Saturday, September 17, 2011

Burne Horgarth: Dynamic Figure Drawing

Image provided by: Amazon
I like drawing naked people. It's a fact.

Now let's start this review. Dynamic Figure Drawing by Burne Hogarth is a relatively popular book considering it's an art book. Chances are if you ever had an art teacher or looked around on forums someone has recommended this book. So why are you reading this? Good point. I don't know. Maybe it's because my little reviews give you a jolly chuckle - either way you're bored enough to read this so let’s get on with it.

The main reasons you would want this book is because you are an inspiring artist looking to draw the human body in greater detail and with greater ease. The book shows tips and hints with proportion and how limbs align with the larger mass of the body. It also breaks the muscles of the human body into shapes for easy recognition. The figures drawn within this book are very muscular and have a hint of exaggeration as the muscles always look like they are working, giving the student the ability to see the muscles more clearly. The book also displays ways to give "flow" to your drawing which is always important to have.

Now as for the negatives I would have to say that the proportion of the figure within this book is a bit too perfect. Or in this case eight heads high; every figure looks like a sculpture and although the figures are not stiff they are a bit odd. They are correct but they don't really reflect what regular people look like. The females in the book have very exaggerated hips and although I did say that having the muscles look like they are constantly working is a easy way for the student to draw them it also stops the student from making more natural looking muscles. So ironically the proportions in the book which help a student draw a proportionate figure may end up being a hindrance.

Well now, even though I do say that it can be a hindrance I would also like to point out that the way the muscles are exaggerated is extremely useful for learning about muscle anatomy and how everything connects. Is this book a replacement for life drawing? No, there isn't a book that will ever be a replacement for it. However it gives a student that added benefit of knowing where limbs align on the figure and also allows for the student to understand how muscles work on the figure.

So to conclude this tiny review I would have to recommend this to beginners as a "very very very very good book to have." Even though I did say it could be a hindrance it will not hurt the budding artist as long as he or she does life drawing (or possibly photos would work instead of real people). I know this sounds confusing, so I suppose the best way to sum this book up is that: It will help you but don't rely on it 100% as that will hurt you. Which to be honest is something to keep in mind with any book. This book just makes it more apparent.

You can get this book here or click to it on the left sidebar.

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