References for Sculpting

References for Sculpting

28 February 2012
3.8/5 rating (13 votes)


  • When sculpting, it's always very useful to have multiple anatomical references or other handy, in order to finish your project. I'll offer a few suggestions here on a number of interesting books to own and have close by in all occasions. Sure, it's not an exhaustive list, and many other things can be found online, but it's my small "best of" of books useful when sculpting miniatures.

    Cutting-Edge-AnatomyDrawing Cutting Edge Anatomy

    A book based on the anatomical drawing of super heroes. A very good book to start with. A simple yet efficient approach, with each part of the body being detailed. Sure, the bodies are exaggerated and have a certain style to them, but it works pretty well in fantasy and at that price, we'd be crazy to pass it up. The book is in English.


    heros-fantasyAnatomie des héros fantasy

    A book based on the anatomical drawing of fantasy heroes. Many types of characters are examined, from the hyper-muscled barbarian to the female robot, with the sumo, the dwarf and various other creatures in between. The authors offers fifteen characters with their anatomical characteristics and their typical postures. The topics include the human skeleton, musculature, facial expressions, hands, body language, morphology, postures...


    fantasy-referenceThe fantasy figure artist's reference file

    A very interesting book, as it contains only pictures of various characters in fantasy costumes and in various poses. Very complete and also useful for the sculpting of "draped clothes" and costumes. Topics include the barbarian, the monk, the shepherd, the warrior, the magician, etc... A CD is also included in order to be able to print the pictures in a bigger format. The book is in English, but there's not much to read, as its main interest is in the pictures.


    art-models-2Art Models

    Books offering nude photographies with various poses and angles. Each book contains different poses and morphologies. Very useful for sculpting. You can also head to their site to leaf over their catalog and order only the poses/pictures that are of interest to you. Their books are also available on Amazon at relatively interesting prices.

    Site live model books

    the-new-encyclopedia-of-modern-bodybuildingThe New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

    Okay, this is some heavy artillery! 800 pages of pictures! Sure, this book is aimed at bodybuilders, but it's a gold mine for us sculptors. Tons of pictures at a price you wouldn't be able to dream of. Indispensable to any self-respecting sculptor.



    encyclopedia-of-bodybuildingEncyclopedia of Bodybuilding

    In the same vein as the last book, 800 pages of pictures at a ridiculous price. And moreover, in this case they're in colour! It's probably less complete than the last one, but it's an excellent companion book.



    faraut1faraut2Modelage de portraits en argile 1 & 2

    Well okay, in this case it's simple – these books are a must! Two books on sculpting faces by Philippe Faraut, a (the?) master of the subject. The scale is actually quite large, but the steps are detailed, as well as the work on expressions and parts of the face (nose, ears, eyes...). Really well done with nice pictures and each step of the way is described in detail, with step-by-step instructions to show the work in stages, with techniques to represent the characteristic traits of the face, etc... A must I tell you!

    mouvements-muscuMouvements de musculation

    Another book destined originally for bodybuilders, but which is filled with very precise drawings describing all the muscles in action while performing workouts. Really complete and indispensable to understand muscles and how they tense. Worth buying for the anatomic charts available at the beginning of the book alone.

    dynamic-anatomyDynamic anatomy

    A book about the body in motion, made by a master of the subject: Burne Hogarth. Really quite interesting to give motion and dynamism to your creations. This book will also help you understand a few things, which are sometimes hard to see on pictures.



    dynamic-draperyDynamic Wrinkles and Drapery

    By the same author, here's a near-indispensable book to undersand the motion of fabrics and draperies. You'll find within numerous examples and different sorts of fabrics, this book also remains one of the only few available on the topic, so why not pick it up?


    drawing-draperyDrawing Drapery from Head to Toe

    A small and somewhat old book, but which can help complete your collection on the topic of draperies and fabrics, as it is available at a pretty ridiculous price. A lot of drawings and examples of classic clothes (skirts, pants, costumes, etc...), but it can always help and be useful...



    Tutorial translated by Eric HARLAUX

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