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The opening chapter of the book presents the special techniques involved in mastering human proportion.The chapters that follow each deal with a separate part of the body: the arm, hand, leg, foot, torso, head, and neck (with special coverage of facial features and expressions) and the complete figure.
Each of these chapters follows a basic format that combines drawings of the featured body portion from many different angles, coverage of the specific bones and muscles involved, a table of muscle origins and insertions, and coverage of surface anatomy and depictions of the body part in a variety of positions.
Joseph Sheppard taught drawing, anatomy, and painting for many years at the Maryland Institute of Art. He is the author of several books of art instruction, and the recipient of a number of distinguished prizes and awards for his sculptures and other works of art, many of which are in the collections of art museums across America.
"Joseph Sheppard has been favorably compared to practically every Renaissance master…he is without peer among modern realists for his ability to impart a warm verisimilitude to the figure." — Artspeak magazine.
In this highly praised guidebook, Joseph Sheppard, a versatile and influential artist and teacher who is widely recognized as a master of figure drawing, introduces an innovative approach to drawing the human form. Beginning by reviewing the basics of anatomy, he makes his principal focus the specifics of surface anatomy.
Rather than depicting in detail the muscles and bone that lie beneath the skin, as do most books on artistic anatomy, this book concentrates on how the position and movement of muscles and bones affect the surface forms of live models. The effects are masterfully demonstrated in over 170 of Joseph Sheppard's own drawings of many different live models in front, back, and side views, and in various standing, sitting, kneeling, crouching, reclining, and twisting poses.
Each drawing is accompanied by two diagrams, one for bones, one for muscles, which specifically show how surface forms are created by the definitive shapes beneath the skin. The superb quality of Joseph Sheppard's drawings, the wide range of poses he illustrates, and the effectiveness of his approach in this book — now in its first paperback edition — will help artists at all levels improve and refine their skills in drawing the living figure.