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By John H. The human body, with its varied beauty of construction, character and action, is so complex that it is essential for the student, artist and sculptor not only to have a clear knowledge of its intricate forms, but a comprehensive understanding and a habit of simple treatment in order to apply this knowledge to its artistic end. The artist is immediately concerned with the external and the apparent.
He views nature as color, tone, texture and light and shade, but back of his immediate concern, whether he be figure painter or illustrator, in order to render the human form with success, he stands in need of skill in the use of his knowledge of structure, of his understanding of action and of his insight into character. These things require a period of profound academic study. The theory of construction of the human figure here presented is based on the pictorial means usual in the expression of the solid, that is, the expression of the three dimensions—length, breadth and thickness—by means of planes.
In the simple drawing the boundaries of these planes may be indicated by lines of varying weight, and in a tone drawing by the varying depth of the values. It is the discovery or search for the relative position, character and value of these planes that will engross our attention in the ensuing chapters. In the making of a thorough drawing of the human body, involving a sustained effort on the part of the student, whether in line, light and shade, or tone, the student goes through two stages of mental activity: first, the period of research, in which he analyzes the figure in all the large qualities of character, action and construction.
In this analysis he acquires an intimacy with the vital facts, and this leads, as the work progresses, to a profound conviction. When thus impressed the student enters upon the second period, which deals with the representation of the effect dependent upon light and shade. Impressed with the facts in regard to the character of the model, understanding the action and construction, his appreciation enhanced by research, his lines become firm and assertive.
He studies theories of color, perspective, effect of light and shade, values, tone, and composition; all may be studied separately and exhaustively so that he may learn the full import of each—so, too, the matter of form should be studied for its own sake. A figure posed in a full light, with its multitudinous variety of high lights, half-tones and shadowed accents, does not disclose its structural nature to the uninitiated student; it does not appeal to him as he stands dazed before it, for there is so little of shadow to go out from.
Preferably he chooses a position where the effect of light and shade is strong, not because the construction is more evident, for the figure may have been posed only incidentally to that end, but because the strong effect appeals to him for his work with black charcoal upon white paper. In order that the student may the more readily understand the construction of the figure, as analyzed in the accompanying drawings, its parts and the whole have been so lighted as to show, through the effects produced, the separation of the planes that mark the breadth, front or back, of the form from its thickness.
In this illumination the great masses or planes that mark the breadth relative to thickness of the human form are made plainly visible. Such illumination divides the planes that envelop the body into great masses of form which upon analysis disclose its structural formation.
The student must learn early to form a vivid mental picture of his model, and the first period of the development of his drawing is but a means to enhance this mental picture through profound research.
This mental picture must include the figure in its entirety, so that no matter what minor form the eye may be attracted to or what line the hand may trace upon the paper, the nature of the relationship of the part to the whole may first be established. Besides the outline drawing suggested above, he might venture into tone by smudging the paper with a value of charcoal and removing it for the masses of light with the fingers or kneaded rubber. Again a period may be spent in swinging in the action, proportions, and construction of the figure with long lines, and also in making quick ten or fifteen minute sketches.
These efforts in connection with sustained work requiring a number of days for completion, which means the carrying forward of a drawing from the blocking-in stage to the complete effort, including tone, are commended to students. Great skill in draftsmanship is highly desirable, but the student should be warned not to give it his sole attention for too long a period. He should test his skill and knowledge by memory drawing and by applying them to composition.
BEFORE taking up the study of the planes which form the structural solidity of the head, the features and their environment may well be. Upload Sign In Join. Home Books. Create a List. Download to App. Length: pages 1 hour. Description This great classic is still unrivalled for its clear, detailed presentation of thousands of fundamental features of the human figure.
Every element of the body such as the overhang of the upper lip; the puckering at the corners of the mouth; the characteristic proportions of the head, trunk, limbs, etc. Even more helpful are the pencil and charcoal drawings that illustrate each feature so that you are, in effect, shown what to look for by a master teacher. The result is the only art instruction book which not only illustrates details of the body but directs your attention at every stage to a host of subtle points of shading, curvature, proportion, foreshortening, muscular tension, variations due to extreme age or youth, and both major and minor differences in the structure and representation of the male and female figure.
Comprehensive discussions and drawings cover the eyes; nose, mouth and chin; ear; head, trunk, back and hips; neck, throat, and shoulder; shoulder and arm; hand and wrist; leg; foot; the complete figure; and other interdependent groups of structures. This is the human figure as the artist, art student, and art teacher must know it in order to avoid many deceptive errors unfortunately common in much modern portraiture, painting, and illustrative art.
Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1. This is a classic instruction manual, written by a much beloved artist, who taught at the School of the Chicago Art Institute for thirty years.
It is especially useful today since traditional painting and drawing style has come into fashion. A certain paint manufacturer has been quoted as calling it "retro, retro. Using merely charcoal or pencil his depictions of human skin cause me to want to stroke the drawing.
Anatomy for Artists
Add to Wishlist. By: John H. Book Reg. Product Description Product Details This great classic is still unrivalled for its clear, detailed presentation of thousands of fundamental features of the human figure. Every element of the body such as the overhang of the upper lip; the puckering at the corners of the mouth; the characteristic proportions of the head, trunk, limbs, etc.
John Henry Vanderpoel November 15, — May 2, , born Johannes Jan van der Poel ,  was a Dutch-American artist and teacher, best known as an instructor of figure drawing. His book The Human Figure , a standard art school resource featuring numerous drawings based on his teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago , was published in Vanderpoel was born in the Haarlemmermeer , Netherlands ,  the seventh of ten children. His mother died in , and in he emigrated with his father and siblings to the United States. Vanderpoel exhibited five paintings at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in ,  was a member of several artists' societies, and was elected president of the Chicago Society of Artists.
The Human Figure
By John H. The human body, with its varied beauty of construction, character and action, is so complex that it is essential for the student, artist and sculptor not only to have a clear knowledge of its intricate forms, but a comprehensive understanding and a habit of simple treatment in order to apply this knowledge to its artistic end. The artist is immediately concerned with the external and the apparent. He views nature as color, tone, texture and light and shade, but back of his immediate concern, whether he be figure painter or illustrator, in order to render the human form with success, he stands in need of skill in the use of his knowledge of structure, of his understanding of action and of his insight into character. These things require a period of profound academic study.