Book Review: Figure Drawing Without A Model

Book Review: Figure Drawing Without A Model

Figure Drawing Without a Model is a spiral bound hardcover. The author is Ron Tiner.

I'm disappointed by this book. For a figure drawing book, it sure doesn't teach much about drawing the figure.

Yes, it touches on the essential topics like anatomical structure, proportion and movement. But it really just mentions the bare minimum, and not really in a helpful manner.

In the section of hand drawing, it explains briefly what the hand is made of and gives a tip on drawing your own hands. It ends with what I think is suppose to be the technique:

"Think of the palm as a flat square shape with a curved outer edge from which the four fingers radiate; to the basic shape is added, on one side, a fleshly and very flexible wedge shape in which the thumb is rooted."

That's all there is to drawing hands. No mention of the size of the hand, relative proportion of the fingers and other stuff. There are multiple illustrations but none really helpful — just like looking at one's own hands.

Most important about figure drawing is about posing the figure. Simplified skeletons and blocks are used to help with posing. In the fleshing out part, muscles are drawn onto the stick figures. But it's really hard relate how the muscles are drawn especially when examples of muscles and form are few and only briefly explained.

Other sections suffer the same problem. It talks much about drawing but doesn't teach much about the actual process of drawing. Some of the tips are high on the abstraction ladder and needs to be expanded into with impossible-to-not-understand examples. The general advice is "Practice, practice, practice." Anyone can give that advice.

The book does include additional topics like expressions, perspective, composition, graphic narrative. But those topics aren't core to figure drawing.

Ultimately, this is a very general figure drawing book that I won't recommend it. I'm giving this book a 1-star rating because I find it really hard to imagine, with what's taught, that anyone will be able to comfortably pose and draw a simple figure.

It seems that there are some good reviews for this book on Amazon. I'm shocked. Maybe this book isn't a figure drawing book. In that case, I'll give it a 1-star rating for the misleading title.

1 out of 5 stars.

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1 Comment

I have read this book a

I have read this book a couple of times, and I thought it was pretty good. But, as you say, the title may be misleading, since it's more about learning how to draw things from imagination than anything else. For that purpose, I thought it was a very nice guide, since drawing from imagination is a hard skill to learn, and this book has made it easier for me to learn :)


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