Author Topic: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!  (Read 4707 times)

ironmammoth

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Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« on: February 07, 2012, 10:29:30 PM GMT GMT »
I inadvertently picked up two copies of Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry. The British and US editions have different cover art and I didn't realise it was the same book when I bought it  ;-(

Anyway, if any of you folk would like it you are welcome to it. You will need to Paypal me the postage, but other than that I am not looking for anything for it!

PM me if you're interested!



128 pages, heavily illustrated throughout. Apparently Fabry is a well known comicbook artist (I don't move in those circles so I can't comment on that)...

Offline dracon magis

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2012, 03:53:48 AM GMT GMT »
do you still have it?  i would be intrested in it.  btw i love the scale sheet

ironmammoth

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2012, 12:13:33 PM GMT GMT »
draconis major:

Yes I still have the book. PM me with your postal address and I will check the shipping cost!

Glad you like the sheet. They are steady sellers, and I don't really advertise them so they must be useful!

Offline Beefcake

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 08:48:09 AM GMT GMT »
Is the book any good for helping out with anatomy? I know it's titled anatomy but sometimes they can be deceiving. Thanks

Offline Vermis

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 08:47:09 PM GMT GMT »
It... could be better.  Anatomy-wise it's got a couple of crude skeletal pictures, and a couple of fairly bad musculature diagrams: like musclebound cartoons created with the MSpaint curve tool.  And they conveniently show you only half of each figure, so they can fit both male and female on the page and get all those pointless fundamentals and knowledge out of the way.
There are also a few pages of a 'figure reference file' - photographs of two models, male and female, in basic and fantasy-appropriate poses. (fighting, casting, creeping etc.)  The best part of the book, in my opinion, but I don't know if it's worth the full price.

Most of the rest of the book (apart from some chat about 2D drawing and painting) is given over to expression, posing and telltale features, especially section two - the archetype showcase.  As it suggests, it takes some well-known fantasy archetypes and points out what makes them recognisable.  I.e. barbarians should be muscley; women should be curvy; dwarfs should be short; goblins should have big noses; aggressive people should look angry; timid people should maybe hunch a bit. :/
The problem added on to that is that some of the archetypes are a tad redundant, a bit too specific, and not strictly archetypal.  The 'winged avenger' archetype is just a girl with bird wings.  The dwarf character is stupid, grimy, comic relief that makes Peter Jackson's treatment of Gimli seem overly respectful and dignified.
The example for the wizard archetype looks more muscled than the barbarian.  (He's the largest figure on the cover, up there)  It even says: "Wizards aren't always scrawny and gaunt, and our wizard Myrddin proves it.  He subverts our expectations while adapting some classic characteristics".  Reading on, the 'classic characteristics' that make it clear he's a wizard consist of a long white beard and 'swollen elbows'.  Which in the drawings look as swollen as filleting knives.  So the rest of the three pages (compared to all of muscular anatomy's two) show a wizard that looks more like Conan's grandad, disappointed that his grandson turned out such a wimp.  Makes me wonder if they've got a grip on what an archetype is.
And some of the other artists featured and hired for the book ain't so hot.  The artist drawing the 'fat man' archetype doesn't seem to understand that fat doesn't make the entire skeletal and musculature systems 2-3 times as wide, and whoever drew the enchantress and lizardman archetypes should've been left on Deviantart.  (Key Characteristics #6 - "Huge claws - remember the golden rule: if it looks good exaggerate it!"  Well, it doesn't so you shouldn't.)

That turned into more of a rant than I intended, especially since Dracon Magis only just received ownership of a copy!  Sorry DM.
I don't know.  I haven't looked through it in a while, and looking now: it's a step above the typical draw-this-egg-shape-then-that-egg-shape-then-a-triangle 'how to draw' book.  It's got a bit more depth and resources.  But I think the result would be largely the same: in the absence of decent anatomy instruction, I would guess it forces the reader to copy the drawings and styles in the archetypes section.
Maybe it could be useful for easing beginners into the idea of studying anatomy and references (and maybe they really don't know that the average barbarian should look burly and angry...), but I think the money might be better spent on a good anatomy book for plain old artists rather than fantasy artists.  Learn the fundamentals first.  After that, all the tweaking and stretching what you've learned into the shapes of musclemen and dwarfs and things, what a sword looks like, horned helmets, magic staffs, which pose and expression to pull - that's the easy stuff.

And I move in those circles.  Glenn Fabry's a pretty good artist, having done work for 2000AD (particularly Slaine) and DC.  Which makes me wonder why he felt he had to do this book, and in the way he did.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 08:51:50 PM GMT GMT by Vermis »

Offline Andrew May

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 07:27:45 PM GMT GMT »
Don't hold back Warren, tell us what you really think!
Lol

Offline Vermis

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TL;DR...
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 09:52:03 PM GMT GMT »
lol

I know, I know.  When I first got my copy I was all "Ooh, photo refs and archetypes!"  Now, after getting a few other anatomy books and thinking about Beefcake's question, the photo refs seem a bit brief and the archetypes seem like no-brainers (or weird tangents).

I don't feel like dumping my copy, though.  If that says something.  I'll sit down some night to give it a proper up-to-date read, and see if I'm being too harsh on it.

Offline jeff_lamarche

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 12:20:08 AM GMT GMT »
Quote
I don't feel like dumping my copy, though.  If that says something.  I'll sit down some night to give it a proper up-to-date read, and see if I'm being too harsh on it.

The hardest part of reviewing books, for me, is knowing what it's like on the other side of the equation. While I've never written a book about sculpting or drawing, I am a published author and know full well how the process works, what editors are prone to do, and how surprisingly little control authors have over the books with their name on them.

This certainly isn't the worst book on anatomy in my collection (*cough* http://www.amazon.com/Human-Anatomy-Made-Amazingly-Easy/dp/0823024970), but it's also not the best. It suffers the flaw of injecting too much of the author's (or possibly, the editor's) opinion into a supposedly instructional book, and reads to me like a book that was rushed through production.

In my experience, you're better off with classic resources - those that focus on anatomy and composition and are intended to have a long shelf-life, rather than those produced to ride the wave of popularity of a particular type of art, whether it be fantasy art, anime/manga, fairies, or whatever.

But, I'm not about to speak poorly of this book until I can draw as well or better than the author, and that day is a long way off.

Offline Beefcake

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 04:00:19 AM GMT GMT »
So in summary it tries to give generic characters that aren't generic at all. Maybe I'll stick to a normal anatomy book. Thanks Vermis.

ironmammoth

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 03:46:26 PM GMT GMT »
Hi guys!

I still have my spare copy available for the price of the postage, if anyone wants it now...

If you are interested then PM me with your address and I will work out how much it will cost to post!

I will admit it is not the best book on anatomy, but it does have a few nice illustrations. Also lets face it it is nice to break away from the totally generic stereotypes too...

Offline Beefcake

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Re: Anatomy for Fantasy Artists by Glenn Fabry - Free To A Good Home!
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 03:27:07 AM GMT GMT »
I'd be interested if it's still up for grabs.
how easy my mind is changed... again
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 09:51:59 AM GMT GMT by Beefcake »