, Muscles and tendons. Chapter four looks at facial expressions while chapters five, six and seven take a closer look at the muscles o the neck and torso, the arm and hand, and the leg and foot. Chapter eight explores various body types and chapter nine explores preliminary structures for figure drawing. Chapters ten through thirteen explore how to draw bodies in motion.

I am glad to have read this book and recommend it for any interested in improving their drawing of people, artists that need a refresher course, or as an at-hand-reference book for artists. Five stars: ★★★★★

Not I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.