[LIBRI] ✸ The Figurative Artist's Handbook: A Contemporary Guide to Figure Drawing, Painting, and Composition Con Robert Zeller – Vehikool.co.uk

The Figurative Artist's Handbook: A Contemporary Guide to Figure Drawing, Painting, and Composition About a third of the way through this book, author Rob Zeller makes an extraordinary statement In referring to Andrew Loomis s classic Figurative Drawing for All It s Worth, he says The instructional section of this book is a meager attempt to walk in that book s footsteps Wow What a statement I immediately sought out the Loomis book, and was blown away And while there s nothing meager about Zeller s book, which is an excellent resource, he does have a point.If, like me, you re a beginner with a real commitment to learning figurative drawing, Loomis s book remains the most systematic and comprehensive starting point.Much respect to Rob Zeller for producing a fine guidebook into the fundamental aspects of figurative work but start with Loomis. An Authoritative, Comprehensive Guide For Contemporary Figurative Artists At A Time When Renewed Interest In Figurative Art Is Surging Throughout The Art World, Author Robert Zeller Presents The Figurative Artists Handbookthe First Comprehensive Guide To Figure Drawing And Painting To Appear In Decades Illustrated With Zellers Own Exquisite Drawings And Paintings As Well As Works By Nearly Historical And Contemporary Figurative Art Masters, The Handbook Is Also A Treasure Trove Of The Finest Figurative Art Of The Past And The Present Day Included Are Michelangelo, Pieter Brueghel The Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Gustav Klimt, Edward Hopper, Andrew Loomis, Andrew Wyeth, Lucian Freud, Odd Nerdrum, Eric Fischl, Bo Bartlett, Steven Assael, John Currin, And Many Others Original And Thoroughly Modern In His Approach, Zeller Brings Together Three Figure Drawing Methods Long Thought To Be At Odds, Synthesizing These Seemingly Incompatible Techniques To Achieve A Cohesive And Complete Understanding Of The Human Figure Although All Three Methods Underlie Contemporary Fine Arts Practice And Education, No Artists Handbook Has Ever Combined Them Before The Study Of Gesture Disegno Rooted In The Italian Mannerist Style Of The Th And Th Centuries, The Gestural Method Emphasizes Life, Rhythm, And Movement In The Human BodyThe Structural Approach A Mainstay Of Th And St Century Art Instruction, This Method Applies An Architectural Perspective To The Body, Using A Block Conception For Anatomically Sound, Solid Figures The Atelier Method Based On The Training Provided By Th And Th Century Art Academies, The Atelier Approach Creates Sensual, Smooth Renderings Based On Meticulous Study Of The Figures Surface Morphology In Light And Shadow Covering All The Basics As Well As Many Advanced Techniques, The Figurative Artists Handbook Is Aimed At Both Students And Experienced Artists A Practical, How To Guide, It Provides In Depth Step By Step Instruction Andrare Among Figure Drawing Booksfeatures Sections On Composition, Portraiture, And Painting Chapters On Creativity And On Using A Sketchbook Help Readers Hone Their Artistic Vision And Evolve Ideas From The Initial Inspiration To The Fully Developed Work Also Included Is An Extensive Section Highlighting The Great Movements In Figurative Art Throughout Historyfrom Ancient Egypt And Greece To The Present Hands down, the best book on figurative work I ve read If I could own only one book on figurative art and I have over 70 in my library this would be the one I keep I am absolutely serious, I could get rid of every other book on figurative art I own and have everything I need or want in this single book Just absolutely exceptional I read it cover to cover my first weekend Now I m reworking my way through it as a workbook Beautiful work. Although I don t know Rob Zeller personally, I ve admired his art for quite awhile Still, when his book first came out I thought the last thing I needed was another book on figure drawing I m extremely glad I went ahead and ordered this In addition to the gorgeous art, the book is very well written I especially enjoyed the first The Great Movements in Figurative Art and last The Creative Process chapters because this type of information isn t always included in instructional figure drawing books Mr Zeller did a great job of hitting the highlights of all the major movements without boring us to tears, as so many of the dry art history books do To the contrary, his writing is concise, informative and entertaining The last chapter describes the working method for a diverse group of artists, including Wyeth Andrew , Freud, Currin, Assael, Shanks, and Zeller himself The other standout chapter for me is The Artist s Sketchbook Mr Zeller makes a great case for developing a sketchbook habit and especially emphasizes the importance of working from a live model, beginning the chapter by saying, Making figure drawing a part of your regular routine is a primary means of truly mastering it I couldn t agree He presents lovely sketches of his daughter sleeping with their cat as well as offering a glimpse into the sketchbooks of many other fine contemporary artists All this and I haven t even gotten to the instructional chapters, which include great information on drawing standing and reclining figures, and portrait drawing and painting Finding the gesture, establishing proportions, blocking in anatomy, light, and shadow , modeling form, and making refinements are covered extensively Mr Zeller s selection of artwork is truly exceptional and relevant to the text, and the quality of the reproductions are outstanding Given all this, I was surprised at the reasonable price of this book Highly, highly recommend I just love this book The quality is superb It s large and has a strong binding that has held up beautifully through the many times I ve read or just flipped through it to enjoy the artwork It opens perfectly flat, so you can easily go back and forth between the book and your sketchbook.I would enjoy this book even if I didn t want to improve my drawing skills There s a wonderful opening section that takes the reader through a brief but highly informative and thoughtful history of figurative art All of the numerous examples are a nice size and take up most, if not an entire, page Other art books are often lacking in this regard which I find incredibly frustrating In this book, the sizes are large enough that one can truly understand how the figure has been portrayed in various time periods.He also provides numerous examples of his and others artwork throughout the book, and the final chapter discusses various contemporary artists and, through many large examples of their work, tells us about their own creative processes It s a wonderful fusion of art appreciation and practical applications which enables the reader to think about what they might want to apply in their own practice It s apparent how artists can make the techniques their own without having to worry about sacrificing their own voices Zeller argues that through knowledge artists can augment their creativity by giving it a vehicle rather than detract from it.As far as the instruction goes, his technique is an insightful combination of various methods It synthesizes classical and modern approaches which result in renderings that have life, breath, and movement He provides numerous diagrams and walks the reader through his process step by step which makes the material much easier for one to grasp and apply.This book is appropriate for enthusiastic beginners and working artists who want to improve their technique or who are getting back into the game As a beginner, I glean something new from each read through Somehow he manages to write the instructional portion of the book with lots of density and meat while still making it engaging and an extremely enjoyable read As my skills are improving, I m grasping nuances that I wasn t yet ready for but that are speaking to me now, so it s a source that I continually come back to.The book teaches figurative realism, but it s much inclusive than that There s a respect for modern approaches and abstraction, so one could use this book or just enjoy it no matter what his or her personal style or tastes are.I especially enjoyed the chapter on keeping a sketchbook In it, he shows examples from numerous working artists It once again highlights beautiful art with practical, user friendly applications.It s a wonderful book that teaches one about fine art through practical techniques, beautiful examples, and a spirit of inclusiveness that makes this book academic and yet approachable at the same time.Very well done Very well releazed book, for all those who want to learn or improve classical techniques of figure and portrait drawing and painting.Working steps and phases are descripted in a very clear way and the illustration are very beautiful I ve looked at a lot of books on drawing the figure and I would rate this one of if not THE best Wonderful description of various techniques accompanied by clear and easily understood images Plus a lavishly illustrated section of works by some of today s top figurative artists If you only buy one book on drawing the figure, there s a strong argument to be made that it should be this one.

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