Book Review: Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement

Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement

Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement is a anatomy reference book for artists. The bodies, muscles and skeletons are well illustrated and explained. The different layers of muscles are shown individually as well as a whole. Where the muscles are attached to the bones (even those hidden) are shown. The illustrated examples are plentiful and comprehensive.

The writeup is well researched and written clearly by author Valerie L. Winslow. It has all the technical speak, including pronunciation, but still easy to understand when read. Every anatomy part and every muscle shown is explained in terms of functionality.

There are some drawing tips but not as much compared to dedicated instructional anatomy books. For example, it doesn't teach much on drawing twisting torsos. As such, this will be a great companion to other instructional anatomy books, especially so for those that focus on poses and have less details on the underlying human form.

Overall, this is a highly recommended anatomy reference book, for beginner to advanced artists. For the price, I think it's really worth the money.

5 out of 5 stars.

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Great anatomy book. Very thorough and informative not only on what the muscles and bones do or look like but also how they affect the surface form. And it reads like a textbook with all the complexity broken down for you. I couldn't have asked for much more and don't regret purchasing this piece at all! I can see myself referring to this book in the future should I encounter a problem or two with any of my figurative sculpts.

Hi Parka, I wanted to know that, is classic human anatomy better than Human Anatomy for Artists, I pretty much know to draw a figure and know the underlying forms and shapes of a body. Will this book help me deal with anatomy the same way Human Anatomy for Artists will or both the books are different in any way ?

Hi Parka,

It seems like this is a good book as a reference for when you draw the live nude model.

Can you tell me which book actually teaches you how to construct a real figure from memory/imagination, without the aid of a model or mannequin?

I have always been looking for a book that will teach me how to construct my own figure, without a model and I could not find any...

Thank you!!

Hello! Which would you choose between this and 'Figure drawing for all its worth'?

In reply to by Andrada (not verified)

@Andrada
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth is more on posing the human figures, with some anatomy info for muscles and bones.

This book is more on the shapes of muscles and bones and less on posing figures.

So they are two very different book.

If you're just getting one. I would probably recommend Figure Drawing for All It's Worth. But I would recommend getting both the books.

1) How do you compare this with Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck?

2) Is this book or Stephen Rogers Peck's book appropriate as the main source of anatomy study? People seem to recommend using proko's free anatomy course on www.proko.com/library as the main source of study.

In reply to by crocket (not verified)

@crocket
I prefer this book over Atlas of Human Anatomy. The illustrations in this book are really good.

I've just looked at Proko's website and that's an incredible resource. I'm sure you'll can learn a lot from there too. Some people prefer learning through books, some through videos. It's really up to learn. You can learn from any source.

The book will provide a more structured learning process.

I wanted to get Anatomy for 3d artists which is not available in my country. Can you suggest if it's worth the same to buy classic human anatomy instead? It's for 3d modeling purposes

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