Clean Art Books?

Okay, so I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question, but oh well...

I love to draw. I do portraits the best but would like to try figure drawing as well. Only thing is, I can't seem to find anything out there that doesn't sport nudes on several pages. I am a very visual person and when I get pictures like that into my head, I can't get them out. Are there any "clean" figure drawing books out there, and if so, where???

Congratulations on wanting to learn to draw.
My dad was a Catholic and a commercial artist, and I know he struggled with that subject. The truth is, if you want to draw figures, you have to know how to draw the human body. You have to learn bones, muscles, skin, and how they work together. Then you learn how to drape clothing over the body.
I think it was Leonardo da vinci who used to dissect the dead to learn musculature.
I'm not sure how old you are, but it may be you're a little young yet to work on that aspect. How-to-draw books with nudes are not dirty, they are textbooks, like medical books. Like doctors and nurses, artists need to be able to study the human body. There's nothing wrong with that, but perhaps you'd be better off working on other kinds of things for now: houses, trains, flowers, animals. Oh, and my dad always said, the hardest thing to draw is the human hand.

Hi MarysGirls,
Firstly, may I say how great it is to meet a fellow-artist on these forums!
You could invest in an artist's mannequin. Most art shops stock them and they are not too dear. This will give you a basic knowledge of gestures and poses.
Also, you could simply ask friends to pose for you fully clothed of course.
The more you draw the human figure and familiarise yourself with movement, composition, lighting etc the more your confidence will grow.
Then, armed with strong confidence, you will perhaps feel ready to tackle the nude human form. And your approach will be as industrious as that employed when tackling the mannequin and your friends poses.
As Viki63 pointed out, you will have to tackle the nude form for true depiction. How about a local art gallery where they may allow you to sketch some appropriate works?
May I wish you the very best with your art!
God Bless,
Colmcille.

First, avoid books with photographs. Next, you should approach the human figure with respect. I suggest Burne Hogarth.

I want to add that you must practice every day to really pick this up.

God bless,
Ed

[quote="MarysGirls, post:1, topic:213105"]
Okay, so I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question, but oh well...

I love to draw. I do portraits the best but would like to try figure drawing as well. Only thing is, I can't seem to find anything out there that doesn't sport nudes on several pages. I am a very visual person and when I get pictures like that into my head, I can't get them out. Are there any "clean" figure drawing books out there, and if so, where???

[/quote]

I kind of understand your point---but how can you draw the figure without SEEING the figure?

And not only that, but the underlying muscles and bones.

The greats used to construct a figure from the bones out, literally! Take a look (if you are willing) at some of Da Vinci or Michaelangelo's sketch and prep work.

Thank you all for your replies. I guess maybe I'm just not ready for it yet. I just don't see why I would need such detail when all my "official" drawings are of the figure with the clothes on. I'll probably buy a mannequin as colmcille1 suggested. I love to draw very much, but I think if I were to buy art books with nudes in them, the temptation for my brain to go where it shouldn't would be too great. :( sigh Maybe one day...

I hear ya—but does that mean drawings of nudes as well? Or muscle-skelatal drawings? I have a number of old master drawing books and how-to-draw heads, hands, figures and faces, probably all from Dover.

If you can’t draw from the skelly out, even your clothed figures won’t be convincing, but a mannikin may help (I have one of those little wooden guys, AND his friend, poseable Barbie…)

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:7, topic:213105"]
I hear ya---but does that mean drawings of nudes as well? Or muscle-skelatal drawings? I have a number of old master drawing books and how-to-draw heads, hands, figures and faces, probably all from Dover.

If you can't draw from the skelly out, even your clothed figures won't be convincing, but a mannikin may help (I have one of those little wooden guys, AND his friend, poseable Barbie...)

[/quote]

Well, the muscle-skeletal drawings are okay, but alot of books I've looked at have realistic paintings of nudes that give me problems.

[quote="MarysGirls, post:8, topic:213105"]
Well, the muscle-skeletal drawings are okay, but alot of books I've looked at have realistic paintings of nudes that give me problems.

[/quote]

Try looking at Dover Books for those anatomy pencil drawing series. If they have their books online a glance at the cover should tell you if the book is for you.

They are 'realistic' in the same way an anatomy chart is.

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:9, topic:213105"]
Try looking at Dover Books for those anatomy pencil drawing series. If they have their books online a glance at the cover should tell you if the book is for you.

They are 'realistic' in the same way an anatomy chart is.

[/quote]

Yes, I agree with Sailor Kenshin. The Dover series are very good.
Try to stay focussed on the process involved in getting structure, tone and pose right.
I wish you continued success, MarysGirls!
God Bless,
Colmcille.:)

Ditto! And good luck.

Or maybe even get an anatomy chart, or look at yourself in the mirror---not all of you, but turn your head to see how/where the neck muscles attach and how they form shapes, etc.... or your arms.

Remember everything is a basic shape, no matter how complex it seems IF you try only to see the outline.

needs to take own advice :blush:

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:11, topic:213105"]
Ditto! And good luck.

Or maybe even get an anatomy chart, or look at yourself in the mirror---not all of you, but turn your head to see how/where the neck muscles attach and how they form shapes, etc.... or your arms.

Remember everything is a basic shape, no matter how complex it seems IF you try only to see the outline.

needs to take own advice :blush:

[/quote]

Again, very good advice, Sailor Kenshin!
Rembrandt used a mirror all the time not out of vanity (he was no oil painting...oh, wait...he WAS!:D:D) but because he wanted to get expression just right.
God Bless,
Colmcille.:)

Thanks to the both of you. :slight_smile: I’ll be sure to check out the Dover books.

[quote="MarysGirls, post:6, topic:213105"]
Thank you all for your replies. I guess maybe I'm just not ready for it yet. I just don't see why I would need such detail when all my "official" drawings are of the figure with the clothes on. I'll probably buy a mannequin as colmcille1 suggested. I love to draw very much, but I think if I were to buy art books with nudes in them, the temptation for my brain to go where it shouldn't would be too great. :( sigh Maybe one day...

[/quote]

Trust me - when you are focused on getting the tone, perspective, and proportions correct, your mind won't have any time to wander where it shouldn't. ;)

Figure drawing is a basic skill. If you're over the age of 18, may I suggest that you join a figure drawing group, where you will have other students around you keeping you interested in and challenged by the art-making process - they will have lots of tips for you to help you stay focused. :)

Constructive Anatomy! That’s the title, by Bridgman. A classic. Five hundred pencil drawings of Boxy Parts Man—nothing questionable to my eyes, and immensely helpful drags book from shelf, places in prominent position

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