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Submitted on
May 23


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Art + Anatomy book Recommendations

Journal Entry: Fri May 23, 2014, 12:54 PM

15 books I recommend for anatomy, art fundamental study and art inspiration. Please note that these are simply my personal recommendations and books that's helped me a lot in the past. 

I've taken photos for these books, so Here's a less image-heavy list (on tumblr)

This took so much longer than I first anticipated so I really hope people find this helpful cause, seriously, spending 3 days on this does not feel like it was worth it ^^;

edit: I'm putting the tl;dr list here first as a preview of the books I'm recommending. 

TL;DR List of books

Anatomy Books

Boing! Boing! Art Book Recommendations Boing! Boing! 

Anatomy Books

:star: An Atlas of Anatomy for Artists :star: |
One of the best anatomy books I've owned, and shows great draftsmanship from many old masters

:star: The Art of Animal Drawing :star: |
Really simple-to-understand animal anatomy book that breaks down animal forms in simple shapes and explanations

:bulletblue: Anatomy for the Artist :bulletblue: |
This book has some really good photo-references with really pretty models. There are also see-through paper that goes on top of some of the photos that has bones and sometimes muscles that goes on top. Pretty neat.

:bulletblue: Figure Drawing for All It's Worth :bulletblue: |
Andrew Loomis's books are all pretty great, I think. You can probably find his pdfs online but I find things on print easier to absorb for me and I tend to carry my books around. Anyways, this one has some great stuff on perspective and foreshortening.

Animation/ Illustration/ Concept art Skill-set books

Colour Theory

:star: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter :star: |
:+favlove:I strongly suggest this. Seriously, this is one of the best books I have ever bought. It's really great and really thorough. It's also one of the few art books I've read the text thoroughly front to back.

Concept Art

:bulletblue: The Skillful Huntsman :bulletblue: |
This one is really good if you want to go into concept art. It takes you through the steps of brainstorming to final product and there's a lot of great silhouettes to learn from.

Composition/ Storyboarding

:bulletblue: Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation :bulletblue: |
Wonderful book on pre-production of animation, and covers from compositions to layout brainstorming, to storyboard colourscripts.


:bulletblue: The Animator's Survival Kit :bulletblue: |
A must-have for animation-beginners, this almost-400 page book is definitely worth your dime if you want to be an animator.

Beginner Perspective

:bulletblue: Perspective Made Easy :bulletblue: |
A small handbook for starting perspective, great for beginners and has lots of info on basic perspective rules and tricks. Also pretty cheap so that was a plus for me xD

Perspective and Design Fundamentals

:star: How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination :star: |
A 200+ paged book full of great stuff mainly about perspective as well as design and basic fundamental skills; good for artists of any level, really.

Inspiring Illustration Books

:bulletblue: Art of Pixar: The Complete Colour Script :bulletblue: |
Awesome collection of Pixar's colour scripts and illustrations. Great for colour inspiration

:bulletblue: Art of Tangled :bulletblue: |
Actually all of the art-of books are pretty amazing, and are full of character designs, background/layout designs, colourscripts etc.

:bulletblue: James Jean's Fable Cover Collection :bulletblue: |
I know this book is sold out right now but they might do a reprint again so if you don't have the money for it right now, keep an eye out. I remember the original price to be around $40 so it was definitely worth the beautiful illustrations inside. James Jean is one of my favourite illustrators so I just had to put this up here even though the book's sold out xD;

:bulletblue: Spectrum Collection :bulletblue: |
Any of Spectrum's collection of contemporary illustrations are all really great and very industry-standard. Great inspiration illustrations

:bulletblue: Bouguereau :bulletblue: |
I just had to add a master painter in there. Bouguereau is one of my absolute favourite painters along with John Sargent. Seriously, if you have a chance, get their books and do master-studies off of their paintings. They REALLY help with realism.
Thanks for looking~! If you made it to the end, here's a cookie~ :cookie:
If you only have a chance to get just one or two of these books, I've highlighted my top 4 with a star beside it....I tried to narrow it down but I couldn't narrow it down too much. Anyways, I think this list covers a wide range of stuff. 

tip: On top of studying anatomy, do some master studies (that's when you pick an artist you feel has really mastered their medium and skill level is off the roof, and you pick something they've drawn and copy it). They really help.

  • Mood: dA Love
Add a Comment:
lil-razzle-dazzles Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!:love:  This is awesome!:highfive:
Eaeae Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
do you have the atlas of human anatomy for the artist book? if you do, what makes it not one of your favourite? if you don't what made you uninterested in buying it?
Qinni Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I don't have the book, but I have been recommended the book before; however, because at that time, i actually had a lot of anatomy books already, I simply didn't feel like i needed the addition to my collection :). Looking through the amazon previews, it looks fairly informative. 
charfade Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014   Artist
I'm definitely going to pick up that Bouguereau one. Epic work. 

Awesome presentation. I wrote a recommended reading book list too a few months back. Here are a few more I can recommend…
Lady-Lumiya Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014
omg these are great, thank you so much!
RainsofOblivion Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Qinni you are an artistic angel ; ^ ; :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:
Ikiyouyou Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014
Thanks so much for posting this!  I've got two already, I'll definitely have to put some of the others on my 'Buy' list, because they look great!  Thank you!!!  ^^
BjoernSiebolds Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014   Digital Artist
Nice, thanks :)
TheDivineMissM-94 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for posting this! I've been wanting to get some anatomy and other art based books for quite some time now, but there's so many and I had literally no idea where to start! I hate bothering artists for recommendations too so it was always a last resort. So this is very helpful and I'm so excited to get my hands on some of these!

Thank you again for sharing (:
Ayior Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
This is amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing!
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