Archive for April, 2011



April 26, 2011

I recently took a trip to the natural history museum in New York and had a really fantastic time geeking out over the skeletons of the various animals and dinosaurs. I think I learned a tremendous amount about hip and shoulder construction and thus the locomotion of various sorts of creatures. It’s well-worth the trip if you can take it.

However, it also left me with questions. Skeletons gave me an idea of some of the movement but I kept wondering about the range of motion for certain limb designs so I came away with as many questions as answers.

When I returned home, I began looking for some good books to really help me nail down convincing anatomical movement. I’ve got a few books.

    Gray’s Anatomy

, the ubiquitous Burne Hoggarth book,

    Dynamic Anatomy

, and a few others. The only one that I might recommend is the

    Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals

which is pretty decent, but I found I was still wanting something more in depth.

A little searching at the local bookstore lead me to a pair of books:

    Anatomy Drawing School

by András Szunyoghy and György Fehér. One on humans and a separate volume on animals. These books I feel really go into a lot of depth on all the details I was searching for. The renderings of the structures are quite good and go into a good deal of depth about the behaviors of the different types of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. It also includes descriptions of the ranges of motion. The text information is quite terse but somehow manages to convey a lot more detail than I felt I gleaned from Gray’s (at least for my field of interest) And most text descriptions are accompanied by graphical depictions of the motions and ranges in question.

I have a few very minor nits with the books. In particular, some of the drawings when showing the various views of a bone will also switch from right to left, which can be a little confusing. Also, I with in the animals book they had included a plantigrade quadruped (such as a bear) but on the whole, these are far and away the best art reference anatomy books I’ve come across and was so moved as to write a review.