Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators {Review}

Ceesa loves to draw. Even when she was very young. I remember once she drew an elephant from a picture at around 6. She included the hairs on its tail and the nails on its feet. I thought, "Wow! I'm really impressed that she noticed that." To this day, many years later, she is still drawing and noticing tremendous detail.

When I had the opportunity to review Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators, I read the summary. 

"Draw the Human Figure Anywhere, Anytime
For today’s in-demand comic creators, animators, video game artists, concept designers, and more, being able to quickly draw the human figure in a variety of action-packed poses is a requirement. But what do you do if you don’t have models or photographic reference readily available? In Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators, artist and instructor David H. Ross provides an alternative solution, showing you how to master freehand figure drawing without visual reference by using a modern twist on the classic technique of blocking out the human figure in mannequin form. Step-by-step lessons guide illustrators from basic poses (standing, running, jumping) to extreme motions (throwing punches, high kicking). For on-the-go artists, Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators allows you complete freedom to bring your figures to life at any time." ~Available here Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory by David H. Ross and on the back of the book

I thought that it would be a great chance for Ceesa to learn how to accurately draw people. She is always sketching figures and doodling things from what she is reading. As it seems to me many folks like to draw, but when it comes to drawing people they are easily frustrated and stop after a few attempts. While I don't know if it is the most difficult aspect of drawing, I do feel like it is one that often makes people give up on being an artist. 

After reading a couple of reviews, we decided to give the book a try.

Their is an introduction, conclusion, index, and 10 chapters that included:

  • A Perspective Primer
  • Introducing the Glass Mannequin
  • The Standing Figure
  • The Walking and Running Figure
  • The Crouching, Sitting, and Reclining Figure
  • Drawing the Head
  • Drawing Hands and Feet
  • The Skeleton
  • The Muscles
  • Dynamic Action

When we first got the book, I looked at the table of contents. I was very excited about the chapter on hands and feet. While I draw occasionally and have done some figure drawing from time to time, hands have always been something that I cringe to attempt. Quickly flipping through the book, I decided this may just be what we were looking for to help with that all illusive human figure.

I put our book off to the side and pulled it out again the next day to take a leisurely look through the pages. I am glad that I did. I spent the next hour looking at every page and, with a permanent marker, dressing the nude figures (mostly women) and scantily dressed figures (all woman) that loomed from over 30 drawings. I did not see any mention of this in other reviews that I read, so I was unprepared for what I found. We would not have requested the book for Ceesa had I known; however, after I dressed the figures, we continued on with the review.

I had Ceesa begin with the first chapter on perspective, which gave her a good base for establishing what perspective is and how it works.

She worked her way through the second chapter as well...

She hasn't worked beyond the second chapter, but here's a peek at what is in store...

Our plans are to continue work in the book off and on over a long period of time. I feel that for figure drawing techniques to really stick and start to show themselves across media's and in quick sketches, we really need to use it consistently and gradually build our way to more difficult parts.

This book does a fine job at explaining how to use basic shapes to develop figures, how to use perspective, how to create action, and I'm hoping really helps us grow toward an understanding of figure drawing. My only disappointment is in the way the woman in the book are depicted, not one modest lady in the bunch. In our household, we consider modesty a character trait of high value, so this was a true disappointment for us.

You can learn more about Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory by David H. Ross and check out an author bio.

I received a free copy of Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators: Mastering the Art of Drawing from Memory by David H. Ross from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way for writing the review. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Wishing you Homeschool Blessings,

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