Anatomy and Drawing

Anatomy and Drawing - Victor Perard For the past ten years, the 1995* edition of ANANTOMY AND DRAWING has consistently been one of the most useful references in my art library.

Unlike similar texts, such as the highly acclaimed Andrew Loomis books, Victor Perard opts to simply show the reader hundreds of illustrations instead of spending a lot of time describing method and technique. Only ten or so pages are written in plain text in the entire book, with most of the book simply using labels to denote measurements or body parts when necessary. A lesser artist would suffer from this choice in direction, but Perard’s grasp on both proportion and motion ensures that no space is wasted or repetitive. From dynamic stick figures to superbly detailed bone and muscle structures, ANATOMY AND DRAWING shows the reader how to draw creatively as well as accurately. One of my favorite touches is the index at the end, which lists every muscle, where it's located, and its purpose in the body.

The only major problem with the book is that it’s tiny. It measures between 9.5x7 inches, leaving many pictures crammed together on every page. Some illustrations are less than a square inch in size. Given how precise proportions need to be in artwork, learning from small examples only makes the learning process all the more difficult. The text also neglects to mention how, if any, measuring instruments can be used to aid beginners. Finally, while bones and muscles are a major focus of the book, there isn’t a whole lot of material related to how fat layers over them. It may be an excellent book for intermediate artists, but I can’t give this edition of the book the full five stars that it deserves.

*The 1995 hardcover edition is not listed on Goodreads, but it appears to be the same book as the 1997 version.