Book Review: Figure Drawing: Design and Invention

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention

The approach covered is primarily concerned with the use of line, development of form, and the simplified design of anatomy. It doesn't go into contour drawing, shading and expression.

The many illustrated examples are aimed at helping students develop a feel for the form and volume of figures they draw. To that aspect, I think it does a very good job.

The use of simple geometric shapes as drawing guides are simple to understand. Not only that, Michael Hampton also builds onto to those simplified mannequins with lots of clearly illustrated muscles. The muscle groups are visualised very distinctly in the examples. They are colour-coded to bring attention those that affect form when the body is in different positions.

I like the part on finding landmarks — bones that are near the skin. Colour-coded and shown very clearly, with rotating views from front to back.

The book does have head drawing but the focus is on the form rather than the details of the features, although the examples do show the details. It still covers enough for for anyone to draw a decent head.

One thing that's missing is the mention of figure proportions, like how many heads tall a body, length of an arm, etc. That I think will complete the book. There's nothing on bones and you won't learn how muscle works, but this isn't an anatomy reference book. That said, having an anatomy reference book to go along will be extremely helpful.

This is a useful book for artists learning figure drawing, creating and posing figures. Recommend for beginner and intermediate artists.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Figure Drawing: Design and Invention is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP)

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Above's the cover for the 2nd edition.

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33 Comments

This book looks really good

This book looks really good but I haven't seen it at any local book stores in SG and it's really pricey on Amazon compared to the other books. Thanks for posting though, something to keep in mind!

I FINALLY managed to get a

I FINALLY managed to get a copy of this. Not easy from Germany!

I'd say your verdict of 4.5 stars is accurate, from first glance. Hampton has put together quite an impressive method of building the figure. He takes a lot from Bammes' principles, and mostly, he succeeds in simplifying them enormously. The treatment of the leg is a bit neglected, tough, and sometimes, his mode of joining muscle to bone just doesn't feel right (external oblique to thorax, for example). That's the problem with simplification, I guess.

I can't wait to find the time to experiment with his suggestions, nonetheless!

I know there's really no

I know there's really no chance of it, but I was wondering if this book is going to get re-stocked. Was going to make a purchase two weeks ago, but had this funny feeling that the amazon stock weren't up to date.

Thanks.

Buy it, if you paint, draw,

Buy it, if you paint, draw, or 3D anything remotely human or non human in your art...you have to learn to draw the freaking body, face, hand, foot, all of it. If you do not study and learn well this basic skill and EXTREMELY important skill...you will always look like a poorly skilled amateur artist....you know what i mean. Besides you can then amaze your friends and family with your ability to draw a likeness...a easy feat once you understand what to look for. Additionally you will learn how to suggest with the simplest of mark detail that implies much more...pay attention to the shapes and flow of the figure and your lines and direction...hmmm...seems so simple...and the results will thrill you on to do more fantastic wonderful life bursting art. Go draw and paint now kiddies.

Fantastic and comprehensive

Fantastic and comprehensive book. If anyone knows of Michael Hampton doing a book on lighting and shading please let me know. He hints at the end then stops, which is understandable. Not the books focus. And if you KNOW Hampton, explain to him he needs to do it.

Not that I know of. He is

Not that I know of.
He is currently teaching at my school (The Art Institute of Inland empire), and we haven't heard any such thing.
I have heard rumors that he was going to make a Comparative anatomy book, but then again Joe Weatherly made one already.

Ive just started reading this

Ive just started reading this book and immediately noticed that it neglects to properly explain
gesture drawing, yes it breaks it down into parts, assymetry, repetition and contour however when doing a gesture drawing do I start with the head ? the torso? What about the line of the spine? Nothing is really explained. At least with Vilppu he breaks down gesture drawing a bit but even his explanation is inadequte.

It looks better than most figure drawing books as far as I can tell but thats not saying much since most of them are abysmal, it seems that artists are just really poor at explaining their techniques..

I just recently looked up

I just recently looked up this book on Amazon because I got lucky and stumbled upon it at a Barnes and Noble locally, after peaking inside I had to invest the money. As an artist I get a lot of questions about good books or studies to look at for bettering artist skills and this is one of my highest recommended books of all time. I was so enticed to create a video review, never done something like this before now but this book made me want to do this. Once again, beyond priceless book and you won't spend what the worth is on it! A suggested buy to any artist of all skill level please make sure to leave good reviews about the book at Amazon for the author. So glad to see other people enjoying this one as much as me.

My video review was published on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Figure-Drawing-Design-Invention-Newest/product-rev...

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