No matter what your skill level, you can always learn something from the Masters. Listed below are the books that have been helpful to myself and others. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
This was my first art instruction book and I remain amazed at how valuable a resource it is. John Buscema was an incredible artist and he understood exactly how much information to give you so that you understood the lesson, but weren’t overwhelmed. No matter your age or interest level, this is the one book that belongs in your library.
This particular volume collects six of George Bridgeman’s shorter works into one helpful tome. From figures to constructive anatomy to sections on hands and drapery, this has it all. Brudgeman harkens back to a different era of artists, and you can’t help but get the feeling that these are much the same figures that Michaelangelo would have drawn. An essential.
For a long time, the only way to get your hands on Loomis’ Figure Drawing for All Its Worth was to scour used bookstores or pay exhorbitant prices on eBay. Fortunately for you, some genius at Titan books brough the book back in 2011 and I’ve found it to contain a staggering amount of helpful information. This is the Buscema book on crack.
The Human Figure by Vanderpoel was one of those surprising little gems. I’ve referred to it sporadically over the years, but recently, when talking to other artists, they’ve all made mention of it and I’ve come to realize that it’s a staple in many artists’ collections. Some people say that the text is hard to follow, but the illustrations more than make up for it. If you’re the kind who can intuit things from others works, you’ll like this one a lot.
I have bought more than my share of watercolor books over the years. I’ve been disappointed in nearly all of them. Except this one. In fact, I liked this one so much I bought it three times (long story). But you’ve got to flip through the first three pages to see that this is the only book on watercolor you’ll ever need. I keep it close by and I refer to it often. I often think I’ll never be able to duplicate the success that MacKenzie seems to produce without effort, but every year I get a bit closer. A must have for watercolor enthusiasts.