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The Figurative Artist's Handbook

Best Seller
The Figurative Artist's Handbook by Robert Zeller
Hardcover $40.00
Mar 28, 2017 | ISBN 9781580934527

Also available from:

  • Mar 28, 2017 | ISBN 9781580934527

    Also available from:

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“Rob Zeller’s debut book on drawing and painting the human figure promises to be one of the most definitive on the subject in decades. Classical, as well as contemporary in scope, it contains images, how-to diagrams, and information about figurative art movements of the past, in addition to profiles of some of the greatest practitioners working today…. The book concludes with a section on artists’ painting processes, featuring examples of Zeller’s own work, along with some of the best of his peers, who collectively usher the figurative tradition forward into a new era.”
—David Molesky, Juxtapoz

“Robert Zeller’s book is a welcome reminder of the ongoing importance of figurative art, and the many masterful figurative artists working today.  It is at once a comprehensive, practical guide to the construction of the human body—male or female, standing or reclining, viewed from the front or the back, self-absorbed or expressively gesturing—down to the last anatomical and aesthetic detail, and an informative, incisive, critical account of the history of figurative art, a sort of grand tour of the seemingly infinite variety of modes of representation of the figure.  Beginning with the treatment of the figure in ancient Egypt and ending with its treatment in the 21st century, Zeller makes it stunningly clear that the representation of the figure, in whatever stylistic mode, is the bedrock of visual art.  The book has encyclopedic breadth and analytic depth, and is beautifully illustrated with drawings and paintings, all presenting the body in one or another of many possible positions and situations, all suggesting that we need the mirror of art to insightfully attune to our own bodies.”
—Donald Kuspit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook

“The Figurative Artist’s Handbook… is a very beautiful book to look through, so it may be challenging for those who use it as a handbook to let it get dirty and dog-eared, just like the previous generation did with their [Andrew] Loomis books. But used as intended — both for reference and for inspiration — it will achieve its purpose. As its gorgeous plates tell us, there is a rising group of figurative artists who know the importance of learning “the rules” before they break them, which is precisely the opportunity this book intends to offer its most ambitious readers.”
—John Seed, Hyperallergic

“The book brings together three figure-drawing methods—the study of gesture, the structural approach and the atelier method—and synthesizes them to help the artist understand the human figure. Zeller also includes chapters on creativity and on using a sketchbook to take ideas from initial inspiration to a fully developed work… appreciated the book’s surprises, including spreads that include not only the finished figurative painting but the preparatory sketches as well.”
Professional Artist

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