I have a number of books on drawing. One of my favorites is Eliot Goldfinger’s Human Anatomy for Artists. It is fantastic in how it shows the breakdown of every part of the human form. The one thing it doesn’t do particularly well is help you put those pieces together into a dynamic form.
Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators does that as well as any other book I’ve seen.
A short bit of background on me. In my younger, more impressionable days, I had plans to work as a comic book illustrator. I’m not sure how I expected it to happen since my time was spent either working at my job as a picture framer, drawing with a group of friends at a local comic book shop, and spending time with my, then girlfriend, now wife. Oh, and I was in college too. But then came the day that we decided to get married and I realized I was making next to nothing as far as money. I decided that I needed to find a job I could make enough money to support us. So I stumbled into information technology. It seemed like (and has proven to be) a safe bet. But I’ve always loved drawing.
This book didn’t hold a lot of surprises to me. I’d drawn most of these poses at one time or another. But what I particularly like about this book is how it breaks down the form into easy to understand geometric shapes. Without a good grasp on those, drawing dynamic forms is difficult, if not impossible to do. It’s one thing to know how Jim Lee draws the leg muscles on the front of the leg. It’s entirely different to understand the shape of the thigh in 3 dimensions and how those muscles wrap around the leg. And it’s even another step further to understand how they react to other parts of the body moving in conjunction with them. This book will help you get drawing the human form, in motion quickly and easily.
I’ve included some images from the inside of the book for you to see what I mean.