Monday, January 19, 2009

Book Review, "Bodyworks, A Visual Guide To Drawing The Figure

Hello and welcome to my journal blog.

Always at the focus of this blog is the ongoing investigation of what makes artists paint the way they do! And always a major influence at this artist's studio, is a good book.

Is the "s" not the curviest letter in the alphabet? Of course it is. And that's where "Bodyworks, A Visual Guide To Drawing The Figure" begins, with, think like an "S"!

Marbury Hill Brown is the author of this not too thick book, a nice,managable 112 pages.

Brown, with a sideview look, visually traces that "s" from the base of the skull, down the spine to the pelvis, out to the front of the upper thigh and down to the arch of the foot.

Mr. Brown attributes a lot of human figurative qualitites to this posture note:

1. Balance
2. Flexability
3. Mobility
4. Grace
5. Resiliency

Likening the s-curve in the figure to a spring, he encourages the reader to think of it as a cushion against the impact of movement, as it counters the downward pull of gravity.

An especially agreeable writing skill Brown possesses is the ability to give the human figure motion, with words, that describe both the action and the reaction. Everything has a reason in the big picture, which is a definite bonus for all the right brain-ers of the world.

Oh, and did I mention the drawings? :) Yeah, I was just saving the best for last. The marvelous drawings are the absolute essence of this book. I've already told you Brown puts balance, mobility, flexability, grace, and resiliency right up front in his book, in word. And then he follows that with page after page of visual examples in the form of wonderfully descriptive drawings. It would be perfectly acceptable :) to buy this book for the drawings alone---you may consider the text as a bonus!

I recommend this book to any artist interested in drawing the human figure, but especially to those who are captivated by posture and using body language to inform.

And because no blog post should ever be without color, here's a newly completed painting for you: Morning News.

Nice s-curve, huh? Details of Morning News are on my daily painting blog and also my website portfolio. So, enjoy the painting and enjoy the book!

Later, Cooper

No comments: