Many of us want to learn “how to draw.” But as artist Anthony Ryder explains, it’s much more important to learn what to draw. In other words, to observe and draw what we actually see, rather than what we think we see. When it comes to drawing the human figure, this means letting go of learned ideas and expectation of what the figure should look like. It means carefully observing the interplay of form and light, shape and line, that combine to create the actual appearance of human form. In The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing, amateur and experienced artists alike are guided toward this new way of seeing and drawing the figure with a three-step drawing method.
The book’s progressive course starts with the block-in, an exercise in seeing and establishing the figure’s shape. It then build to the contour, a refined line drawing that represents the figure’s silhouette. The last step is tonal work on the inside of the contour, when light and shadow are shaped to create the illusion of form. Separate chapters explore topics critical to the method: gesture, which expresses a sense of living energy to the figure; light, which largely determines how we see the model; and form, which conveys the figure’s volume and mass. Examples, step-by-steps, and special “tips” offer helpful hints and practical guidance throughout.
Lavishly illustrated with the author’s stunning artwork, The Artist’s Complete Guide to Figure Drawing combines solid instruction with thoughtful meditations on the art of drawing, to both instruct and inspire artists of all levels.