Book Review: Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger

This book is a reference guide to the human anatomy for artists.

The approach here is a part-by-part look at the different section of the body. Each area focused has illustrated muscles and bones with accompanying photo of a model by the side. We can clearly see where different layers of muscles are attached to the bones The photo reference is very useful and provides clarity than using illustrations alone.

The downside is the author isolates the parts too much. If the topic is on the arm, only the arm is shown with very little of the shoulder. Amazingly, there are no full body illustration showing the muscles. The only full body illustrations show the schematic form, e.g. muscle boundaries. So while every part is explained and illustrated well, it's still a bit difficult to get the whole picture.

Most of the examples are static. The body is not doing anything. Again, it's hard to see how the body really works when place in different positions like walking, sitting or twisting. Well, this is a reference book, for bodies in different positions, it's better to get a figure drawing book that focuses on poses and gesture drawing.

Also, a great bulk of the examples are for male bodies. It would have been perfect if more female bodies were included for comparison.

The accompanying text is comprehensive in explaining the structure and how the parts work.

Ultimately, this is a very useful anatomy reference book for any artists who wish to look up any part of the body. It's recommended for beginner to advanced artists.

5 out of 5 stars.

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1 Comment

You want too much from this

You want too much from this book. Thanks God it exists as try to learn small muscles from any other source and you're screwed. To have an ideal book about anatomy would be like 2000 pages long.
I see you've missed Bammes books, not modern but like 1982 "der nackte mensch". Nothing stands to it about the structure and form, just FYI.

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