Figures from Life: Drawing with Style
As an in-depth exploration of life drawing, the passion for art in this book is deliciously infectious
As an in-depth exploration of life drawing, Patrick J Jones’ passion for figurative art in this book is deliciously infectious.
Each chapter opens with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to draw a certain pose
Observational drawing from the human figure is a classic skill, and one that can take a lifetime to perfect. Artist and teacher Patrick J Jones began honing his creative skills at just 17, and now, over 30 years later, he shares his experience and knowledge in this tutorial-style book.
Its luxurious-to-the-touch cover, with its raised typography for the title and a striking sketch of a woman kneeling, provides an early glimpse of the glory held inside. Patrick’s artistry and advice is spread across 160 pages, and contained within six wonderfully in-depth chapters.
Each of the topics under scrutiny – gestures, long and short poses, artist’s studio, rhythm of life and “love devotion surrender” – open with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to draw a certain pose, each stage accompanied by a large photograph for reference. It’s here and in the following pages, which feature the most intricate and impressive drawings of the male and female form, where you get your money’s worth. Not only does each chapter spell out how to draw a specific pose, but also they also include a number of invaluable artistic tips. Common mistakes and problem areas are noted too, as well as the occasional elaboration for tackling certain trickier areas of the body, such as the head, hand, arm and leg.
At A4 size, this book would easily fit in most standard-sized bags, and while it’s fairly thick and the quality clear, it’s surprisingly light to carry around. One slight downside is the size of the body copy, which is a little too small when you consider the word count. But then this allows for larger images so it’s all about balance. The image-to-word ratio will work for some and not for others. Either way, it takes nothing away from the book’s brilliant content.
There’s a strong sense of authority surrounding Figures from Life: Drawing With Style, and it’s not difficult to see why. The fact that art legend Julie Bell has written the book’s foreword should tell you all you need to know about Patrick’s talents as an artist. And if that doesn’t, the expertise and passion for art that oozes out of the other 159 pages certainly will. If you want to master drawing the human form, then this is the reference book for you.
Overlapping forms and shifting perspective are covered by Patrick in his section on foreshortening. The book concludes with a fine selection of drawings from Patrick’s portfolio.
Here, Patrick covers the drawing techniques of massing and omission.
Patrick’s keen to emphasise the importance of balancing gesture with anatomical structure.