Book Review: Anatomy for Artists: A New Approach to Discovering, Learning and Remembering the Body

Book Review: Anatomy for Artists: A New Approach to Discovering, Learning and Remembering the Body

This anatomy book is quite unique compared to others. The author Anthony Apesos states a disclaimer right in the introduction,"This book is not a reference; rather, it is for reading through from one end to the other." So it's not really a reference, it's also not a drawing guide even though there are drawings.

This book focuses on explaining the structure and form of the body by the way it works. It tries to link back to human evolution which is really unnecessary. The unique part is the book encourages readers to refer constantly to their own body to feel and see how it functions. It's all very practical and hands on, with the first chapter touching on dissecting a lamb's leg and looking at the different muscles before cooking it. Alright, I must admit the first chapter is unnecessary also.

The writeup is filled with instructions on how you can locate the different bones and muscles on your own body. As you follow the instructions to bending arms, flexing elbows, you can easily locate the different muscles. It's a very interesting way to learn because you can relate instantly and easily — the lesson points are so visible. The pen and ink illustrations drawn by Karl Stevens shows very clear form and some really cool cross hatching style.

There a section in the book which was quite strange. It talks about several old masterpieces, such as Michelangelo's The Last Judgement, but we are shown pen and ink drawings instead of the original paintings.

Overall, the book presents a refreshing way to learning anatomy, and understanding form. It's recommended for the beginner artists.

4 out of 5 stars.

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