if you want to learn how to draw well, you’ll have to study the human body first. It’s important to do a lot of life drawing sessions where you do long-form poses and quickly move your hands and feet. That’s only half the battle. You also need to know a lot about the human body in order to build muscles, bones, and joints in a realistic way. You can learn about anatomy by remembering the figure, but anatomy books have a lot more information and are easier to get to.
In this post, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best anatomy books for artists. All of this is made up of raw anatomical dictionaries, as well as more fancy books that go with the rote learning. You can find raw anatomy books in the first part of this post, and more help with your studies and life-drawing in the second.
Core Anatomy Books
Almost every artist needs to have at least one book about the human body called “Core Anatomy.” In the beginning, this is what you should do on your own. As you practice life drawing, a book with a lot of information about anatomy will be very useful.
If you want more than one reference, that’s fine, too. But most people only need one good book, and if that’s the case, I’d recommend one from this list.
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist is one of the best books to help you learn how to draw the figure. A lot of illustrations show how the bones, muscles, and tendons all work together. There are 272 pages with this book.
Most of the time, a technical book is the best way to learn this. Every artist should know this. You’ll learn about the differences in human anatomy when it comes to kids, adults, men and women, and different body sizes, like how big or small each person is. You learn by looking at real photos and illustrations that show how to draw anatomical parts the right way. Even though this is a great reference book, it doesn’t work very well as a teaching tool. This book doesn’t teach you how to draw people. However, it will show you how to look at the human body from a technical point of view, which is important for every artist to know.
Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form
For artists, Eliot Goldfinger is the author of Human Anatomy for Artists. This book of anatomy is my top pick for them. I’ll say this book is very long. It has 368 pages, and it talks about almost every part of the human body. If you read the book’s title, you might think it was written for scientists. For fun, I wouldn’t read this all at once. I would, and still do, use this as a study guide a lot. Everybody can’t learn about anatomy all at once, so you’ll always be learning new things as you go along.
Because of this book, Human Anatomy for Artists could be the only book on the human body that you ever own. There are photos to help you understand each part as you learn about bones, muscles, fascia, tendons/ligaments, and joints. It also talks about how each part works. In this book, there aren’t any bodies that are bent over. This makes the book seem a little “stale.” But for a quick reference guide to the human body, I can’t think of a better book.
Anatomy for the Artist
Because you want to learn more about human anatomy, you’d get this book to do that, as well. It’s also a good idea to look at the high-resolution photos and use them as a guide for your own drawings.
Anatomy for the Artist has more than 200 pages of color photos and diagrams that go over the photos. When bones, muscles and fascia start to build up beneath the surface of the skin, you can see how they build up. Each picture is very good, so you won’t have any trouble reading the text. I don’t think this book is as in-depth, though, as the one by Goldfinger that came before it. The book Anatomy for the Artist is more like a “coffee table book” for human anatomy than a detailed guide. The transparent overlays are a lot of fun, and they can help you think about how to see the figure the right way, too. There is a book called Human Anatomy for Artists that talks about how to learn about human anatomy.
Anatomy For Sculptors Series
This series takes a very close look at each body part, which is broken up into different books. I think most artists don’t want to spend extra money on anatomy books for each project. But the good thing is that you can get Anatomy For Sculptors based on what you need, whether it’s the torso, upper limbs, lower limbs, or the face and neck muscles that you need.
Each book talks about how each part of the body is made and how it works. Some of the information is geared toward 3D sculptors, but the writing is so detailed that it can also be used by 2D artists and illustrators as well. These books aren’t very long, but they’re mostly in Kindle formats. None of this would be a good replacement for any other anatomy book. However, if you need to brush up on a single part of the human body, you could pick up a book from this series.
Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists
I like a lot of the Dover books because they’re often very good and very cheap. Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists is a book that was written in the early 1990s.
As a good thing, the human body hasn’t changed much since the late 20th century, so all of the information is still true. The author doesn’t teach anatomy from a point where you have to learn it by heart. Instead, you get a set of exercises for different parts of the body, like the arms, legs, torso, and so on. For each chapter, you’ll have rough sketches and more detailed drawings that will help you see how these anatomical details should be drawn out. He is a well-known artist who has worked for years. His writing style is quick and accurate, but it’s also easy to read and understand
It is Sheppard’s goal to help you learn about anatomy through exercise and a little bit of memorization. But if you’ve read other anatomy books in the past, this book is a lot easier to understand than the other ones.
Figure and anatomy books should also be on your list of things to buy. These won’t help you remember the pure anatomy, but they can help you learn anatomy and figure drawing techniques at the same time, too. These are some of my favorite figure books that touch on anatomy and work well with an anatomy reference guide. I like to use them together.
Complete Guide to Life Drawing
If you look at my post, this is the most up-to-date book. The author Gottfried Bammes talks about a lot of different things, like body types, ages, sexes, and even the proportions of different body types.
This book is half a reference guide and half a drawing tutorial guide. It is important to learn about gestures and movement in the early chapters. You will also learn how to get the figure in the picture. Afterwards, you learn about the more detailed anatomy and how this should be used in your drawing process in the next few chapters. Illustrations from Bammes and other artists will help you understand the ideas in each chapter. You’ll get a lot of them. It has 312 pages, so you’ll get a lot for your money. Every chapter makes you want to read more, and the way this book presents the information isn’t the same as anything else out there.
Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators
Make sure you get this book if you want to be an animator one day! Most animators go to life drawing classes to learn more about how to balance, move, and gesture. The book Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators can be very useful for anyone who wants to learn about anatomy. This is why. It is very important that you learn about all the muscles, bones, and how they work together. Pulling on bones helps the skeleton to move. If you want to copy real movements in animation, you need to know how the human body moves. To do this correctly, you need to know how the human body moves.
This book will not teach you how to be precise or how to look at anatomy. However, it will build on your anatomy lessons to help you draw lines of movement with each pose. In this book, there are exercises that will help you learn how to be faster. But don’t make this your only anatomy book, or you’ll forget all the little things that make animations look real.