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The Best Anatomy Book I’ve Ever Read and More

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, but that’s because I’ve been really busy studying and practicing! I have a lot of really amazing projects coming up that I’m super excited to share soon.

For now, I’m on a short break for Thanksgiving and decided to take a breather. So, that means I’ve had some time to write again. So here I am! Today, I’d like to share with you all a little hidden gem that I stumbled on a few months back during my escapades around the local shopping mall.

I walked into a bookstore and picked up a random anatomy book, thinking it was just going to be a general textbook like the rest. But, oh was I wrong!  What I stumbled upon quickly turned into the holy grail of anatomy books, and since I bought it I can’t put it down! It’s just jam packed with so much information, from posing, to bone structure, to expression, and so so so much more!

It has so much information and breadth of knowledge in it. Stuff that I haven’t seen in anatomy books for artists before, so I wanted to share it with you all. I don’t believe it is a super well known book, so I hope this helps spread the word. In my opinion, it’s perfect for any artist, experienced or not, who wants to brush up on their anatomical skills. I have absolutely loved this book, and I think anyone wanting to learn or brush up on anatomy for art might find it really useful. It’s just written and structured so well. It’s really been a game changer for me.

Now, you might be wondering what this magical unicorn book is. So, drumroll please…

It’s called Classic Human Anatomy in Motion.

The author and artist who wrote it, Valerie Winslow is a master of her craft, and elequently and effectively explains anatomy in a fun and interesting way that is artist friendly. While also trying very hard to leave her readers with a deep understanding of not just anatomy, but movement, positioning, and even expressionalism.

Valerie Winslow has been teaching figurative art for over 40 years, and it really shows in her writing. She definitely knows her stuff. Everything from her keen explanations on joint movement, to the way she describes how eyelids actually work really show off her expertise in the craft of figurative painting.

She’s even taught anatomy to artists at Pixar!

Classic Human Anatomy in Motion is sectioned off into various parts that all come together to give its readers a very holistic view on anatomy. It starts out with the fundamentals like the skeletal and muscular system, and then moves into more advanced topics such as how muscles and bones show at certain points through the skin and facial expressions.

She describes easy and effective methods for practicing anatomy and framing figures!

The book concludes with an entire section on movement. The underlying structure of the book including all the basic principles in the beginning are consistent with eventually gaining a full understanding of not just the human figure, but how to paint and draw the human figure to look and feel alive. Any type of movement strategy for painting and drawing can be found in the book.

In all, reading Valerie Winslow’s book has been completely eye opening for me and has helped improve my anatomy ten fold. It’s allowed me to quickly and effectively paint images like the one below, and has given me an in depth breadth of knowledge to draw from whenever I want to paint a figure. I always try to keep this book handy, and months later still come back to it just because of how much knowledge it holds. Dare I say, it is the holy grail of anatomy for artists if I’ve ever seen one. Short from doing direct life studies, this is probably the best you can get in terms of books and literature. If you’re interested, feel free to click the Amazon link to the book at the end of this article, it’ll help support me and this site, and also hopefully help you with your own artistic endeavors!


Link to the book: Classic Human Anatomy in Motion: The Artist’s Guide to the Dynamics of Figure Drawing

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P.S. I’m really excited about the projects I have coming up! To keep up, follow my Instagram @zebotc for my latest paintings!

Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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