this page is still under construction - apologies!
On this page you will find the books that I talked about in class (and some that I forgot to mention!) plus some old favorites that might help. I have put links to Amazon where possible, although some may be out of print and you may have to hunt for them on used book sites such as, or etc.
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Artistic Anatomy - Dr. Paul Richer

This is my absolute #1 favourite anatomy book. I refer to it constantly and my copy is much thumbed.
I love the victorian frenchman model (with droopy mustache!) who posed for the drawing illustrations and Dr. Richer's anatomical drawings are terrific. The most important things though are the very clear descriptions of origination, insertion, action and location.


Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form
Eliot Goldfinger

My next favourite basic anatomy book is this one by Elliot Goldfinger. The writing is good and the photos are very helpful and clear although they are airbrush enhanced. Some of the additional diagrams can be a bit confusing (see forearm!!!) but its still a really great book.
Highly recommended.


Cyclopedia Anatomicae - Gyorgy Fehér

This is a big impressive book with really nice drawings and also some comparative animal anatomy as well, so you get both together. Its a bit hefty to reach down for while you are drawing and I found one or two mistakes on origins and insertions but its still a great achievement and a good addition to your anatomical library.


Animal Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form
Elliot Goldfinger

If you are interested in Animal anatomy then this new book by Elliot Goldfinger will help. The illustrations are amazing and it is an epic work to match his wonderful human anatomy book as mentioned above. If you need anatomical reference for that camel in the background of your painting, this book will really help.

Anatomy of Animals: Studies in the Forms of Mammals and Birds
Ernest E. Thompson

Anatomy of Animals - Ernest E. Thompson

This is a simpler animal anatomy book that I have had for years. There are only a few ilustrations but there is a good page on birds' wings and though far less is covered than Elliot Goldfinger's book its still quite useful and much cheaper.

Living Anatomy

Living Anatomy - Dr. F.D. Lockhart

This small book was first published in 1947 by Dr. F.D. Lockhart who taught at Aberdeen University in Scotland and its been available ever since. It shows all the muscles in photographs , the model being accompanied by Dr. Lockhart in various positions. The photos demonstrate each muscle without any enhancement. As the models were all underweight, probably due to the food rationing which was still in place in 1947, the muscle forms are very clear.

  Anatomy for Artists - Sarah Simblet

Sarah Simblet studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, England and this book is fairly new. Her drawings are very beautiful and the photos are fabulous. Scattered through the book are printed overlays on acetate of whichever muscles cover the relevant skeleton illustrations on an adjoining page, so you can easily see how the muscles and skeletal structure fit together. Its really an anatomical drawing course of her own devising which she gives instruction on and not really a true anatomical reference book but its fun to look at and you can casually leave it lying on the coffee table when you entertain and still look real cool.

  Anatomy Lessons From the Great Masters - Robert Beverly Hale

Robert Beverly Hale taught at the Art Students League in New York for years and years and everybody loved him. His lectures are still available on badly shot video, home movie style. In this book, he demonstrates the muscle structures shown in various famous old master drawings. A classic.

  Constructive Anatomy - George B. Bridgman

George Bridgman's books are really great for understanding the underlying cube construction used to construct figures by many artists. Remember the 'boxes' I talked about in class? I find his drawings a bit too much like fifties cartoon illustrations but there's no doubting his facility and the ease of his lines.

  The Human Machine - George B. Bridgman

Another one by Bridgman, this time concentrating more on demonstrating the mechanical nature of the bone structure underneath through clear illustrations, next to illustrations of each muscle or muscle group.

  Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist
- Stephen Rogers Peck

Stephen Peck illustrates how joints and muscles work by showing them as machines and making them into various mechanical engineering drawings. Its a good book for understanding the mechanisms for movement in the body but his anatomical figure drawings are awful ( in my opinion) so I guess it didn't help him in the end! However, its still a really good book for understanding how the muscle forms work and how they can be conceptualised as machines.

  The Human Figure - John H. Vanderpoel

This is a nice little book to have on your shelf. Last revised in 1938, It has been reproduced by Dover Books since 1955. John Vanderpoel's drawings are charming and though the writing is a bit old fashioned, he gives a quick but thorough covering of different sections of the body. His pages on the ear and the lips are great.

  Anatomy of Movement - Blandine Calais-Germain

Written for dancers and physiotherapists (by a dancer and physiotherapist!), this book explores deeply the body's use of muscle and skeletal structure and how we move in space. The illustrations are not beautiful or stylish like Sarah Simblet's book but they are clear and diagrammatic. If you want to know about movement and how it affects muscle forms, this is for you.

  The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression - Gary Faigin

Gary's book has become a classic for understanding the facial muscles and their role in expression. Both the US Mint and the FBI use it as reference. He studied and taught at the art student's league in NYC and founded the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle along with his wife Pamela - his drawing of her is on the cover. He also worked with Elliot Goldfinger and posed for the facial expressions in Elliot's human anatomy book. Recommended!

About Faces
Terry Landau
About Faces - Terry Landau

This is a fascinating book about all aspects of the face  - from prehistory and anthropology to plastic surgery and where science predicts the evolutionary changes in our face will go in the future. A good read, as they say.

  Albinus on Anatomy - Robert Beverly Hale

Bernhard Siegfried Albinus was born in Frankfurt, Germany and was trained in medicine and specialised in 1719 in Botany and Anatomy. His father was a doctor. Albinus is perhaps best known for his monumental 'Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corporis humani', which was first published in Leiden in 1747 and features his amazing illustrations of skeletons with and without muscles, standing in the weirdest of backgrounds. Now easily available to everyone as a Dover book. I'm sure he would be pleased.

A. Hyatt. Mayor
Artists & Anatomists - A. Hyatt Mayor

Published in association with the Metropolitan Museum in New York and filled with brilliant illustrations, this tells the history of the association of artists who were also anatomists and how anatomical science and art were one, for it was the artists who took it into the daylight of public life after the darkness of the middle ages.




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