"What tips would you have for comics anatomy?"
I've been getting questions here and there regarding understanding comics anatomy, or superhero anatomy. To me, they are human anatomy just the same...and I just happen to draw them in superhero costumes, ha!
So in this post, I'll be talking a little bit about my thoughts on anatomy...while going through these gems that Anatomy For Sculptors so kindly sent me. I've never really done any in depth book reviews, because I simply suck with words (damnit grammar). I'm a visual guy, I draw and I talk through art. The only reason I did this is to get free books from them if I do a review XD...
I've been following Anatomy for Sculptors for many years, saving their works in my reference folder just like many of you - mainly through their Facebook or Artstation. If you're an artist, I believe you've already stumbled upon their anatomy posts here and there. Someone might have shared it at some point. Why? Because they're just super informative and easy to understand for artists. Just like me, they talk with visuals. And that's what their books are famous for...90% VISUALS, 10% TEXTS.
I would have ended the review here but since I got these books for free, I've got a job to do...which is to try and sell these books to you heheh.
I'm going to share mainly about this book while covering the other two in general, as covering all three books will bore you guys to death! Alright here we go-
ANATOMY FOR SCULPTORS
This book covers the entire human body in details, mainly separated into four parts as shown in the content of the book. If you're into scientific names and all then you can refer to the detailed table of contents. Otherwise you can just stick to the visuals like me :D
From what I understand, they decided to make this book just because there isn't much anatomy books made for fellow sculptors out there, and even if there are... those books has got too much texts and not enough visuals. Furthermore, sculptors focus more on forms.
"I could indeed make a book. One that is image-centered!"
Uldis Zarins - the author and designer of the book, try to focus on understanding the forms instead of just knowing all the muscles of the human body. Uldis is a professional sculptor, so getting to know the forms are important to him. While I'm a 2d illustrator who work and draw mostly in 2D, I used to study 3D in college so I'm trained to draw with the knowledge of a 3D artist. I draw what's at the back of the character, I construct what's underneath the costume of the hero before covering them up. In my opinion, drawing with a 3D mindset changes the game...so understanding how form works is crucial.
I don't know how many times should I stress this but get your anatomy right, fellow artists! It doesn't have to be perfect, but at least make it look right and believable. Understanding anatomy is not about memorizing every name of the muscle or ligaments, but more about knowing how things work. You'll be able to draw human figures in various poses and angles when you grasp the idea of it. Most of the professional artists in the industry, be it concept artists, illustrators or comic book artists, they don't even know the name of specific human muscles but they do know the basic placement of the correct muscle groups and how they work when posed differently. I'm no anatomy master myself, and I'm still learning new things about the human body to this day with every single illustrations that I do. So learn as you go, fellas.
The book literally covers EVERYTHING you need to know as an artist in general. Most of the stuff that I questioned before is answered, and there's just so much more new information in there. Visuals and explanations are easy to follow so I'm already levelling up as I flip through.
Most of the visuals has got wireframes on top showing how the form works on human body, and they'll sometimes group areas in colors when they're trying to explain specific parts. They've got photographs of models and 3D breakdowns to help us understand it better. I don't know guys, it doesn't get any easier to understand than this. It's like anatomy book for dummies, and I freakin love it! Note that the picture at the left is from FORM OF THE HEAD AND NECK, which talks in detail about...the head and neck yeh.
Yes, they even cover proportional changes of various body types or ethnicity @.@ Alright I wont bore you guys with too much texts, so let's get straight to the point -
Is this book worth it, and which one should you buy?
Worth every single cent (I know, I know...mine is free) ! I'm coming from a perspective of a comic book cover artist, and I seriously recommend ANATOMY FOR SCULPTORS and FORM OF THE HEAD AND NECK. They've got what I need for my daily illustrations which focus a lot more on full human figure and sometimes bust. For ANATOMY OF FACIAL EXPRESSION, they talk even more detail into muscle movements that changes according to facial expressions, the soft tissues, ligaments and fats etc. It is very in depth...and in my opinion, this suits more if you're into portrait drawings or face sculpting. Below are some pictures from ANATOMY OF FACIAL EXPRESSION :
If your budget is limited, go for ANATOMY FOR SCULPTORS as this book alone covers 99% of what you need. Mind you these books are not cheap as there's a lot of hard work that went into it...they literally spent years in making these! Depending on your capability, you can either choose a hardcover ($99.95), paperback ($54.95) or even pdf e-book ($44.95). The one they generously sent me are the sexy hardcovers...lucky me. If you're a rich kid with money to spend, please throw money their way for the hardcovers, feels really premium and feels great to hold in hand. If I'm a student, I'll go for pdf, as e-book is really handy these days when you need to refer...and most importantly - affordable. Paperback is ideal if you're into physical copies! Whichever you chose, you will level up just the same.
All in all, GET THESE DAMN BOOKS ALREADY and follow them on their social media ::
Alright that's it for the lengthy post, fellas! I want to thank the good folks at ANATOMY FOR SCULPTORS for sending over these gems once again. I truly appreciate it!