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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 10 April 1999
Admittedly my review of this book is bound to be somewhat biased in that Gary Faigin was my master at the Art Student's League in NYC in the 80's. This admission should be weighed against the fact that we did not get along all that well. Nevertheless, attempting the learn sophisticated rendering from a book is a risky proposition at best. Your only hope of success from this method is to get a copy of this book. The approach to training the hand, the eye, and the artist's knowledge is an old one, more in keeping with the French Academe of the late 19th Century. The chief difference is that those methods were overly scientific and bloodless and this one is NOT. Going through it and practicing its principles, page by page, will be work of course -- but much more rapid and productive work than any alternative I can imagine. Do yourself a favor. Quit wasting time on trendy art instruction, go to New Mexico and sign up with the master himself. Failing that -- Buy this BOOK!
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on 12 May 1999
I've been a professional painter for years, and am now studying book illustration. Gary Faigin's book is fascinating, informative, incredibly instructive, and in short, possibly the best book I've ever bought on any topic. Is he planning on writing The Artist's Complete Guide to anything else?
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on 24 June 1998
Faigin's drawings and explanation of facial expressions is detailed and well organized. He breaks each expression down to the muscles and utilizes theory to compliment his explanations. This book provides a good foundation for understanding facial expressions and contains enough illustrations for those who do not care for theory. The only thing missing from the book are photographs of different facial types. Although his drawings are good, photographs of his subjects would provide an additional level of detail.
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on 15 June 1998
This is a wonderful, unique resource for any artist depicting human heads and faces. As a professional who needs to recreate realistic human expressions in the computer, I keep it by my desk. Every step, from initially designing the head to every muscle involved in a pose, is explained and illustrated in detail.
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on 14 August 2010
A fantastic resource for artists, whether students, professional illustrators or cartoonists. It has lots of detail on the anatomy of the face, its muscles and the subtle indicators of each expression, but can also be used as a quick reference guide
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on 18 November 2007
Thoroughly welcome addition to my library. I can't recommend it highly enough. Clear, concise, comprehensive and unpretentious: everything a portrait or figure artist needs to know about facial expressions. I bought a copy from amazon a few months ago and find myself referring to it time and again to liven up the expressions in my paintings. Adaptable to most styles, I would think, from cartoon to ultra realist. No regrets about buying it at all.
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on 12 September 2012
Covers all the ranges of muscle movements and provides you with all the knowledge you will ever need, as a portrait tattooist this book is my bible. He goes in very deep with latin names but its never without justification. All i need to say is short, if you draw portraits in any medium, this book although slightly dated will never age nor let you down. Unless we modify our faces beyond recognition that is. Grab yourself a mirror, start drawing eyes, then after a few sketches you will find you can draw a realistic eye from memory, apply this to the nose, mouth, ear etc and wonder how you never noticed the little details in someone's smile before.
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on 16 September 2012
I am a professional stonemason/carver and one of my favourite subject matters to carve is faces, this book opens up a whole new area for me to discover, I observe and draw but this book identifies the key muscle groups, the way each muscle pulls and shapes the face to create a feeling, expression and look. Whether I am carving a realistic face or something totally imaginary I can use this book to strengthen my carving. Brilliant I highly recommend this book.
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on 16 April 2014
I worked through this book, and learnt a lot. I had worked through a book on drawing heads a couple of years ago. That one concentrated on shading. This book explains how the muscles change the appearance of the face. I felt I ought to have noticed much of it before but I had not. It made explicit what you instinctively knew but could not have explained.
I am glad I bought it.
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on 22 September 2013
I like this book a lot, i am a new starter at having a go at drawing and painting. This book has given me so much info,i found it very easy to follow. The drawings by the artist Gary Faigin are concise and have much detail on where to apply shading. The facial expressions he has drawn are amazing. With this books help, i have attempted drawing a couple of faces, and i am very pleased with the result. This is a wonderful book, thank you Gary Faigin.
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