Best figure drawing art books

Learning how to draw figures can be a challenge. How do you get the right proportions, how to make the figure flow and move in a natural looking way, how do you show the muscles structure under the skin… All these questions and more will be answered in these top 5 art books on figure drawing. Have a browse and take a look. Find the book that is best suited to you and start improving your figure drawing skills today! Click on the images for more information on the art books.

Anatomy for Artists: A visual guide to the human form 

This book, “Anatomy for Artists” is an wide-ranging collection of high quality, detailed photography and drawings which show the human figure in all different shapes and form. It features the human figure in all shapes, sizes and poses that can be used as a solid foundation for all character art. In this book you will find in detail al the muscular structures of figures of varying body types.

It’s a great detailed library of visual resources containing stunning photography and comprehensive drawings. The images in this book are an invaluable starting point for artists trying to create art based on the human figure. Whether you’re a traditional sculptor, oil painter or 3D digital artist, the resources within this book will prove to be useful and informative and will help you improve the quality and accuracy of your own art.

Morpho: Simplified Forms: Anatomy for Artists  


This small, portable book presents a unique perspective on the human body for artists to study and implement in their drawing work. In this book, artist and teacher Michel Lauricella simplifies the human body into basic, synthetic shapes and forms, offering profound insight for artists of all kinds, sparking the imagination and improving one’s observational abilities. Rather than going the traditional route of memorizing a repertoire of poses, Lauricella instead stresses learning this small collection of forms, which can then be combined and shaped into the more complex and varied forms and postures we see in the living body.

Constructive Anatomy 

Countless artists and students since the 1920s have used this and other books by George B. Bridgman (for nearly 50 years a teacher at the Art Students League in New York) for a solid foundation and understanding of human anatomy. His unique way of discovering the vitalizing forces in the human form and realizing them in drawing carries the student pleasantly over one of art’s most severe hurdles. Bridgman’s superb anatomical sketches, of which there are nearly 500 in the book, also bring clearly to fruition his lucid theories of how to draw the human body in its structure and its complex movements.

Classic Human Anatomy in Motion: The Artist’s Guide to the Dynamics of Figure Drawing

Fine-art instruction books do not usually focus on anatomy as it relates to movement, despite its great artistic significance. Written by a long-time expert on drawing and painting human anatomy, Classic Human Anatomy in Motion offers artists everything they need to realistically draw the human figure as it is affected by movement. Written in a friendly style, the book is illustrated with hundreds of life drawing studies (both quick poses and long studies), along with charts and diagrams showing the various anatomical and structural components.

This comprehensive manual features 5 distinct sections, each focusing on a different aspect of the human figure: bones and joint movement, muscle groups, surface form and soft tissue characteristics, structure, and movement. Each chapter builds an artistic understanding of how motion transforms the human figure and can create a sense of expressive vibrancy in one’s art.

Figure Drawing Atelier: An Instructional Sketchbook

“The best way to learn about art is to make it. Discover the secrets of great figure drawing as you sketch along with past and present masters. This working artist’s sketchbook guides you from beginning gestures to delicate rendering. It’s your art, your tradition, your time. Take your voice and add it to the tradition as if the history of art has saved the best for now.”– Juliette Aristides

Figure Drawing Atelier offers a comprehensive, contemporary twist to the very traditional atelier approach to the methods that instruct artists on the techniques they need to successfully draw and ultimately paint the figure. The book offers art instruction, practical and progressive lessons on drawing the figure, and high-quality sketchbook paper in a beautiful package that includes blank pages for sketching and copying. Artists will then have a record of their process, like with a sketchbook, which many artists like to document and save.